I have been definitely a fan of an independent studying since I started med school. For the most part, I do better if I study on my own. I tried studying with people a few times, but I always ended up feeling anxious and distracted. Some people can be difficult to study with. It is really hard to convince some people that they are wrong. Some people just know too much to the point that it freaks you. Some people are just way behind in studying that you end up spending time on things that you are done studying. So I sort of gave up on studying with people. But recently I realized there are ways to study in a group in a way that does not overwhelm you. It makes it so much fun to study honestly.
LEADING A STUDY SESSION
Our pharmacology class have a study buddy program where you can be paired up with someone to study. The course director picks the partners. You don't really know your partner until you are paired up. Recently, I was paired up with a classmate. My role was to lead the session. So I actually pre-studied the picked lecture before the study time. These sessions were so helpful for both of us. I learned things that I misunderstood as we went through the content, because my friend will notice the problem with the thought process, which requires me to recheck my knowledge. We made a great team. If you are more of a leader type, then find a relationship that is more like tutor and tutee. It is slightly different than traditional tutor and tutee relationship, because both of you are concurrently learning the same subjects, so your opinions are not absolute and dominant, rather your role is to lead the session, so both of you can discuss the topic.
FINDING A STUDY GROUP
Since I asked to join a few of my friends to study together. They were nice enough to let me join them. We independently study in the same room most of the day and study certain topics together if we want to review it. We studied pharmacology drugs together a few times. We just go through our list of drugs we need to know and everyone quizzes each other on things they think is important. Everyone finds different parts of the same topic important, so you end up with very well rounded knowledge afterwards. Nobody should make you feel inferior, which creates a safe study zone to learn. The trick is to have a few people who are relatively on the same page and who respect each other.
THE ULTIMATE SOULMATE
Honestly I did not believe in the existence of the ultimate study soulmate. I heard about how people love studying with other people, but that was never my feeling my entire life. It might be too early to confess my love, because I just discovered my study soulmate. We are totally on the same page when it comes to our study goals. We were in sync on how much detail we wanted to know. Our strengths and weaknesses are different, so it is beneficial for both of us. Seriously, it was wonderful. I hope we can study again in the future. Now I am a believer of a study partner. My final thought is that the key to successful study partners is mutual respect and humility. It might sound ridiculous, but I think it is true. It is a compatibility thing, definitely not personal.