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Your Worst Group Project Stories

The words “group project” elicit nightmarish memories of classes we’d most likely rather forget. Alas, they’re still a reality of college life and something we all must deal with at one point or another.

Earlier this week, we asked you to send us your worst group project stories. And wow, did you deliver. I’ve had some pretty bad groups for class projects in my two-and-a-half years at Penn State, but they are nothing in comparison to some of the things you folks have dealt with.

Without further ado, here’s a compilation of some of my favorite (read: the worst) group project horror stories:

Drugs are bad, especially if you take them right before a class presentation

“[We] had a brief pre-presentation meeting before class outside of Willard to get all of our ducks in order. The young woman in question (who admittedly dressed like a child of the earth) walks up and says she was dosed with liquid LSD at a show the night before, was still tripping, forgot all her materials, and obviously could not present in front of the class. To her credit, I guess, she at least remembered/managed to make the pre-presentation meeting. In order to explain her absence, the group played it off as a medical issue and the instructor was understanding with regard to our grade.”

Chris? … Marco? … Polo?

“I was randomly assigned to be in a group with three other dudes I’d never met before. We agreed via email to meet outside Pattee at a specified time and we’d find each other because ‘Chris’ would be wearing an orange polo shirt. I got there early and asked THREE different orange polo-wearing guys if they were Chris and none of them were. I waited 30 minutes, then walked through the whole library looking for orange polos, but never found my group (this was before smartphones and I didn’t have anyone’s number). They then emailed later and asked why I was a no-show before getting mad at me when my part of the project didn’t match theirs. I’m still a little traumatized by the whole thing and definitely didn’t take any more Econ classes.”

What do you do when your whole group drops out? Hopefully not this.

“I was put in a group of three for one of the presentations. The first member dropped the class, and the other went to the professor to move into a different group because I slept through class twice in nine weeks. I prepped the presentation by myself, just for my professor to tell me the week before that I was being moved to a different group. After all that stress and wasted time, I ended up having to add myself to a presentation with a group that was practically done.”

Don’t plagiarize, folks

“She copied her entire page of the project from Hoover’s, so me and another guy had to fix it in the North halls computer lab an hour before the class.”

Don’t do this, either

“At the end of the class, we had a group presentation. I don’t even remember what the presentation was about but I do remember this one awful kid in my group. For weeks we worked on the project and he didn’t respond to texts, emails, or GroupMe messages. I started to think the kid dropped out. So the day comes to present our PowerPoint and the kid appears in class. We already decided to take his name off of the presentation so I was very curious to see what he was planning on doing for this. The joke was on us though — we didn’t remove him from the Google PowerPoint. He added his name to the title slide right before we presented and came up to present with us. It was a complete shit show and afterward, we told the professor. He didn’t give a shit and did nothing. I will never forget that project.”

Honestly, there’s no good fix for this one

“He did all of his research in Chinese and sent it to us that way. None of us could read it. For the presentation, he put the Google Translate version on the slides and read off his tablet.”

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About the Author

Emma Dieter

Emma is a senior from the ever-popular "right-outside" Philly area studying labor employment relations and PR. She's also the Student Life editor for Onward State. She has been a Penn Stater from cradle and will continue to bleed blue and white, 'til grave. She loves trashy romance novels, watching Netflix, and crying over cute videos of dogs. If you ever want to talk more with her about how great she is, or simply have other inquiries, feel free to email her at [email protected]

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