Having a friend on campus is one of the most fun and important aspects of student life: someone to have coffee and share cat memes with during breaks, someone to talk to about issues on campus, and someone to share your challenges with as you work your way through each trimester.
But, did you know that studying with friends is proven to help you get better grades, and it can also save you money?
Torrens University has launched a new “Refer A Friend” Scholarship to help you and a friend on this journey.
Here are five surprising benefits of studying with friends that you may not be aware of.
1. Studying with friends is good for your mental health
Starting a new degree can be a bit scary, and juggling a university workload can be a big cause of stress, particularly during exam time. It’s important to take care of your mental health while you’re studying, and having a friend by your side helps.
Research shows that when a friend is physically present during a stressful event, student test subjects have significantly less cortisol in their saliva (a physical symptom of stress) and demonstrate higher self-worth and self-esteem, than when a friend is not physically present.
Humans are social animals, and we are simply hard-wired to be happiest when we have friends around us.
2. Friends on campus keep you motivated and reduce procrastination
How do you stop procrastinating and start studying? What motivates you to get out of the house and into the library? Coffee and the study buddy who is texting you to ‘get out of bed,’ of course.
Study groups are demonstrated to improve motivation through shared accountability, because students help each other to build routine, and simply because the work becomes more fun when it’s done together. Similarly, having a peer-support partner or study buddy is linked to higher levels of participation, more commitment and less time spent on procrastination.
3. Studying with friends improves your grades
Studying with a friend will improve your learning and help you to do better academically. One South Australian study from 2014 shows that 23% more university students passed when studying with a buddy than those who studied alone.
Whether you’re ten or twenty years old, the data tells the same story. According to 2019 research published in the journal Educational Psychologist, school students with no friends received lower grades and were less academically engaged compared to those with even just one friend. In another study, adolescents working together took part in more exploratory behaviour, learned faster, and completed tasks better than they did working alone.
Why is this the case? Findings point to higher motivation, better learning retention and greater engagement with tasks as some of the benefits of learning with friends. Plus, there are practical benefits; friends often share class notes, strategies for time management and useful study tools with each other. It’s a win-win for everyone.
4. Learning with friends encourages soft skills development
Not all learning at university comes from studying the prescribed course content. A lot of what we learn in those important years is around our personal growth and emotional development.
Through our exposure to group learning and new tasks and ideas, we gain broader and more diverse perspectives, we learn how to manage relationships, communicate and develop what we call ‘soft skills’ or ‘life skills’. These skills are in high demand among employers, but you won’t find them in class exam sheets.
Studies show that students who learn with others through group tasks or with buddies have are more successful in terms of developing soft skills, such as team work, communication, delegating, organisation and listening.
Social dynamics of classrooms shape how and what we learn. If we feel more comfortable sharing ideas with friends, we also tend to be more intellectually flexible and open to new information, allowing space for critical thinking and self-reflection.
5. Studying with friends can now also save you money
Just when you thought the benefits of studying with friends couldn’t get any clearer, Torrens University Australia has now announced a new “Refer a Friend” scholarship.
This scholarship is available to all new or current enrolled students of Torrens University Australia who want to study with a friend, no matter what you study.
If a student refers a friend to join them on their study journey, then both students will get a 25% reduction in tuition fees. Students do not both need to be enrolled in the same course to benefit from this scholarship.
It’s easy to apply, just refer a friend to study and you could both get 25% off your tuition fees for your following two trimesters.
Here’s how it works:
1. Refer a friend: