Hatin’ On Group Projects

by Kelsey Rowlson

Horizon Reporter

I hate group projects.  All of my school career, this has been the case.  During parent, teacher conferences the same sentence kept coming up.  “Kelsey needs to learn how to work better with others.”  The teachers would explain how it’s a necessity in life, but I don’t see their point.

Yes, when you have a job you work with your colleagues to complete tasks.  Yes, when you’re in a relationship you work with your partner to decide things.  And yes, your family unit is all about “team effort.”

But really, is it entirely necessary for me to work in a group on projects seeing that I’m an 18 year old college student who in between now and the rest of my life, probably isn’t going to change my outlook on group projects since I obviously have had this outlook forever.  Teachers practically begged me to get over my dislike of groups, but here I stand, still adamantly against it.

Really, it’s the whole “you all get the same grade” thing that bothers me.  That along with the clashing personalities thing, but that’s beside the point.

Anyways, I would say that I’m a pretty motivated person.  I enjoy planning things out and completing tasks.  But when you’re in a group, if someone flakes out, you’re screwed.  Or if you’re pulling all the weight in the group, yet again, you’re screwed.

An example of why I dislike group projects comes from a class I took my senior year.  It’s like the teacher didn’t realize that in a group setting there’s normally people, three in this case, who didn’t know what they were doing.  Three people with three different personalities.   Three people who are kind of getting to know each other but are still in that awkward “should I make that joke or will they think I’m weird?” phase.  Three people who live in three different cities, which makes getting together to work on the project a chore.  And three people who had three different levels of commitment to the project.

Normally, it’s not that I don’t like the people in my group.  As people, they were awesome, that’s why I thought this group project might actually not turn out so bad.  But as one functioning group, it was borderline disastrous.

Don’t get me wrong, though.  I totally understood before starting the project that I could’ve worked alone.  But, come on, I’m popular!  Who wouldn’t want to be my partner?

Really though, I didn’t understand the project and who would want to be that kid who is the only extrovert in the class and wants to work alone on a project?  Plus, at the end of our experiment, we had to do a 15-minute presentation.  Yikes!

So there I was, regretting my decision.  Who was I to think that I could get over my dislike for group projects to avoid my greater dislike for public speaking?

Here at Whatcom, group projects seem to be a reoccurring theme.  Why are they so necessary?  We can all work as individuals just as well, if not better, than we do in a group.


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