Handling Group Projects

Humans are social animals. It’s natural for us to survive in groups: living and working together and protecting each other. However, when it comes to group projects in college, all of these instincts are thrown out the window.

With this often-dreaded assignment, your grade is no longer dependent on you alone but it also relies on others. Here are some basic things to keep in mind when tackling a group project.

Choose Your Group
Some teachers will assign groups, but most of the time this job is left to the student. So when the day comes where you have to throw yourself into the company of strangers, remember these three things.

  1. Don’t wait for others to approach you. If you do this, you’ll raise your chances of being muddled with the lazy scraps.
  2. Head-hunt the smart or enthusiastic students.
  3. Be sure to have at least one female in your group (not including yourself, if that’s the case). This may seem peculiar, but it has always been proven true for me.

Take The Lead
This one speaks for itself. If no one stands up and takes charge of the assignment, it’s up to you to grab the helm, start discussions and aid in the workload’s distribution.

Communicate
After the project is on its way, don’t wait until the last minute to see if everything comes together. Stay in contact with your classmates via email and meetings, and let the teacher know of any questions or concerns you have. Also, don’t hesitate to listen in on other groups’ conversations during class (after all, these are your competitors).

Prepare For The Worst
When it comes to the card game of group projects, fate may deal you the worst possible hand. To get the grade you want, you might find yourself working on parts of the project that aren’t your responsibility. To make matters worse, it’s unlikely that the teacher will notice.

While many aspects of the group project appear unfair, remember that it provides a taste of real workplace conditions.

Everyone will have to collaborate with colleagues at some point in their career—exercising their skills in leadership, cooperation and flexibility. In the long run, the experience should make you a better person.

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