Earlier today I was on the Rutgers c/o 2020 Facebook page, and someone posted a video that had a bar graph on what group assignments taught people. The bar for “how to do the entire project on my own” was significantly high, and the bar for “how much I hate people” broke through the top.
I’d like to talk about this point because I’m in a class that was basically one long group assignment. My group had it all- the dominant one, the one who never responds, the one who has good ideas but is scared to voice them, and me- the one who just does my part and doesn’t want anything else to do with the project. I know group assignments suck especially if you’re group members aren’t most ideal, but the truth is they do end up being helpful no matter what.
Communicating with other people is inevitable, outside of the group project, outside of the university, outside of the state, country- we’re going to meet “the dominant one” and “the one who never responds” in our daily lives. We may even have to work with these types of people in our future careers, but this time our job may be put on the line as opposed to a grade. I know some of you are going to say you’ll have a career that’s more independent, but maybe you’ll have these types of people in your expanding friend circle, extended family that you have yet to meet, and organizations you plan to join. Group projects just prepare us to experience people unlike us and force us to stick with them- don’t hate on them but try to grow yourself in how well you can handle people you don’t pair well with.
Other than communication, group projects prepare you for like situations in the future that involve having to do more work than expected. This is especially true at the workplace when your coworkers call out and you have to do their tasks. Also, If you can do all the work on your own for a group project, which in most cases involves more things to do and include than an individual project, you can get through all the work for your individual one. In the end, the group projects make you more skilled.
I understand some of you will still hate on group projects because it’s not fair to do all the work yourself. Just remember that if you’re doing all the work while your partners are relaxing, they’re not getting the same skills as you are. This could put you at an advantage in going up levels against them in school and at work.