Group projects pose unnecessary hassle, social frustration

Rose Bialk/The Mossy Log

I hate group projects. I know that statement may come off a bit strong, and in actuality, there are pros and cons (though obviously, in my opinion, the cons outweigh the pros) to the wonderful experience of being forced by a teacher to work with your lovely peers. 

In high school, group projects were a nightmare for a few reasons: People lacked the drive to try and had no sense of integrity whatsoever about their actual role in the project. They also never checked their emails, so it was a waiting game, where I went back and forth on whether I could work up the courage to actually talk to my group members in class about it.

People still do not answer their emails now, but in college, it is because they are ignoring you, not because they are 16 and have no reason to use email as opposed to text. One of my main issues with group projects is having to talk to people and have awkward conversations about the material while continuously forgetting the names of group members and referring to them as “you.” 

Another one of the biggest problems is scheduling. Everyone in college is so busy. Students have work, sports, extracurriculars and more to fill up their schedules. I, for one, have two jobs, which eats up a lot of my time. The most straightforward part of high school scheduling was that everyone started and ended school at roughly the same time. Here, classes are in session at all hours of the day, people have labs at 6 p.m., work in the middle of the day and the list goes on. Among all of that, people have to travel to the Bon or Troom for meals and, lastly, people have to study for other classes. 

I hope my teachers are not reading this, but for my most recent group project, we had to meet two separate times due to lack of availability, and the two subgroups did not talk as one until we were leading the class discussion. That said, it went very well and everyone got the chance to speak and express their ideas. One of the pros to having group projects is that it does help take pressure off of individual students. 

One of the worst situations when it comes to working in a group is when it is just a worksheet or a short assignment, able to be done in one class period, and the professor says to “find a partner.” If you do not know anyone in the class, you are utterly doomed. You are forever fated to sit alone, crouched over your sad little worksheet that has several blanks labeled “Name,” but only one filled in with your own. People are all happily chatting with their friends around you, but then somebody walks over to you and asks if you “need a partner.” You do not NEED a partner or anything … but, yeah, it might be nice.

Above all of these existing minor inconveniences, I am an introvert, and apart from that, I also happen to love working alone. I will admit that idea generation is productive within groups, but when getting actual work done, I am the most organized and the least anxious on my own. If you are a professor reading this, please steer clear of assigning group projects, I beg of you.

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