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Heather O’Connor is a 3L. After a seven year marriage and three kids, Heather went through a divorce that left her questioning what to do with her life. She decided to become an attorney and has never looked back since beginning the long journey. She entered a local community college after...



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Defeating the Presumption of Study Group Studying

Posted by Heather O'Connor on 03/12/2010 at 01:44 PM

I remember when I started law school there was all this talk about study groups. Topics discussed were how to start one, how to organize your time during the study group, what to do if you’re not all your members aren’t on the same page, etc. I don’t really remember the issue coming up of whether or not you should even join a study group. It just seemed to be how you study in law school and what you should do. I watched as other students formed their study groups and began plunging into the typical law school study format.

However, I did not feel as though a study group was for me. There were numerous reasons behind this decision. First, I had always studied on my own and I had done just fine. Second, in the past where I was required to work in groups, it seemed like a big waste of time – people got sidetracked, ended up chatting about everything but the point of the group meeting, and I always felt I could accomplish a lot more had I just done it on my own. Third, with three kids, I didn’t have the time to take a chance on a group maybe not working out or ending up being more of a social event than a study period.

So I studied on my own.

Sometimes I felt a little lonely. I’d hear people talking about ideas they had during their study group time that I never would have thought of on my own. I’d see groups of students becoming better friends. I imagined these study groups sharing baked goods, providing continual support to one another, and becoming more intelligent by the minute. But then I started hearing rumors of "study groups gone bad." People getting kicked out. Friends not talking anymore because of drama in their group. Betrayal, backstabbing, name-calling, isolation . . . ok, I’m exaggerating. It never really got that bad. I’m just trying to make myself feel better for not being part of a study group.

So I continued to study on my own.

Finals came and went. I passed. So I kept studying on my own. And I’m still doing ok.

Lesson to be learned - Study in a manner that works best for you.

Figuring out what that is can be the hard part though. =)