I Tried Joining a Zoom Study Group With Strangers, Here's How It Went

It could be an addition to your "new experiences this pandemic" list.
by Katrina Golamco   |  Mar 13, 2021
Image: Shutterstock
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One year into the world of online classes, and honestly, adjusting to it still feels complicated to achieve. Studying alone in your room all year round can be very unmotivating and uninteresting, making us more susceptible to procrastination (we are all guilty of sneaking a nap for an hour or two in between study hours when no one’s around). Back in pre-COVID times, study dates are an effective cure to laziness because our friends are there to inspire (and scold) us to get going. Sadly, it is hard to catch one another online due to varying tech problems and personal schedules, making online study dates impossible.

But if you’re still looking for study buddies right now, Study Stream’s focus Zoom rooms can help you in that area! Study Stream is a free online educational platform for students aged between 16 and older, where you can join Zoom servers to study simultaneously with other students worldwide. What’s great about this community is that the creators are also students with different educational backgrounds; therefore, all of their projects are very relatable to all students! 


The Science Behind Study Stream

Some may be skeptical at first, but YSK, the creators of this platform, used psychology as its foundation. As explained on their website, they used the psychology of mimicry and accountability in structuring the concept of their focus Zoom rooms. So what are these exactly? 

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Mimicking, or as called in psychology, The Chameleon Effect is a natural phenomenon that we do on a day-to-day basis. According to Dr. Thompson on Psychology Today, unintentional mimicry in any relationship helps establish rapport and increase social bonds and liking. Therefore, making it motivational enough to mimic others’ positive behaviors and continue our actions that others imitate because it incites sincere flattery for us. In Study Stream’s case, they explained on their website, “watching others study, as you would see in a library, makes it easier for you to work harder!” 

On the other hand, the creators also considered the psychology of accountability or the Hawthorne Effect, where studies show that people work harder when they know they are being observed. Since in these focus rooms there is the idea that someone is “watching,” we will be conscious and be more inclined to get the work done. 


My experience in using Study Stream

At the onset, *yes, it’s true* the experience was odd since it is my first time trying an unconventional study strategy that goes beyond my comfort zone, and, of course, there are 600+ unfamiliar faces in the same virtual room with me. But as I got used to it for a couple of hours and set my Zoom on speaker view (to not be tempted on looking at other faces, *sorry*), I began to see the difference in my workflow. I felt more obligated to finish my work since everyone else does, and it’s like I have to get my work done first before leaving the Zoom room (it’s like an unspoken rule). Also, knowing that everyone is studying with me gave me the feeling that I am not alone stressing out. It's calming to know others are going through the same experience as you. 


I know this strategy is not everyone's cup of tea, but you should still try it out! It could be an addition to your “new experiences this pandemic” list. 

Study Stream’s other projects

Study Stream’s advocacy promotes mindfulness, productivity, and other adaptive study strategies to students worldwide. That’s why the community also conducts free weekly group mindfulness sessions with their resident mindfulness teacher, Ed. As we all know, meditation can help relieve stress and connect our mind and bodies - increasing our ability to concentrate and attend to activities. You can also follow them on Instagram, where they actively share tips and motivational posts for everyone.

Coming soon: Study Stream will be launching their tutoring app, StudyPal, where they partner you with some of the best students from top universities in the U.K. and U.S. to help you with a question or a math problem you find difficult. Just send a snap of your question or math problem and get instant help from them 24/7!


To learn more about their community and be the first to know about their latest updates and events, just visit their website at https://www.studystream.live/, follow them on Instagram @studystream_, or join their Facebook group, StudyStream Community.


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Katrina Golamco
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