There are three things students usually complain about: a difficult exam, a difficult subject, and a difficult groupmate. #realtalk
Most of the time, the first two can be solved by putting in more hours for all-nighters. The third, however, cannot be solved that easily, so you just put in more hours for prayers, desperately hoping some kind of divine intervention happens.
Whether you like it or not, group work will always be part of student life. At best, it helps you get things done easier and faster (supposedly, that is). However, if you’re not #blessedt with your groupmates, you’ll end up doing some serious heavy lifting!
While you can’t always choose your groupmates, you can always choose to be the kind of groupmate you want to have. And so, here are some qualities you might want to have to set an example:
1. Come on time.
If there’s such a thing as a Group Work Manifesto, this might just be the number one rule in the book: Thou. Shall. Not. Come. An. Hour. Late. To. The. Group. Meeting. Being punctual to group meetings means you respect your groupmates’ time. Come on time, even if they don’t.
Making the Group Work Tip #1:
The earlier you can all come, the earlier you can start working, and the earlier you can start working, the earlier you can all go home. Wouldn’t that be great?
2. Be responsive.
Nothing gets on people’s nerves more than groupmates who don’t know how to respond to group discussions. Whether it’s face-to-face conversation or through online means, make sure to pitch in your ideas and make your voice heard! What else is social media for?
Making the Group Work Tip #2:
Remember, not responding is your response. If you want to answer no, say so. Tbh, your groupmates will appreciate a reply, regardless of what it is, more than waiting for nothing.
3. Respect your groupmates.
The sooner you accept the fact that not everyone works like you, the better chances you will work well together. After all, you can’t expect them to have the same standards as you, but you can work together as a team to achieve the best results a.k.a. grades. Respect your groupmates! That includes their time, opinion, and work ethic.
Making the Group Work Tip #3:
People would want to engage more in a conversation when they feel accepted and respected. Make a culture of listening to everyone’s voices, then decide as a group.
4. Go the extra mile.
Doing what is expected of you is the bare minimum. Doing beyond what is asked of you is what you should aim for. Sure, it’s group work! It’s a given that everybody needs to contribute their part. But whenever you go the extra mile, it speaks more of you than them. Repeat after me: Excellence, always.
Making the Group Work Tip #4:
There’s a fine line between doing more and doing all. Do more if you can, but don’t do it all even if you can. You would still want your groupmates to learn, right? Don’t teach them that it’s okay to be freeloaders (read: it’s not okay!).
5. Have fun!
There’s no need to bore yourself more than it already looks. Whether it’s a case study, a lab report or T H E S I S, work hard but play harder! It may not be number one on the Group Work Manifesto, but having fun is #definitely on the list. When people enjoy what they’re doing, the heavy load gets lighter—all because there are more willing hands on deck. Sounds like teamwork!
Making the Group Work Tip #5:
Know when to put your game face on and when to loosen up. Achieve that work-play balance and see your team perform at its full potential!
There are days you will dread group work, there are days you will grow to love them. Which day you ever find yourself in, let it be said that you are THE groupmate that makes people dread group work less and love it more. You are, after all, the example they’ve been waiting to see. Excited for the next group work? We know you are!