Make a Friend
It's not something that I set out to do - It wasn't like I was one of those creepy, needy people that you run into at places like the laundromat or who come sit by you in the caefteria and stare at you with an air of desperate optimism. In an early course I ended up trading a couple of emails with a fellow student, and we've been working together ever since.
While neither if us would ever dream of sharing information unethically, we have supported and learned a great deal from each other. We have shared ideas and resources, critiqued each other's work, and taken turns pointing out the fact that yes, there really IS a light at the end of the tunnel, and no, it's not a train. I've found articles when she couldn't, and she has given me ideas to get me started when I was at a loss. It's a great thing to have someone to whom you can go and ask, "Hey, how does this sound?" or "How long was your Module Two paper, anyway? What did you make?" Because we worked together, we each did more and did better than we would have done alone.
One of the best parts, I think, has been the mutual encouragement (and b*fests). We take turns as we push each other, share survival tricks, rant and complain, and feed each other's egos. She doesn't even know yet that she will be the first person to see this contribution, but she will.
Grad school is hard. Don't go it alone if you don't have to.