The truth is I’ve never participated in a study group. For whatever reason, I’ve always been a solitary studier. I am sure there are benefits to group studying, but I’ve never gravitated toward the practice.
Let me just say this: there is plenty of peer feedback “in the air” as a 1L. Your section is a very large study group. You’re in classes every day with the same people…studying!
If you pay attention to what your classmates are asking, you will find many of your own questions answered. If you participate heavily in class discussions, you’ll be very engaged on the topics covered in class, and you may save yourself time later on by only needing to lightly revisit those topics. If you’re wondering what will be on the test, focus on what your professor is focusing on. As the semester wears on, I’m sure this engagement in class will reap rewards that are similar to studying in groups.
I have found it necessary at times to discuss things in depth with other students. In those situations, I’ve found it effective to reach out to others that I trust and admire academically. Everyone in class has various strengths, as do you. Trust your strengths first, then fill in the gaps with advice from trustworthy classmates who have skills you may not have. The point is, engaging with classmates can take forms other than traditional study groups.
One thing is absolutely certain about being a 1L, you need a plan of how to study. Whether that plan is to meet everyday with your friends to discuss the reading, or to read alone, or to swap notes via email, there’s no real “right way” to do it. I’ve definitely never felt any need to conform to a certain style of studying, or that there’s a sense that anyone is doing it “right” and anyone else is “wrong.” Loyola definitely fosters an individual sense of achievement that is refreshing. You can excel here being a complete loner or a social butterfly. If you’re rigorous, thorough, and put in the hours, you can figure out your own way to be a successful 1L.