One of the most frustrating aspects of the University experience is a group project. These projects are supposed to teach you new areas of a subject, improve communication, and develop your team work skills. The reality however, is that the only skill you truly enhance is the ability to tolerate your hatred for mankind. We’ve put together a list of the 10 people that you’ll come across during a group project. While you might not have encountered these people just yet, fear not, your time will come. Read on!
1. The Dictator
Has there ever been a group project in the history of group projects which hasn’t seen someone ‘take the lead’. The dictator will rule with an iron fist, and will usually dictate (pun intended) the day-to-day running of the project. They aren’t the easiest of people to work with, and is the sort of person that treats Monopoly like a true capitalist would, but the fact is that you need them. They are often the one that does most of the work, and without them, deep down you know the project just wouldn’t work as well. Yes they are a control freak, but they are your control freak – and you wouldn’t want them any other way, or another team to get their grubby hands on them. Remember to thank them at the end.
2. The Understudy
However we should note that the dictator cannot do everything alone. Every dictator needs a right-hand man, a trusted lieutenant, the ears to the ground. The understudy will carry out all orders of the dictator, and doesn’t seem to care if he/she is alienating the rest of the group – they’re gonna get a first.
3. The Freeloader
Next up, we have the one that has no idea what is going on during the entire project, and will typically show up at the end to claim credit for something they didn’t do. Unfortunately, this is a common occurrence. If they do miraculously show up to a team meeting, they won’t have done what they were asked to do. At this point the dictator is developing a bad back due to the constant carrying he/she is having to do.
4. The Passive One
While you can never doubt their commitment to turning up at group meetings, this person really doesn’t offer much when it comes to the actual work. They will sit in the corner, passively nodding at each suggestion that is thrown on the table. They’re the sort of person you want to shield from the horrors of the world, but at the same time, you wish you could trade them for someone else.
5. The Creative One
If the dictator gets mad with power and loses their mind, then the creative one is usually the saviour. The creative one will generate ideas for the project in a methodical way. Their good ideas end up being used, and their unassuming manner makes them a firm team player, earning your respect. An important part of any group project.
6. The Troublemaker
Ah, the troublemaker. This is the person that looks for conflict at any possible stage of the project, and will happily question any decision the team makes. They don’t really help with the morale of the team. If they get the chance, they’ll gladly stage a coup to oust the dictator. While the dictator of course quells such an unruly uprising, the troublemaker will still cause problems. Despite their problems, admittedly they are usually an excellent public speaker, which helps when it comes to the presentation. Due to finishing on a high, they remain an acquaintance, and their past indiscretions are forgotten.
7. The Cheerleader
Unlike the troublemaker, the cheerleader is that person who will do whatever they can to help the team. They will ensure everyone remains motivated, remains upbeat despite the setbacks, and in general, is a good team player. They won’t contribute an awful lot, but they’ll be the first to reply on the group chat. Their commitment is enough.
8. The ‘Busy’ One
One of the biggest frustrations of the group project is setting times to meet. Despite only having around 15 contact hours a week, suddenly the other 153 hours in a week are out of bounds for group meetings. This person supposedly has a busy schedule, meaning they are unable to fit in the rigours of a walk to campus for a group meeting. They don’t contribute much anyway, so you just plough on without them.
9. The One That Got Away
Things start off so well… You have been assigned into your team, and your sat in a huddle awaiting the dictator to reveal himself/herself. Yet to begin with, this person sets up a group chat so everyone can communicate. They think pragmatically, and will probably even be the most vocal in the first week. And yet their enthusiasm disappears as the days pass by. They promised to much, yet deliver so little. They are typically the one that will fluff their lines at the project-ending presentation. We label them as the one that got away – whatever happened to that person they once were?
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10. The Normal One
If you have got here without personally identifying with any of the people so far, then congratulations, you can be classed as that rarest thing in a group project – a normal person. While they seldom appear, they earn your respect by somehow remaining sane throughout the project – despite the concoction of the team. They are few and far between, but they do exist.