No-one becomes successful alone; even the greatest entrepreneurs who have created multi-million dollar companies have received support along the way. While you may look to your teachers, managers, or family for support, there’s an even greater way to learn and transform.
The old adage ‘two heads are better than one’ rings true when you’re studying and learning with a friend. It’s your learning buddy that keeps you accountable and pulls you through when times are tough.
Leave no friend behind this New Year — and together, you’ll unlock more potential than you could have ever realised alone.
Here are five top benefits of having a learning buddy:
Friends can help you set realistic study and learning goals that can be realised and achieved together. Once you’ve expressed your aspirations to your friends, you’ve projected what you want into the universe and your success becomes your friend’s success.
Goal-setting with a friend also helps you build a study routine — one that you actually need to stick to. We all have busy schedules, but you’ll find time to study when someone is counting on you.
Our procrastination techniques, whether they involve making too many cups of tea or Googling cat videos for hours on end, prevent us from optimising our learning. The solution to procrastination is accountability — and the friends you study with are the glue that will hold you accountable and ensure you stay on task.
Learning with a friend can help boost your motivation, making you want to hit the books and study. Research shows that students who engage in collaborative learning perform better academically, persist longer, have enhanced self-esteem, and overall feel better about their educational experience.
When teachers announce to the class: ‘There’s no such thing as a stupid question,’ how many people actually have the confidence to raise their hand? Having a friend by your side removes the fear of asking those seemingly “stupid” questions. Learning with a friend gives you the confidence to compare notes and fill knowledge gaps together.
Studying the benefits of peer learning shows that students who learn together build a mutual respect for one another, where they “feel to express opinions, test ideas, and ask for, or offer help when it’s needed” (Smith, 1083).
Learning with friends enhances our critical thinking efforts and moves us into a stage of deep learning. For example, when discussing in-class learnings with a friend, that knowledge is stored within your long-term memory and will stay with you after you graduate.
4. New Perspective
We can all use a fresh pair of eyes to give us a new perspective on what we learn, build, and create. A friend can provide a different viewpoint on the same idea, which in turn enhances the critical thinking skills of both parties.
Taking on criticism and suggestions in a learning environment helps prepare us for collaboration in a work environment. It’s important that we allow ourselves to learn with friends in order to work and succeed with colleagues once we’ve finally stepped outside the classroom.
5. New Skills
While there are many new skills you will undoubtedly learn from your teacher, there are in fact many skills you will also learn from the friends you study with. Everyone has their own learning style, so sitting side by side with a friend helps improve your collaborative techniques and ultimately adapt your own learning methods.
“Learning with and from each other is a necessary and important aspect of all courses. The role it plays varies widely and the forms it takes are very diverse, but without it students gain an impoverished education” (Boud, 2001).
The role of the learning buddy extends beyond the role of support and reaches into personal development, both inside and outside of the classroom. Friends can give you honest feedback that you may not receive from other class members. Giving and receiving open and constructive feedback, helps build resilience and fosters self-improvement, which underpins professional and personal success.