Start the Quarter Off Right: Establish Your Study Group
January 03, 20203 min read
When crammed into a single quarter, college coursework can seem frightening. Well, more annoying than frightening but both result in a headache. Avoid headaches by creating your ownCommunity-esque study group. This is going off of the assumption you don’t have friends in your class--or enough friends to create a study group (3-6 people is best). To keep it simple, let’s split it into a binary scenario: you do or you do not have a section for your course.
You Have a Section
This is the most desirable of the alternatives. If you don’t have it already, download GroupMe and have your account set up. Basically, get to the first day of section about 10 minutes before the class starts and hit “Start Group” on GroupMe. When classmates walk in, tell them you’re creating a group chat for the section and hand them your phone. This makes it easier to communicate and talk about difficult homework problems, share notes if someone can’t make it to lecture, and because you’re all in one section, there won’t be too many people in the group chat. You could also add your TA to the group chat, but honestly they probably don’t care (they won’t get paid for it) and it might make the group feel a bit more awkward depending on how uptight the TA is. About a week before midterms/finals, offer to meet at a neutral location to study when everyone is free (say, the library). The reality is section has a lot of people and not everyone will likely want to meet up. All the better, because of the few that do show up, it’ll be more condensed study time.
You Don’t Have a Section
This is a bit more complicated because it relies on your less-than-adequate social skills. Basically, better sooner than later, start a conversation with someone sitting by you. You could whip out your phone with GroupMe right away, but it might be better to address them beforehand. You could always say “I’m creating a group chat with some people in this class to share notes and talk about problems--want to join?” That will likely prompt them to spread your phone to their friend who may share it with another mutual friend, thus spurring the creation of your study group. If that isn’t enough people, try reaching out to another person. Then, same thing as with starting the in-person portion of the study group in the section scenario: just shoot a message in the chat offering to be at the neutral location at an agreeable time to study together.
Extra Tidbits of Advice
If you’re a social pariah and this scares you too much, you could always ask someone sitting next to you if they wanted to create a group chat and rely on them to see if they’ll do it. This, for obvious reasons, has a lot less likely chances of success. It’s like asking if someone wants a flyer, or handing them a flyer: giving someone your phone with the option to add their name and number will be a lot more efficient in creating a group chat. And, if there’s ever a better time to get over social anxieties, it’s when you’re in college you’re surrounded by like-minded people who aren’t going to be paying much attention anyways. On an entirely separate note, I am a bigger fan of Discord than GroupMe--so why would I recommend using GroupMe? Easy: it’s so simple to understand your grandmother could figure it out. Many people have experience with GroupMe and there are so few features it’s hard to get lost. Even people without GroupMe can be added via phone number to GroupMe and it will work like a group chat on the cellphone. If you’re looking for other apps than GroupMe, apps like Discord, Slack, Skype, etc. will suffice.
Morgan is an introvert with just enough social skills to create section group chats. You can do it, too.