Study Buddy Helps Military Students in Online Degree Programs
If you’ve ever served in the military, you understand the importance of having a Battle Buddy. You’re each other’s support system in and out of battle. Since this concept works so well in theater, you shouldn’t be surprised to learn that it works really well while enrolled in online degree programs, too.
We’ve previously discussed what an important role family support can play when pursuing your degree online, but having the support of someone else in the trenches (literally and figuratively) is just as important.
As a former student advisor, I was always able to tell when my students had a study buddy. In fact, two of my students were each other’s. He (let’s call him Mick) had started his degree a while back and was close to finishing his bachelor’s. He helped his “little sister” on the squad, Jerri, get enrolled and started in her degree program. Even though they weren’t in the same classes, they set up study times while they were boots on ground. They would discuss class topics, serve as an extra pair of eyes when it came to editing papers, and kept each other motivated to keep going for their dreams.
Mick successfully completed his degree and graduated with honors. Jerri, unfortunately, had to withdraw due to unforeseen family issues. When I last heard from her, though, she emphasized how there was no way she would have made it as far as she did if it hadn’t been for Mick.
Finding a study buddy might seem a bit challenging while pursuing an online degree, but Mick and Jerri proved that it can work. When establishing a study buddy relationship, keep a few things in mind:
- Distance doesn’t need to get in the way – There are times when you might be the only person you know who is taking a class. Rather than getting discouraged, set up a study buddy “virtually.” Thanks to technology, you might be on the opposite side of the world from your buddy, but still be able to have study sessions via Skype, messenger, etc.
- Help each other – This one might seem obvious, but bear with me. Each of you will have your strengths in the class. Figure out what those are, and take responsibility for helping your partner improve where they struggle. By forming this sort of partnership you should be able to improve your overall study habits.
- Organize, organize, organize – In order to be an effective study buddy, you need to make sure you’re prepared for your study session. The worst thing you can do is waste time (especially if you’re virtual) by digging for your notes, or (even worse) coming to your session unprepared for what you’re studying that day. Think like a Boy Scout and “always be prepared.”
Once you’ve successfully created your first study buddy relationship, take what you’ve learned from the experience and apply it to your other courses. Just like with battle buddies, it’s nice to know that someone’s got your back.