Working socially can help alleviate some study problems

Adding a social element to your studies can enhance performance, overcome barriers and make the experience more enjoyable. Some suggestions for how to do this in the post. Reading time ~ 4 minutes.

I’ve preferred working alone for a long time, back since I was a kid. For the most part it has worked well for me.

It certainly worked well when I was a student. I just focused on my own work, and didn’t give much thought to anyone else’s work.

But recently I’ve been questioning the value of solitary work. One of the best projects I’ve been involved with (Good Vibes Experiment) was absolutely a team effort. In the last couple of years, I have been welcomed into the Be Well family and found the experience highly rewarding; professionally and personally. One of my upcoming projects I am most excited about is a collaborative project.

What I finally seem to be learning (only took 40+ years) is that working with others provides many benefits 😊

  • opportunity to create things that are much better than I could build myself
  • a great way for an introvert like me to get high quality social contact
  • a greater capacity to celebrate wins when they happen
  • a greater capacity to problem-solve challenges when they happen
  • better ideas
  • quicker, longer lasting learning

What has really stood out to me has been that working with others helps me modulate the less desirable work tendencies I have. For example, I have a tendency to freeze on projects if I can’t see a ‘perfect’ way to progress forward. That happens far less when I am working with others, because a group has more momentum. I also have a tendency to get trapped in the conceptual stage of a project and not get started on the nuts and bolts. The presence of others greatly reduces this tendency.

My long-winded point is that you might want to ask yourself whether making your study more social could help you be a better student.

This could be as simple as body doubling, joining or starting a study group, joining a Flinders Discord group, joining a club here at Flinders, attending and engaging with Learning Lounge, submitting assignments to Studiosity. Basically, look to get other people involved in your study routine, especially if you have a very solitary study routine.

Now, it isn’t guaranteed that adding a social element to your study will improve your study. You might end up getting distracted or find yourself at the tavern 🍺

But like many study modifications, they are worth exploring.

The test is whether the presence of others enhances your experience of study, generates better results and/or helps you manage study challenges (e.g. procrastination, perfectionism). You might find that you start assignments earlier. You might find increased capacity to learn new material. You might find your interest in the material you are learning is increased. This last one is important. One of the pieces of advice I give students who are finding the material they are learning boring, is to add a social element. This can facilitate a greater connection with the material and is a preferable first step to quitting a degree.

And don’t assume that because your preferences might be to work alone (like they are for me) that adding social elements won’t be effective. Preference and ‘what works’ can be different.

For other social opportunities here at Flinders, consider visiting Oasis – the student community centre.

For other study tips, try our Evidence-based Study and Exam Preparation Tips document.

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Academic skills Social

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