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The Daily Tar Heel

Satire: I've never had a bad experience with a group project

Texture courtesy of Adobe Stock.

It's February. My professor has realized winter break is long gone and has begun to assign actual work. Sigh. 

I'm swamped with papers, problem sets, labs and the all too familiar group projects. 

But I have to speak my truth: Despite their infamous reputation, group projects are my absolute favorite opportunity to find new friends. Maybe we’ll be more than just class friends? Maybe this person will be at my dog's funeral? My future spouse? Who knows? The possibilities are limitless. This could be it. I will find my person in the bowels of Phillips Hall.

My past track record with group projects has always been nothing short of perfect. Every single individual I’ve randomly been assigned to be in a group with has been productive, easy to converse with and skillful in the class content. So this semester, I’m looking forward to another fantastic, collaborative experience.

As I wait to receive my professor’s decision as to who I’ve been grouped with, I enthusiastically daydream about my future project partner. And soon to be BFFL. 

The perfect group project partner has no anxiety. They're not afraid to wait until 10 minutes before the due date to turn in their part of an assignment in. A presentation? That’s nothing to them and therefore, they will not notify anyone of their plans or what PowerPoint slides they’ll cover, despite another partner being freakishly, terminally afraid of public speaking. This bravery doesn’t instill fear in me at all. In fact, it inspires me to be more like them.

My dream group project partner looks like someone who believes in the “less is more” trend of the beauty gurus. They believe the success of our grade relies on them doing as little contribution as possible. Their decision to not help with the project in any way isn't lazy, their minimalism is pioneering and bold. 

As for the group chat we will make, I am confident my imagined partner wouldn't even be bothered to save my contact name. But in the classroom, they will dominate the presentation with their great ideas.

But, hey. They're busy. They're the president of three different clubs, a teaching assistant for COMP 110 and pledging the top fraternity. Who has time to sit around and worry about making the perfect Canva presentation?

All that stress has to take a toll. It's totally reasonable for them to have an impossibly large range of emotions each day. I don't mind. With my group project partner either feeling more energetic than my 10-year-old cousin on Monster or more depressed and blue than Sadness from "Inside Out", I always arrive to class assured I will not be bored. Their overpowering and animated emotions don’t distract from, but enhance the group’s productivity by keeping us on our toes. 

Admittedly though, any student at our fine institution will prove to be an ideal group project partner because everyone here is always dedicated to the highest level of scholarship and character, and no one would, say, throw a raging tantrum mid-presentation that earns your entire group a failing grade.

That's never happened to me And since we all go to UNC (a supposed "public Ivy"), why would it? Right? 


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