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13 People You’ll Work With in Group Projects

There’s seven words every college student hates to hear: “You’ll have a group project this semester.” Coincidentally, those are the same seven words every professor loves to say, it seems.

There’s no way around group projects. They’re (un)necessary evils. You’ll be working with some pretty strange characters during your time at Penn State, so we’ve come up with a list of 13 people you’re likely to collaborate with:

1) The Useless Contributor

This person tries. Sometimes they might even try incredibly hard. But it’s never enough; if you want a good grade you’ll just have to re-do all of their work anyway.

2) The “Let’s Meet In Pattee” Person

You try to tell them there won’t be any open tables in the library, but they never listen. Have fun during your group pilgrimage to the HUB.

3) The Phantom

This guy (it’s almost never a girl) is a ghost. He’s never in class, he never attends group meetings, and you’re lucky if he answers 1 out of every 20 emails. He probably dropped the class during syllabus week, but how would you know that? You’ve never even met him.

4) The “I Don’t Wanna Do All The Work” But Does It Anyway Person

This person preaches teamwork and the importance of everyone pulling their own weight. He or she explicitly says they “don’t want to be stuck doing everything.” From here, there are two routes. Sometimes this person just re-does everyone’s work anyway, and other times they finish the project by themselves three months before it’s due and then they get mad because no one else contributed.

5) The THON Person

Yeah, good luck trying to get them to do anything before the middle of February.

6) The Person Who’s Too Busy Reading An Unnamed School Newspaper

Just kidding. It’s 2013. No one reads newspapers anymore.

7) The Annoying Group-Texter

You know. It’s 1 a.m. on a Friday and all of sudden you get five group text messages in a row for your group project from someone who has had a little too much to drink.

8) The Complainer

“Oh my god, I have so much to do this week. I have three group meetings, an exam, two papers due, a bunch of homework, an IM backgammon match…” In reality, three groups meetings, an exam, two papers, homework, and IM backgammon = watching The Voice and writing ‘Mrs. Levine’ all over their notebooks.

9) The Person Who Legitimately Doesn’t Care About The Project At All

Also known as a senior.

10) The Person Who Shouldn’t Have Graduated Junior High

This person can’t construct a sentence, and they try to compensate for their lack of basic English skills by using big words that either: a) don’t make sense in context, or b) don’t exist. I’m not going to say this is usually a sorority girl, but if you make your own inference, that’s fine.

11) The BuzzFeed & YouTube Champion

This person is a great asset to any group. While he or she might not do anything of academic value, it’s always fun to see a collection of puppy pictures or a cat dressed in a shark costume while riding a Roomba and chasing a duckling.

12) The Person Whose Phone Must Be Really Interesting

Is there an app for replacing bad group members?

13) The “Fuck This, Let’s Just Go To Cafe” Person

…Guilty.

About the Author

Michael DeGothseir

Advertising/PR major, Blue Band drummer, peanut butter enthusiast.

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