Types of People in Group Projects

‘Scuse me, people in my group project, who do ya’ll think you are?? I love some of you guys but let’s be honest… only some…

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Group projects, we’ve all been there. A traumatic yet inevitable experience that all students must face. Why work with other people when you’re the only one in your class who is perfectly capable of making good projects on your own? EsPecIaLLy when literally everyone else is incompetent. Though teachers view group projects as the perfect opportunity for students to form new lifelong friendships or whatever, it actually depends on the types of members you are grouped up with. With years of experience on this subject, The Spectator presents some of the most common types of group members so you can improvise, adapt, and overcome during group projects (also so we can secretly throw shade at some people).

The Control Freak

“Why can’t you guys do ANYTHING right??! I’ll just do it myself, you incompetent peasants.”

This is the perfectionist of the group, and they just can’t settle on anything other than their own “perfect” vision, which isn’t actually necessary for the assignment, but hey, at least it looks pretty! Of course, they believe that they are only ones who can pull off these “gesamtkunstwerks.” As a result, these people will be the ones to kick everyone out and do it all themselves. At least you’re guaranteed a decent project with minimal effort, right? That is quite the contrary. Often, these “masterminds” have visions that make you wonder if they have a mind at all.

Occasionally, you may meet the subtype of “The Control Freak”: “The Oppressive Visionary.” This type will dictate what each person can and will do to construct the uLtiMAte project, claiming that God himself bestowed this perfect idea while they were napping during class, but they won’t do any of the work themselves. This is a very unfortunate situation for you, as you can never meet their standards and will always remain a “disappointment” in their hearts.

The best way to work with these types of people is to be there to provide moral support, actually try to confer to their oppressive rule, or resort to making a secret backup yourself.

The Winger/Actor/Actress

“I have no idea what this word means but don’t worry ‘bout it, I’ll be fine”

Wingers tend to not contribute to a group project, but manage to save your failing ass (the donkey) with a glamorous performance that will mesmerize the audience during your presentation. During group work, they’re often the ones stirring up drama and demanding your undivided attention. However, on the day of the presentation, they burst into the classroom in a custom-designed costume complete with props about the digestive system with a one-man choreography, chorus, and orchestra.

The best way to deal with these members is to try and endure the initial hardships and be a good member by finishing up the project. You’ll just have to make the judgement call since these people tend to reveal their expertise only on the day of presentations. Be prepared to take over the presentation if they turn out to be a talentless garbage can.

The Flaker

“Oops, sorry guys, I had a dentist’s appointment yesterday. I promise I’ll meet you guys after school today though!”

Unfortunately, almost all of us has had a Flaker in their group before. Flakers won’t ever show up to any group meetings and will never actually work on the project. In addition, their schedule never matches up with anyone else’s, or they use awful excuses such as “I gotta play Splatoon with my friends!” or “Sorry, I gotta celebrate my grandma’s dog’s birthday today!” When a project is online, they just probably won’t do it. You can message them all you want but they won’t respond, even if you see they are active on Messenger. During group presentations, they tend to just read the part that everyone wrote for them. At least they can read!

The best way to deal with Flakers is to not do anything! Do not succumb to your urge to finish the project, just leave it. Simply leave a little note saying who was responsible for what, and that our special little snowflake didn’t do their part. Hopefully, your lovely teacher who gave you this project will take pity and only dramatically lower the Flaker’s grade, leaving substantial emotional damage. Make sure to give them absolutely terrible ratings for peer assessment if your teacher does them!

The Delicate Your Highness

“Sorry I can’t work today! My mommy wants me to go to bed by 8:00 p.m.! I can’t function without my 10 hours of beauty sleep.”

The most fragile and delicate member in your group, your highness insists on following their rigid regime set by their evil witch mother, which means being unable to allocate any time to work on the project. Initially they seem pretty reliable as they often flex the fact that they get at least 10 hours of sleep on a daily basis, making them appear as some sort of super student. You’d think that with their excellent time management and efficiency, they can carry the group. That is, until they give the excuse that they need to sleep at 8:00 p.m. (because any less sleep would render them incapacitated) and wish you the best of luck as they ditch you on Google Docs.

What about the weekends, you wonder? Unfortunately, your highness claims that they are too preoccupied with extracurriculars to have any free time. They will, of course, also add that they are only following their mother’s demands and that any extra time left over will be used for sleep to make up for any lost time over the week.

The best way to deal with this damsel in distress is to ignore their pleas for pity and, if possible, make them realize their responsibilities. If they absolutely cannot help on the project, then do locate the tower in which they are imprisoned and give them a good smack in their face and tell them to STOP BEING A GOOD-FOR-NOTHING LIABILITY before exiting.

The Alpha/Carry

“[sigh] Looks like I’m going to have to do everything again… Okay guys, here’s the plan...”

The natural born leader of the group who actually has a plan, has their crap together. It’s speculated that they are beings mandated by God himself—no, rather, otherworldly and celestial beings descended from heaven—to come bless us poor peasants. Often, they appear with a shining halo around their heads, and sometimes you can hear angels singing upon beholding their work. They’re usually the ones who assign members their parts, and will make sure that they don’t slack off. They just have that ability to inspire others to work hard and are just super efficient at doing work themselves. We can all only dream for a Carry like them.

To handle a Carry, just succumb to their choices. Let the Carry carry you to victory. Make sure to give them an amazing peer review and five stars on Yelp. You may also choose to worship their blessed abilities with offerings of pieces of your expired Jupioca loyalty card.

The “Just Why”

“What does this mean? Can you guys help me, please? Oops, I think I deleted something by accident. At least I tried my best.”

Wants to help and tries to help, but can’t. They’re actually a nice, innocent person, but gosh, are they utterly pathetic. They have pure intentions at heart, but let’s be honest, if they actually contribute it’s usually useless. It’s astonishing how awful their contributions are, so much so that you wonder if they even know what the topic is. Unfortunately, everything they write is usually super wrong, and you will be the one who ends up rewriting everything they’ve written. With these types of group members, you’ll end up with more apologies than sentences and more questions than the audience has for your presentation.

For these useless worms, you’ll have to acknowledge that whatever they do will have to be revised by yourself or another trustworthy member if you care about your project grade. Unless you’ve got the time to take it slow and work with them, be prepared to become a Carry for them.