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The 5 Types of People In Every Group Project

Chynna Mela is a senior journalism student at Temple University and an SC Campus Representative. She can usually be found planning her fall wedding to Harry Styles, attempting to become the female version of Perez Hilton, or eating peanut butter straight from the jar. See more posts from her here.

Nothing earns a round of groans from a class like a professor announcing that the upcoming project will be completed as groups. I am not exactly sure why professors insist on group projects. Perhaps it is 12 papers to grade instead of 60? Maybe it is the free comedy of watching us hate one another. Whatever the professor’s  reason we have all been subjected to them at some point in our academic career. Some will go well and some will bring you to the point of tears (and it isn’t the paper topic that makes you break out your ugly crying face, either).It is the people you have been forced to work with. I’ve been there, and I feel your pain. These are the 5 types of people in every group project.

1. The Slacker

(GIF via Giphy)

Lets just get the most obvious one out of the way. Every college student has had the unfortunate experience of working with a complete and utter slacker. If you have been paired with one (as in JUST you and said slacker) you deserve a cookie, medal of honor, AND a drink on me. However, they are a little easier to bear with when working on a group assignment because you have a team to pick up the slacker’s slack. What is incredible about slackers is they tend to be equally as charming as they are lazy and somehow manage to walk away with an A…and you only received a B. What gives?

Top Characteristics of a Slacker:

  1. Shuffles into class at least 15 minutes late. Not because they needed to stop for coffee or because they woke up too late. They are late because they walk at such as slow pace it is actually baffling.
  2. Female: Hair is hidden with baseball cap and tied in a messy bun Male: Hood is pulled up. He is an elite slacker if he is wearing a hat AND his hood is pulled up.
  3. Listens to music during class
  4. Does not own a planner because he/she has “it all up here” (points to brain slowly and dramatically)

2. The I’ll-Do-It

(GIF via Giphy)

Your professor has just broken the class into groups of four (what is this middle school? Can’t we pick our own partners?) and the second your group begins to discuss potential assignment topics the self-appointed commander makes it very clear that she will be completing the entire assignment alone. If she is on the softer side she may have humored you and let everyone bounce around a few ideas before putting her foot down and telling everyone how it’s going to be. This group member most likely has a type A personality so strong that she will allow you to keep the pen you borrowed from her due to her fear of germs (plus she has 10 other identical pens in her bag). The best part about the I’ll-Do-It is that she does not care if she does all the work and the rest of the group benefits from it. As long as she gets an A it does not matter to her who else does.

Top Characteristics of the I’ll-Do-It

  1. Color coordinated notebooks, folders, and planner.
  2. Utilizes post-its like you have never seen before.
  3. Never tempted to check her phone during class (HOW?!)
  4. Sits in the front row and arrives 15 minutes early to secure the seat (as if anyone else wants to sit in the front)

3. The AWOL

(GIF via Giphy)

You’ve never seen him. Never heard of him. Are we sure he is in this class? Are we sure he actually exists?  When you reach out to your professor about his lack of participation he insists he emailed him but has not heard back.

Top Characteristics of the AWOL

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4. The Team Player

(GIF via Giphy)

At first you will think that you have lucked out by being grouped with someone so devoted to equality. However, after bouncing a few emails back and forth your irritation with her grows and grows. First off, is she ever NOT emailing? Join a club. Watch The Notebook. Go for a walk. Just please, please stop emailing everyone 10,000 times per hour. Second,  if you are going to send 10,000 emails if they only pertain to one person can you please NOT reply to the whole thread? The team player insists on meeting in person to discuss every detail, and god forbid you are 28 seconds late she will give you the stink eye. Hint: Become best friends with the team player. She takes group evaluations very, very seriously.

Top Characteristics of the Team Player

  1. Scrunches up her nose a lot when others make suggestions
  2. Always carries a water bottle AND coffee thermos wherever she goes
  3. Hand is constantly raised during class (usually to correct someone else)
  4. Is the president of an academic fraternity

5. The New Best Friend

(GIF via Giphy)

This is the only person in the group that is actually thrilled she doesn’t have to work alone. Every group project is an opportunity to make new friends to the Best Friend, and she/he wastes no time to begin her quest to hand over one half of a friendship necklace to you. Before you all have a chance to introduce yourself she announces she will be the group secretary and her first order of business is gathering everyone’s emails and cell phone numbers (and you can bet she will be using them). When it comes to deciding where your group will meet she almost always casually mentions a bar on campus with wifi. Nothing like a solid buzz to foster a budding friendship.

Top Characteristics of the New Best Friend

  1. Checks in everywhere she goes on Facebook
  2. Follows the entire group on Instagram…though no one actually told her their username
  3. Refers to everyone as “girl” after the second time meeting them. Like, “Hey, girl!”, “How was your weekend, girl?”, and “I’m telling you, girl, it was wild!”
  4. Has an extensive hoodie collection from schools she never attended

Which group project member are you?

(Featured Image via examtime)



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