If you’ve ever been in school, then you know all about one of the most dreading parts of it. Group Projects. I understand the whole concept teachers/professors try to convey with having group projects, but it doesn’t exactly always work out. Sometimes instead of learning team building, the only thing you learn is how many Tylenol you’re allowed to take in a day. It’s inevitable that you can’t escape group projects so what else is left to do? You just have to get through them.
CHOOSE YOUR GROUP MEMBERS WISELY
Teachers/ professors don’t always let you choose who you can be in a group with. In the case of that happening, you just have to deal with the hand you’ve been dealt. However, if you’re able to choose your own group members, then choose wisely. I know the easiest thing to do is to pick your friends, but that’s not always the best decision. Just because you all are friends doesn’t mean your work ethics mesh well together. Also, for some, when working with friends, that might make it seem like it’s ok to slack off a bit or become more chill about the project. You become comfortable.
If you have a chance to get to know your classmates before group projects start, then make note of who seems to do work well and their personalities. You don’t want to end up being the one who’s doing 99% of the work, nor do you want to catch migraines because your and your group members are always clashing. Sometimes who you want might not want you or are already taken, if that’s the case then make sure you have a backup plan.
BECOME ACQUAINTED AND MAKE A PLAN
If your teacher/ professor doesn’t let you pick your own group members, then you have to deal with who you’re grouped with. I’m not always lucky and sometimes end up with not so great group members. If you have no clue who your group members are (because your only goal might be to just get through class) then it’s good to get acquainted with them. They don’t have to become your best friends, but you do need to be cordial with them in order to make it through the project.
After all your greetings and learning a little about each other, it’s important to make a plan. Divide your work. Find out who’s good at what and make sure everyone has a part. For my people who struggle with control and feel the need to do everything, this is your time to practice letting go. Everyone has to have their own part in the project because, although doing the work yourself ensures the work is done, it’s also a lot more on your plate and can make your other group members feel useless and you may come off as controlling.
FIND TIME TO MEET
Being in college, I can tell you one of the hardest things can be finding time to meet. It’s sometimes harder than the actual project. Everyone has their own life and is busy. People have work or even their own families to take care of. It’s important to discuss the best times for everyone, and sometimes this even means a possibility of doing work on the weekend (been there, done that). Sometimes you may have to even become creative if it’s just too difficult for everyone to meet every time. There’s video chatting, you can catch your group member(s) up the next day, or meet at each others houses if that’s more convenient. Do NOT keep pushing your meeting times back because one or two people can’t be there physically. That’ll push you even further back,which harms the group. Even only meeting 15min before or after class is better than not meeting at all. If you’re struggling with group meetings, don’t worry I got you covered. A separate blog post will be made on how to get through group meetings next week!
DO WHAT YOU HAVE TO DO
There are people in the group we like to call slackers. These people are either always late turning in their portions of work, don’t do the work because they somehow “forgot”, or barely put their all into what they have to do. In the event this happens, if this is just a two person group, then you may feel you have to pick up the slack. If this a multiple member group, then the group has to pick it up as a whole otherwise everyone suffers. This part sucks, but to ensure you don’t suffer, one thing you might have to do is discuss it with the teacher/ professor. Listen, I don’t know about you, but I’m not going to suffer my grade because of a slacker. If making sure that doesn’t happen means letting the teacher know of the slacker, then it has to be done. At the end of the day, this is about your grade. You may be doing a group project, but passing the class is a solo effort.
Some people thrive from group projects and others prefer to do things on their own. Regardless of the kind of person you are, group projects are going to happen so you have to deal with them the best way you can. Which person are you? Do you like group projects or do you think they are a pain? Any tips of your own for dealing with group projects? Let’s Discuss!