As finals week arrives, it can be hard for students to study and complete their work. But there is no better way to prepare for finals than to have a group study session with friends or other students for motivation.
Benefits of group study sessions
Joan Warburton-Phibbs, visual performing arts adjunct professor, said, “Social efficacy is the whole idea of when you’re in a group maybe there are things that you didn’t understand what the professor said. But there is someone else in the class that has a different perspective and the way they speak it is different. So, then all of a sudden you realize and get it.”
Evelyn Sperry, a junior double major in history and secondary education and resident assistant, agrees that group study sessions are good for students, her residents, and herself.
“Group study sessions could help my residents for finals week because I know a lot of them struggle with sitting down and actually doing the work. So, being together in a group and having someone to sit there and do work with you is super beneficial,” Sperry said.
“I benefit from group study sessions because I need other things or people around me to keep me focused on my school work. For me, it is better if I work in a public place or with other people who are also working,”
Cass Graff, senior English major, communication and history minor and resident assistant – can relate to the benefits of group study sessions.
“I am neurodivergent and I am passionate about helping other neurodivergent people. Something that helps me is body doubling, and that is when you have another person with you to keep you accountable. So, they are doing work and you are doing work at the same time,” Graff said.
As the semester progresses, students tend to lose motivation and gain stress. These group study sessions will push the students to keep going through the semester’s finish line.
“It does motivate them because they’ll see the other people who live with them, who maybe they didn’t realize are taking similar courses or have stuff in common like work,” Sperry said. “They will understand and think that if they put in the work, then the students around them will do so too.”
Group study sessions also give students an opportunity to get to know each other. They can build relationships and learn new things about each other. It also allows the students to help one another.
“I think having a space where people are all doing work can help them stay on task. They are able to ask questions and get feedback on any assignment that they are working on,” Graff said.
It is important to know that group study sessions build a community where students can help each other with their workload, and stress through social support.
Warbutton Phibbs said social support can help ease the stress within students during stressful times like finals week.
“We have learned that community-building activities enhance a larger population. This is because people feel connected to the source. So they are all operating under the same set of rules and guidelines,” Warbutton-Phibbs said.
“You get the social support and that is when you are with your peers especially if they are a group of people that you can relate to and connect with. Then you have that social support system that helps you lower your stress level. When your stress level is lower that means learning can take place in a much easier and efficient manner,” Warbutton-Phibbs said.
Building a strong and valuable community can help motivate and empower students. Group study sessions represent this idea of community.
“We all know that when you help other people it makes you feel more empowered. So when you are feeling more empowered because you are helping other people in your group, it brings the group up. And it can happen throughout the campus which can be very valuable,” Phibbs said.
RA study sessions
Graff held a study session in October before midterms.
“There were a few people that came, and it turned out great. I did this so that they can ask questions whether it’s for me or the students around them in a safe space where everybody knows that there are no stupid questions. Everybody has the same goal of trying to get some work done,” Graff said.
Be on the lookout for any group study sessions that the school or resident assistants have planned, whether it is for this semester or the spring, or grab a few friends and help one another out.