Dr. Jekyll & Mrs. Hyde had an interesting post on finding grad school buddies to work with:
If you are headed for or starting graduate school, I’d encourage you to contemplate which of these–thinking or doing–you consider your strength. I certainly knew heading in to grad school that I loved scientific concepts, but struggled with benchwork. If you know which half you find easier, recognize how much you need practice with the other half, and find someone to help you with it. Perhaps you have a fellow labmate who has the skills you lack, or a friend in a neighbor lab. This person’s approach to problems may seem totally foreign to you, but that’s exactly why you need them.
I’ve head advice along these lines before; finding a writing group being a more field-appropriate idea, rather than a lab partner, but the gist behind it is the same–that doc students need both the support and the idea-germination that a good group of classmate-colleagues can provide. Now, how to find that group? Or, how to find time to find that group?