Clearwater Record-Ewing News

From our earliest years of life, we are expected to communicate, collaborate and cooperate with our peers.

This was not too big of an issue when it meant sharing a toy when we were three years old.

But as we grow older, those three “C” words started to take on a completely different meaning.

Group projects; you have got to love them.

I have never been a fan of group assignments.

It does not matter how simple or complex the project is, how few or numerous people are in the group, there is always one person who ends up doing all of the work.  

This person is usually me.

Do not get me wrong, it is possible the rest of the group wants to contribute, but, with my control freak nature, I would rather do it by myself, so I know it is done on time and according to the assignment guidelines.    

I thought these assignments would go to the wayside after high school, but I am clearly mistaken as I have completed a solid five assignments with the support - and I use that term loosely - of my group members.      

There is always a unique group of individuals who get stuck working together, and you know exactly who you are when it comes to working in a group setting.  

I have narrowed this diverse set of individuals into three main character traits. 

First, there is the clueless/lazy one. This is the person that probably could not even tell you what is the topic of your project.  

If you think I am joking, this just happened to me in a group project last week.  

No matter how much you try to encourage participation, it just does not happen. This is when you hope there is a partner review portion to your project.

Second, there is the cheerleader.  This is a difficult person to identify.  They may seem like they contribute to the project by being supportive and helpful, but they really do nothing in the group.  

In complete honesty, this person probably keeps the group members that do stuff from harming the ones who do nothing.

Finally, there is the control freak.

I proudly wear this title.  

This person does whatever it takes to get the problem solved and they are typically focused on getting the best grade.  

Although, they do tend to bypass everyone else in the group and do everything by themselves. That is definitely a shortcoming.               

It takes all different kinds of people to make a group work, but all of the personality traits typically boil down to these three.  

Even though there could be a completely different set of people in the group, there always seems to be someone who fills each of these personality traits.  

So, no matter how much I dislike them, I guess I will have to get used to group projects, because it does not look like there is an end to them any time soon in my future.

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