Photo by Mariah Wilson

The seven types of assholes you’ll have in your group project

By Hurmut Humayun, February 4 2019 —

Group projects are the bane of every student’s existence. Professors keep assigning them to prepare us for the “real world,” where we’ll be working in group settings every day for the rest of our lives. Bold of them to think that we’ll even get jobs post-graduation.

Here’s a guide to all the wonderful types of people you’ll encounter during your group projects.

1. The Toastmasters ambassador:

This person is amazing at public speaking. They ooze charisma, have a powerful presence and handle questions with ease. However, they are insufferable when the group is doing practice runs of the presentation. They go beyond the regular “slow down” or “speak up” and offer a lot of unsolicited advice about your posture and making eye contact. “Don’t read off the note card,” they’ll tell you, as if this is the first time you’ve ever given a presentation.

2. The flirt:

The project is not the project. You are the project. This is the one group member who will hit you with a “you up?” separate from the group under the pretense of meeting to get some “extra” work done. They vehemently go to bat for you in all group discussions and will do their best to make sure you’re both working on the same parts of the project — no matter how uncomfortable you and the other members are.

3. The oversharer:

The oversharer gets their work done on their own time but becomes a major distraction when the group meets up. They have an incredible talent of turning group meetings into droning conversations about how they KonMari’ed their apartment this past weekend, whether or not it’s too early to move in with their significant other and the side effects of their new birth control.

4. The scheduler:

The scheduler is doing the absolute most — but not for the group, just in their own lives. They have a thousand extracurricular commitments and other obligations. They plan and live their days down to the minute. The scheduler arrives right on time and must leave exactly at the end of the hour, which they will remind the group of every 10 minutes. The scheduler’s time is incredibly precious and they will give a majorly condescending — and time-consuming — lecture to anyone who doesn’t treat it as such.

5. The pushover:

How little the pushover cares will make you incredibly self-conscious about how much you care. They will never contribute any original ideas and tend to agree with everyone about everything, even opposite sides of the same argument. You can often find them on their phones during group meetings, probably texting about something that’s clearly more important. Their only redeeming quality is that they don’t care enough to complain about what you ask them to do.

6. The friendly first-year:

As a first-year, having overly friendly group members is great. After that, it’s a little annoying. Like the pushover, friendly first-years are willing to do whatever is asked of them, but they care. They care so much. Acting like they still need to earn admission to the university, friendly first-years have so many ideas and need to express them all. If the group gets along in the slightest, they will automatically believe you’re all friends and will probably invite the group to The Den after each and every meeting. Everyone says no, but that won’t stop them from asking next time.

7. The mess:

The mess is the only group member whose ridiculous behavior you can understand, because you’ve been there too. It’s the end of the semester and all they can do is let you know that they’re drowning. Overwhelmed by everything going on in their lives, this member is often handing things in to the group at the very last minute. Somehow, they manage to get everything done, but not without stressing out the entire group in the process.



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