The Hanoi Opera House and the Hilton Hanoi Opera highlighted a section of Hanoi's colonial years, as the street facing both structures were lined up with buildings that reminded my sister of Paris. The Eiffel Tower was the only thing missing in this part of the Vietnamese capital, she thought. It didn't matter to her, as her boyfriend was interested in the photo exhibit several blocks away. My coursemate wanted to know more, as he was hoping to set foot in Indochina next summer. The subject was Asia, and the conversation was dragging on. Half an hour or more, I estimated. And we were supposed to prepare for an examination.
Studying for a test would require discipline, as it involved long, lonely slogs. Unless you're a student with a strong will, then you can count on a study buddy. If you're coming from the English Department, then it might be a challenge. After all, the module will require solitude. This will set up for a career in authorship. Can you imagine Virginia Woolf penning "Orlando" with her husband by her side? How about Edgar Allan Poe's eerie short stories? I might be citing extreme cases, as both authors would meet tragic ends. And the members of the faculty aren't expecting the students to show prodigious skills at a young age. It won't hurt to have a study buddy.
There are five ways to do it:
Phone a study buddy. My coursemate was the first student I befriended in the university, and he seemed open to the idea of having a study buddy. (He was helpful to a couple of freshers.) True enough, it didn't take a lot of convincing to have him around. We were preparing for our first examination (in Phonetics), but my sister's holiday distracted us. It may have cost us an hour, but it refreshed us.
Look for a buddy system. The English Department would offer the buddy system, and I wasn't alluding to a Facebook page group. I asked a few final-year students, who gave me a lead. My tutor heard about it, but he couldn't confirm it. (I couldn't fault him for not trying to find out more about it, as I noticed the pile of papers on his desk.) And I was surprised to get an answer from my dormmate. It turned out that students from other departments would know the benefits of having a study buddy.
Try networking. It's not about Facebook, but (student) groups whose aim is to foster camaraderie among students. (And I'm not about to talk about midweek boozing.) An introvert student can notice it. I haven't made up my mind, and I'm not discounting this possibility. This will lead to the next item.
Two's company (and three's crowd). There are psychological and emotional advantages of having a study buddy. I didn't have problems with motivation. I would learn my coursemate's study habits, which was different from mine. (Memorizing would be one of his better traits.) And a good mood would help us make it through the long, lonely slog. Three might not work, as there would be temptations. I was thinking about distractions, which would include long conversations.
Action learning does have benefits. It's not about having a supportive system, which helps me achieve those immediate goals. My study buddy will remind me of something I miss, even question the way I prepare for an examination. It will help both of us to cover all bases in no time.