We’ve all been there. You’re in some class that your major requires you to take, surrounded by 34 other bozos who are all just trying to get by. You do your best to simply show up, takes notes, and pass the class; when suddenly, your whole world changes. Your professor forces you to actually MAKE CONTACT with some of the other people in this class who you DON’T EVEN KNOW in order to do some sort of group project. Greattttt. Here we go again.
Unfortunately, the best advice I can give in this situation is to work hard and try to get along with everyone. Some professors really try to gauge how much effort each person put into a group project and base everyone’s grades off of that, while others simply give a flat group grade. Either way, you’re better off doing as much work as you can. So, while you’re taking a break from all that work, enjoy my take on the monstrosity known as a “group project.”
1. The moment the professor announces that there will be a group project.
At first, you may think back to your younger years when group projects were blessings that meant a lot less work for everyone involved. They were essentially an excuse to hang out with your best friends. Enter college. Now, group projects are nightmares where you end up doing all of the work for people you will never see again. YOU’RE WELCOME, CHAD. YOU’RE WELCOME FOR THAT DIPLOMA.
2. When you see the names of the other people in your group.
3. The initial meeting.
4. When the roles of each team member becomes apparent:
The Team Leader
Everyone actually likes this person because their ideas don’t suck and they get things done.
We get it, you’re, like, soooooo smart. Shhhh.
Little Miss Bossy
Acts like they do all the work, but really they just have to insert their voice into every conversation.
The Team Cheerleader
Might think they’re helping, but really, everyone else just kind of tunes them out.
The Person Who Agrees with Everything
Honestly, how are you helping? Do you even know what you’re agreeing to? You’re literally just saying the word “yeah” after each person offers an opposing view in a disagreement.
The Kid Who Has Excuses for EVERY Group Meeting
Oh really? Your car died again? How inconvenient, considering you work 80 hours per week and just came down with Ebola.
The One Person Who is Just Kind Of…There
Guys, did we assign him a task? I literally can’t remember his name. Is he even in our group?
The Kid Who Actually Does What They Say They’re Going To Do
For the most part, this kid just keeps their head down. That’s cool, man. Thanks for not being a terrible human being. You the real MVP.
The “How Can I Help?” Guy
By not asking how you can help every ten seconds, that’s how. Just grab your laptop and get to work.
This person doesn’t do anything, but feels entitled to judge the outcome of the project. No, no, you did not earn that right.
5. The first time you attempt to work on the project and you realize you’re in way over your head.
6. When you meet with your group a second time and you realize you’re down to half of the people you started with.
7. All Nighter #1.
8. When you sneak a peek at some of the other groups’ projects and you realize how terrible both your group and your project are.
Are they hugging? Oh my gosh they’re literally going to be in each other’s weddings, that’s how well they’re getting along. Why don’t they just go ahead and submit their project for a Nobel Prize because I AM SO DONE RIGHT NOW.
9. When you meet with your professor to calmly “address some concerns” you might have with your group’s ability to complete the project in a timely fashion.
Code for: “THERE ARE THREE OF US DOING THE WORK OF TEN PEOPLE RIGHT NOW AND IT’S NOT EVEN FAIR BECAUSE LOOK AT HOW YOU STACKED THE OTHER TEAMS AND I DIDN’T SLEEP LAST NIGHT AND I WANT TO DROP OUT AND I’M DYING.”
10. When the professor assures you that everyone else is going through the same feelings right now and that you’ll get it all done.
11. All Nighter #2.
12. When you’re just so done with the project and you realize there’s still so much more to do.
Does anyone else want to help me or…?
13. The day before the group project is due when everyone is freaking out via group text/e-mail thread.
You want to be like, “THIS IS WHAT I’VE BEEN SAYING FOR WEEKS.” But instead, you’re just like:
14. All Nighter #3.
I’ve had five hours of sleep in the last 72 hours and at this point I’m not sure where reality ends and my dysfunctional imagination begins.
15. When you give in and decide to go to sleep for two hours, wake up early, and finish the project.
16. WHEN YOU WAKE UP AND YOU’RE SO FREAKED OUT THAT THE PROJECT ISN’T DONE SO YOU JUST JUMP OUT OF BED AND START WORKING BECAUSE YOU JUST HAD TWO WHOLE HOURS OF SLEEP AND OMG YOU’RE NOT SURE IF YOU’RE DELIRIOUS OR YOU ACTUALLY HAVE ENERGY BUT OMG THE PROJECT IS DUE IN FOUR HOURS.
17. The sweet, beautiful moment that you thought might never come when the project is actually complete, and you just kind of stare at it in disbelief.
18. When your group asks to see the project before you turn it in, and they all thank you for your hard work.
And they’re waiting for you to thank them for their hard work, too.
19. The sense of relief you feel when you hand in the project.
Internally, you’re still freaking out over one last thing you could’ve perfected, and on the other hand you’re like, “NOT MY PROBLEM ANYMORE.”
20. That first long nap you take after the project is over.
21. When the professor tells you that you will be evaluating your team members based on their performances.
Karma, my friends.
22. When people from your group still try to get everyone together after the project is over. Um, no.
23. When you finally receive your grade.
In the end, somehow, it all seems worth it. You remember that you’re in school to make good grades, earn a degree, and find a solid career. More importantly, it’s obvious to others who the hard workers are in life. If you’re one of those people, you’ll go far. If you’re a slacker, well, I’ll take my fries Super-Sized, thank you.
What are some of your group project horror stories? Share them with the hashtag #BanGroupProjects2014 and I might retweet you!