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Remember how last week I said that I started using “fantastic” all the time? I wasn’t kidding. My newest fantastic discovery is having a study-buddy. Perhaps I’m late, but I’m finding that it’s incredibly conducive to getting work done! As long as you do it right.

I’ve tried studying in groups before, you know, where you get like five or six people studying all different subjects, trying to keep each other on task using peer pressure. I’ve also tried study groups where you all study the same subject so that you can help each other out. Neither of them worked out for me because we kept on getting distracted and ended up chatting away the entire day. I don’t even know what we talked about for so long, but the sun set and we got tired. I’m pretty sure that we ended up getting food rather than studying.

I set that aside because I couldn’t focus, and started studying alone in my room, in my residence lounge, or in silent study rooms. (I found studying in my room to be incredibly distracting because there was food everywhere, and I’m on this see-food diet…as in, I see food, and then I eat it. Speaking of which, I bought cookies yesterday. I wonder where they went.)

Recently, I’ve taken up the habit of trekking to the library (see Brian’s post about studying at home or the library). I’ve found a corner that I quite like, and intend on using it for all study purposes from now on. I’ve also started studying with a friend – one friend – as the Winter midterms start up. I find this to be incredibly productive. We make each other study because we feel awkward if the other person is studying really hard and we’re not. I find that this keeps me on task and allows me to power through all of my notes. I also remember finals, when one of my friends studied with me for two straight days and we both ended up doing really well. This strategy really can work!

Try it out! Find a friend (I can’t say this enough, one friend) who needs to get work done as much as you do, and rid yourself of the distractions of home, the Internet, and being social for a while. Your grades might thank you.

Photo courtesy of Vanessa Lam.