How to Survive Group Projects

What’s the most annoying part of university? Not the hardest, but the most annoying… Well let me tell you, it’s Group Projects. Yeah yeah, I’m sure some of you actually enjoy it and have a jolly time, but as an introvert I detest it.

So in this article I’ll be ranting about all the “fun” times of group projects. And who knows, there might be a sentence or two of truth in here.

Now first of all depending on your program, the type of group work can be completely different. It can vary from the tight bond of lab partners, the try-hard unorganized Commerce students, or the emotionless colleagues of Engineering.

In this article I’ll try to go through the several types of group members that you’re likely encounter.

The Try Hard Leader

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A wannabe project manager making things way more complicated than they need to be. These kids will constantly message both the group chat and individually send messages as well. Micromanaging every aspect of the project, they’ll be extremely annoying. Necessary? Maybe, but they seriously need to take a chill pill and stop sending a message every god damn day asking on my progress.

How do you counter an annoying Try Hard Leader? Well that leads to our next type of group member.

The Who-Gives-a-Fuck Lazy Member

This person has lost their will to care about anything, especially a 5% group project. A bare minimum pass is good enough for them. This character assumes the project, or whatever, will get done even without their contribution. They may not help but at least they stay out of the way and don’t complain. If you want to adopt this strategy, make sure that someone in your group cares enough about the grade. Once that is established, just mute the group chat. I had a lab where one guy didn’t send a single message or do anything, when we handed in the lab they handwrote their name on the printed cover page. I didn’t even mind.

So no one really likes the Lazy. So who does everyone respect?

The Professional

They don’t care about your feelings, fair distribution of work, or even about your dog. They just want to get the job done. They say they’ll work on one part, and they’ll get it done when they said they’d get it done. Literally the perfect group member. And if there’s extra work to be done cause the the Who-Gives-a-Fuck Lazy Member disappeared on you, the Professional will get it done as well. If only everyone in life acted like a god damn professional.

Who’s the opposite of the professional?

The Dreamer

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They’re only annoying at the beginning of the project. They’ll talk nonstop saying stupid ideas and may even outtalk the Try Hard Leader. You just need to nod and just say to all their dumb ideas, “Yea maybe.” But it turns out that the Dreamer is actually a Lazy member and will eventually disappear, leaving some extra work that needs to be done by someone else.

Who’s another annoying member?

The Person with a Job

 They’re always busy with their damn job. This person will cause everyone a headache when planning anything. Meet on Thursday at 7? Oh sorry I have work that day. How about Friday at-. Sorry I work all day on Friday. Ugh! Not only that but they also won’t finish their portion of the project by their dead-line becau, you guessed it, their job. The difference between the Person with a Job and the Who-Gives-a-Fuck Lazy Member, is that at least the Lazy don’t disappoint me.

So that’s all the members. Oh wait, I forgot we had a fifth member in the group. I forgot because they’re so….

The Quiet Person

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Kind of a mix of the bad qualities of the Professional and the Who-Gives-a-Fuck Lazy Member. They’ll never speak or give ideas. Their name will commonly pop up as the first person to read a Facebook message but they won’t reply. The only time they talk is saying “Okay” when asked to do something.

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So there you go. Some people work better with others. So when you create a group, try to get members that work well together and avoid these pesky ones. Of course you never really know who they are until it’s too late. Enjoy your time of passive aggressive comments, cold shoulders, and messages behind each other’s backs as you panic in the final hour before it’s due, wondering where the Person with a Job is.

And if your group really sucks you could just give them all the finger and do it all yourself. Or give yourself the finger and go live in the woods until it’s all over.

I would like to thank all my group members that helped/hindered the writing of this article.