At the end of the summer vacation, several notices seeking members to join so-called “daily life study,” were posted in the Study Room section of the Ewhaian, an online community comprised of Ewha students. With the start of a new semester, students are getting involved in the study groups to study harder and plan their school life.
The so-called “daily life study” is a form of spontaneous gathering for those who want to study and plan schedules with like-minded members.
Among the most prevalent forms is the “check-in study” where members arrive at school at the same time to check each other’s attendance only and then disperse to study alone according to each student’s needs. An “evening study” makes sure all members gather at a designated time to study after having dinner.
“I was worried whether I could go to classes on time as I got used to getting up late during the vacation. That’s why I decided to collect other students to join me in getting up early,” said Heo Ji-won (Public Administration, 1), who started an attendance study group this semester.
The studies are run through diverse methods but they share a few features in common: financial deposits and a rule that each student should be a stranger to one another.
The student in charge of general affairs raises monthly fees varying from 5,000 to 40,000 won and once a person is absent or late a certain amount of penalty will be deducted from their deposit, while students with no absence or lateness will receive a full refund of their money. Financial penalties seem to be a motivating factor for students’ active participation in the groups.
Also, the recruiters expect members to be strangers so as to create a tense atmosphere because when acquaintances are in one group, some of them expect accommodation or compassion from other members, and but among strangers there is a greater sense of responsibility to the group.
According to Lee Ji-yeon (Earth Science Education, 2) who is a member of the attendance study group, setting a time limit helped a lot to motivate her to come to school on time.
“Sometimes it made me frustrated because I had to pay penalties even if I was just one minute late. But when I came on time, I was very proud of myself,” Lee added.