The Student After Life

Valuable lessons to take away from college as the real world approaches

Golden rule, anyone?

on March 7, 2012

Picture yourself in a classroom setting. Suddenly, you begin to freak out and looking frantically around the room hoping to make eye contact with someone. WHAT’S HAPPENING?! Your professor has just uttered the words some college students hate to hear::

GROUP. PROJECT.

I’ll be up front with you. I absolutely LOATHE/DESPISE/DETEST/ABHOR/HATE group work, but throughout every group project I’ve had, I’ve managed to learn some things and it’s the topic for today’s post.

Do you remember that song “Bossy” by Kelis? She’s probably more famous for gracing society with the lyrical genius that is “My milkshake brings all the boys to the yard…” but that’s a whole different story. The opening lyrics to her song “Bossy” are:  “You don’t have to love me, you don’t even have to like me. But you will respect me.”

Hmm. Kelis might be on to something.

There’s always those one or two kids in class that just seem to rub you the wrong way. Whenever they talk, all you’re hearing in your mind is “Shut up shut up shut up shut up.” So, naturally whenever a group project rolls around you get put in a group with one of these kids. OF COURSE. You shuffle over to your group, dreading what’s to come. You begin to talk to your partner, discussing possible topics/ideas and dates for meetings. Your group mate suffers from the following:

DISCLAIMER:: *If any of these the things I’m about to list describe you, I promise you it’s merely coincidental. This post is not meant to attack anyone* 

  • He/she throws out ideas that are in no way/shape/form related to your topic or the class
  • He/she looks at you to lead the way for the entire project
  • He/she is always absent and is possibly not even there the day groups are assigned
  • He/she is NEVER free during the week except for like 10 PM on Mondays and like 7 AM on Fridays

Doomed. From. The. Start.

I know there’s a lot of background information and scenarios in here. But in order to properly convey my message, I had to make sure you all understood where I was coming from. Maybe you’ve never been in a situation like this and you can’t identify with any of the things I’m saying. Now you can (somewhat, anyways)

Here’s what I’ve learned through my many experiences with group work: Just suck it up and do it. You can try and talk to your professor about reassigning you, but as a professor of mine once told me “sympathy is in my dictionary between ‘s***’ and ‘syphilis.'” You’re stuck with this person. You’re expected to do your project. Do the project and move on. You don’t have to become best friends with this person. IT’S OKAY TO NOT LIKE SOME PEOPLE. Let me say that one more time:: IT’S OKAY TO NOT LIKE SOME PEOPLE.

It’s not okay to disrespect whoever you’re working with.

I know this all seems a little “golden rule-y” and whatnot, but I think it needed to be said now. This is the time of year when end of the semester presentations are being assigned and you’ve been around your current classmates long enough to know which ones “bother” you and which ones are alright. Just remember to respect each other’s opinions and if you have to, let their ideas down gently. It’ll all work out for the better.

And if all else fails, listen to the first 11 seconds of”Bossy

Until next time…

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