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weeveeship's avatar

Is it a good idea for an introvert to join a study group?

Asked by weeveeship (4610points) September 23rd, 2010

I have joined study groups in the past. Some worked out very well, with each person contributing. Others have been quite annoying. People would just chat endlessly about their personal lives instead of dealing with the actual task at hand.

I really prefer to study alone because I can concentrate better. Also, I have more flexibility with when and where I study. I can study from the comfort of my own home instead of having to commute to some “study place” that could be far away.

That said, I also don’t want to look like a hermit or “that guy who would not join our study group.” I heard that many friendships are forged through study groups.

One last comment is that it can be hard to leave a study group. Feelings could be hurt and people might wonder why I “snub” them. On top of that, it could be hard to rejoin the study group should I change my mind.

I am leaning towards not joining a study group, but I am open to your comments and feedback.

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12 Answers

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

Can you ask the other members of the group how serious they are about the subject and covering the tasks? Try talking to them about sitting in on one of their sessions to see what the style is like.

Your reasons for going it alone are valid, but you never know what brilliance can come out of having more than one head thinking about a subject. I say give it a whirl by talking to them.

weeveeship's avatar

@hawaii_jake That reminds me…

**A Little More Background Info**
I am just starting law school and I do not know anyone there. I have met some of them but we are just acquaintances. Therefore, I don’t really know who would work hard and who would not. I can ask them about their study preferences, but what people say and what they actually do can be very different at times.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

It’s impossible to predict what the group dynamics will work out to be. Take into consideration how much time this group will require. Can you join the group and still pursue individual study?

I’m tempted to say that law students should be a bit more serious than the average undergrad. There’s a lot riding on getting good grades.

Let’s say you join the group, and they turn out to be a bunch of slackers feeding off your good study habits. You could quit. There is no contract. You’re not paying for anything. You have nothing to lose.

I participated in several study groups as an undergrad, but I didn’t have time for them in grad school. I believe that I might have benefitted from them, however. You may also gain valuable debating experience in the group situation that would not be possible outside it.

It can be a way of helping you break out of your shell, so to speak. If you are naturally introverted, it won’t change that, but it will give you practice in forming and voicing thoughts, a good trait for any lawyer to have.

lillycoyote's avatar

It’s probably a very good idea for an introvert to join a study group. It not good enough to simply understand and to know things if you want to be an educated person. You need to be able to communicate and express what you know and
understand too. And, the Socratic method can be extremely valuable and important in your education and a study group can help foster that in addition to or instead of what your college environment provides you. Even if you imagine yourself cloistered in some lab or ivory tower or office somewhere for the rest of your life you will have to be able to communicate with other people. A study group is a good place to start. It’s scary, yes, but the stakes aren’t nearly as high as after you graduate and are actually supposed to have mastered some body of knowledge. That is not the time to be a hopeless introvert. Sorry, but better now than later, I think.

ETpro's avatar

As @hawaii_jake suggests, it seems reasonable to check them out first. Joining then immediately dropping out might cause some ruffled feathers. But if they seem to be a serious bunch, joining could pay off well for getting you integrated into the new environment, adding other perspectives to your study, and, as @lillycoyote pushing the limits on your introversion.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

Joining the study group will give you an opportunity to interact with others on a shared task. This will decrease the pressure on you compared to a social group. It will give others a chance to get to know you and what you have to contribute.

BarnacleBill's avatar

It’s important in law school to have a study group. You will still do plenty of studying on your own. Study groups not only provide support with the material, but social support as well. When it gets close to exams, the study group becmes a good outlet to talk out cases and concepts.

lilikoi's avatar

Do your studying alone and consider the study group social hour and time to get clarification on anything stumping you.

LostInParadise's avatar

Tell the study group exactly what your feelings are and ask them how they operate. I don’t see anything wrong with this. If you are going to be investing time then you have a right to know if it is worthwhile. As to whether study groups are good for introverts, I would say they definitely are if they are serious about studying. They give a focus and structure to the conversation, which should make you feel comfortable contributing.

tranquilsea's avatar

Some groups gel nicely and then others, well, don’t. Play it by ear. I won’t stay with a group if the dynamics are such that I don’t feel like I am getting anything out of it.

I’m an introvert too. I take that to mean that I need to recharge my batteries alone, or, as alone as possible. I like learning on my own but I also like discussing what I’m interested in, or learning, as it makes it more meaningful to me.

MLZ's avatar

I am introvert, but I found that explaining a problem to others got me over my shyness and forced me to understand the problem at a deeper level than I could on my on.

I’ve read (and believe) that introverts can be very good salespersons because when they talk to clients they focus on the problem to be solved.

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