The Daily Illini

Editorial: The five people you meet in a group project

Billy Galant

Billy Galant

One of the most dreaded parts of a student’s college career is the group project. Not only are these projects worth a large part of your grade, but students also must rely on others to get the job done — which usually doesn’t end well.    

Here are the most common group members that you’ll deal with.


The Micromanager:

Ah yes, the micromanager. The micromanager is perhaps the most infuriating of all members. This person insists on correcting everything you do, but makes no effort to do any of the work themselves.

He or she is known for: conducting the meeting, deciding (alone, of course) what the topic of the project will be and how it will be done, delegating tasks and being all-around annoying.

If they supposedly have so much knowledge and so many ideas for the project, why do they insist on making everyone else do all the work? And then once you do your part, begrudgingly, the micromanager swoops in and makes several unneeded changes. The worst.

Maybe they should have just done it themselves then. Come on micromanager, do some real work next time.


Mr./Ms. Personality:

You worked so hard on this project. You were the one who discovered that interesting fact about peanuts and you found a way to use a meme from “The Office.”

You’re on your A-game. The professor is about to call your group up and you’re going to crush it.

But wait, look who it is: the person who barely did anything.

Why are they saying we’re ready to present? OK, this is fine. You’ll just rebound and rock it … wait, why is that person talking the entire time? Let us talk! That person barely did their work and now they’re taking credit!

No! That’s not how the meme was supposed to be used!

Great, you barely get to talk and now that person is being lauded by the professor. You’re so mad. Why did you work so hard if Mr./Ms. Personality decided to swoop in and take all the credit?

Thanks, glory hog.


The Ghost:

Everyone knows this group member, even though they never seem to come to class. The ghost is the one who never responds in the Groupme, rarely comes to class and will probably show up to the group presentation with no clue what’s going on.

Unfortunately, the best way to handle this is to assume that they’ll never be there. Don’t count on them to do major parts of the project or presentation. Once the ghosting begins, make sure to let your professor know that something is up so the ghost doesn’t get all the credit for the rest of the group’s work, because that’s truly spooky.


The Flake:

At the first meeting, they have it all together. They come up with ideas and volunteer to create PowerPoint slides. But as the team progresses, they show up later and later to meetings until they finally don’t show up at all.

There is always a reason for their absence: Their phone AND computer broke and they didn’t see your emails. How about that very odd and conveniently-timed bout of food poisoning the night before the project was due?

At first, you think, “Wow, they can’t catch a break.” But when you see Facebook pictures of them doing a keg stand at Mizzou when they claimed they had a “family emergency,” you finally know who you are dealing with.


Mr./Ms. Good Intentions:

The saddest of all potential group members. Mr./Ms. Good Intentions really does want to help. Unfortunately for this person, and by default you, they just don’t seem to know what they’re talking about. Perhaps they are confused by the assignment, or maybe they just truly don’t understand anything that is going on in the class.

They know how annoying it is when group members do nothing to help (cough cough, everyone else mentioned) but it’s probably best if they just leave it to the members who actually know what they’re talking about. It’s really too bad because they have such good intentions.

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