General, Groups & Clubs, How-to, People, Work

Making the Most of Study Groups

Studying with friends is a lot of fun and can be a great way to stay motivated. After hours of sitting alone in a dorm room engrossed in readings, I found studying with friends to be a great way to escape isolation. Group study sessions can either be extremely helpful or a total disaster and a waste of time. After many such unsuccessful attempts at ‘studying’ with friends, I have learned a few lessons that I would like to share.

First and foremost, be selective about who you choose to study with. Sometimes your best friends are not best people to study with—I’m sure they are amazing, but you can not deny reality. If you plan on getting work done, perhaps your friend who tags you in memes every few minutes, or who you discuss your life dilemmas with, is, in fact, a distraction and is preventing you from completing your work. Study with people who you know will not be a distraction and will actually motivate you to stay focused. U of T has some fantastic libraries to study at where you can book study rooms as well!

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A great way to form a good study group is to sign up for the course-specific study groups in the Faculty of Arts & Science which are listed here. You also have the option to start your own group! Not only is this a great way to meet people from your class and get some serious studying done, but you also receive CCR recognition at the end of it! Last year, for my physiology course I had the chance to lead a study group. We met approximately once a week to go over essential concepts and discussed any questions we had. This was a great experience as it helped me keep up with a quite a challenging course and helped me improve my leadership skills. I encourage everyone to try at least one recognized study group to see if it works for you!

Now, group study does not have to be 3 hours of intense study that drain you of joy. I use studying with friends as a way to see them more often and spend some time together despite our busy lives. I regularly meet up with people at Starbucks or a social study spot on campus to go catch up but also get some work done. Unless I really need to get some intense studying done, these semi-social study sessions are what I prefer. I also recommend planning something fun to do afterward, such as going out for dinner, watching a movie, or going to a college event—this will give you something to look forward to and will keep you motivated!

Have you tried out a study group? What was your experience like? Comment below!

Until next time!