If you are like me, then you naturally prefer to study alone. I never liked to rely on others to get the job done. The other thing that held me back from this concept, was going at someone else’s pace; whether that be too slow or too fast. But, PA school is not the same as undergrad. I realized that having a study buddy was a great idea. Specifically, it allows for four things: friendly competition, motivation, developing a deeper understanding of the material, and a system of check and balances.
1. Competition is what makes you push harder than you normally would. Seeing your partner ace his/her exam, gives you that fire to study a little bit harder. Nobody likes to be left behind, so this is a natural motivator to do your best. Now, this should be kept in context. This should be friendly competition. No one likes a show off, and no one likes someone who has a massive ego. Competition allows you to push harder than you normally would, because now you have something to compare yourself to.
2. A study partner will also provide you with the motivation and the support you need. They know exactly what you are going through because they are along for the same ride. There will be times when you just don’t feel like studying. This is when you partner comes in handy. They will make you study. They will make you get in the mood whether you want to or not. There will also be times when your partner doesn’t feel like doing much either, which is when you can return the favor.
3. You will either fall into one of two categories: those who “get” it and those who don’t. If you understand, and “get it”, then you can explain it to your friend. Whenever you explain or teach, the material becomes engrained that much more. Teaching someone is a powerful way to learn. If you fall into the other category, then you will have someone there to explain it to you. They will be able to teach you in a way that your professor simply can’t do. Either way, its a win-win situation.
4. Checks and balances are the final reason. You literally need to check each other. That can be with study time, homework, but most importantly, with following through on personal time. We are often so involved in our studies, that we forget to take time for ourselves. I personally feel like I am wasting time if I am not working as much as I can. This can become very unhealthy. Fortunately, I have become more capable in recognizing this and can back off she I need to. I also have friends who will check me whenever I need it. This helps to keep me sane. Make sure you remind each other to do what needs to get done, and then take time to relax.
These are the four reasons why you should consider a study partner in PA school. Believe me, I was never one to study with others, but I found it to be quite beneficial once I did. People often think that asking for help shows weakness, but that is far from the truth.
“Its not the load that breaks you down, its the way you carry it.” – Lena Horne