Welcome along to another Student Life article! If you have navigated here while in the realms of a Group Project – we salute you. While you may be close to tearing your hair out, at least you’ll be able to enjoy this article. And, if you are reading this while having the luxury of a group project-free life, then spare a thought for those less fortunate than you. So, we hope you enjoy this article!
The Group Draw and Initial Optimism
Every group project, unless you are lucky enough to be able to select your own group – begins with a draw. More often than not, you check the Excel spreadsheet that your lecturer has supposedly painstakingly constructed, only for it to resemble a document that a kindergarten student created. You anxiously try and locate your name, and wonder who on earth you have been placed in a group with. Still, you head into the project with optimism – surely this project cannot be as bad as the others?!
Arranging The First Team Meeting
But any optimism you have quickly vanishes. This is because – and I imagine anyone reading this can relate to at least half of these messages – you get hit with a deluge of the above. ‘Where is everyone’ stands out, as does the oldest excuse in the book of having to work the next day. And of course, the ‘seen by everyone’ confirmation tick. Confirmation that your group is going to cause you some aggravation.
The First Meeting
After the first hurdle has been cleared, you find yourself at the first meeting for the group. It becomes clear quite quickly that it will be a difficult project. Everyone goes over the topic for the project and realises what work needs to be done.
Work is Delegated
Next up it is time to delegate the work. In the early days, everyone wants to be friendly, why not save the backstabbing for later. Yet some members aren’t afraid to get their claws out early, and a fight soon ensues over who gets to do what.
A Group Leader Emerges
But any quarreling and battling within the team is quickly quelled, when a group leader emerges from the shadows. This is usually the hardest working member of the team who simply cannot stand by and watch this project go into ruin. Who wants democracy these days anyway?!
The Group Leader Has a Meltdown
But, facing a heavy workload and a difficult team, the group leader goes into meltdown mode as they try and coordinate the project. Our meme above represents the typical feeling of a group leader. This means the overall project is rather unstable in the early weeks.
The First Draft Gets Scrambled Together
Yet in the end, a first draft gets scrambled together. Yes it is missing references, yes there is an enormous section missing after that one guy hasn’t emailed his work over (despite assuring everyone it has been done), and yes, all the paragraphs are in different fonts and sizes, but hey, the first draft is done. With a little help from energy drinks, Google and Wikipedia, the project is well on its way.
Meanwhile… Someone Doesn’t Care
In the above stage we mentioned about how some work was missing. Rest assured, in each group project you will have someone who does very little. As the meme above suggests, they supposedly aren’t even aware a group project is ongoing.
As the deadline for the project nears, the team gets to work on improving the draft. But panic mode starts to set in as the clock ticks. Soon enough deadline day arrives, and there is still so much to do…
The Rush Stage…
With just hours to spare all hell breaks loose. Some members are delicately going through the project, correcting spelling errors, checking grammar and making everything look professional, while other members are wrestling with the printer, doing whatever they can to ensure it won’t let them down. Eventually, when everything is done, the project is printed.
Assignment Hand In
The group charges towards your faculty building, where you triumphantly hand in the group project. The group breathes a collective sigh of relief. The group project is complete.
The Group Go Their Separate Ways
After weeks, or even months in some unfortunate cases, of working together, the group all go their separate ways. It has been a testing time for everyone. As each member gets home, it is time to reflect.
Looking Back: Those Who Didn’t Work
For those that contributed very little to the project, and were carried through, they sit back and don’t have a care in the world. But don’t worry, a special place in hell awaits them.
READ MORE GROUP PROJECT ARTICLES!
Looking Back: Those That Did Work
Yet for those that did work, they can look back on the experience as just further confirmation of what a group project provides. As the graph above suggests, the intention is for a group project to teach you about trust, teamwork and communication. In reality though, you just learn how much you despise the human race. And that really is all you come out with from a group project.