Surviving Group Projects
Group projects are something you simply can’t avoid in college. It doesn’t matter what you major in or what classes you take, you will be in a group project. There is just no escaping it.
But even though everyone has a horror story about being in a group project, there are a few things you can do to survive them.
Show Up and Do Your Part
You know those people who never show up to the meetings and do nothing? Well, don’t be like them. You can’t expect to have a good grade and have a good project if you aren’t willing to do the work. It’s a collective effort.
And if you don’t put in your fair share of work, then you really aren’t allowed to complain about how the project turns out.
If you don’t agree with ideas other people present, then tell them yours. Your opinion is as valid and as important as anyone else’s. Who knows, maybe your idea will be the one the group ends up using. This is your project, too, so participate.
On the other hand, if your group doesn’t use your idea, don’t take it personally. It’s just a group project — you’re not choosing favorites for a dodgeball team or anything.
Help Your Group Members
Every group has a person who really needs help doing his or her part. If you know someone is struggling, help them. It’s not about doing the job for them, it’s about helping others. It’s also about saving your grade. I know that sounds selfish, but if you need motivation, let that be it.
On the other hand, if you have someone in the group who just doesn’t care and has no regard for the project, then it might be a good idea to let your professor know.
If your group gets a good grade, then this one person reaps the benefits. But if he or she hurts the group project, you all suffer. It’s not about throwing people under the bus, it’s about making sure your group effort pays off.
Group projects can be very stressful. Everyone can be on edge sometimes, especially when the due date gets closer, but it’s important to remain calm. It won’t be easy to get five people to agree on one thing but you can always be respectful of one another.
Give everyone the chance to speak up and don’t shut someone down just because you don’t like his or her idea. This project will work because you find a way to work together and not hate one another after it’s all done.
Group projects can be difficult and, unfortunately, you won’t always have the best group. But whatever the situation might be, try to make the best of it. Most importantly, remember to have fun! Yes, this is a serious project and you shouldn’t goof off but taking a break every once in a while is a necessity!