One of the most frustrating aspects of the University experience is the infamous group project.
These projects are supposed to teach you new areas of a subject, improve communication skills and develop team-working qualities.
The reality however, is that the only skill you truly enhance is the ability to tolerate your hatred for mankind.
We’ve put together a list of the 10 people that you’ll come across during a group project. If you haven’t come across these people, then count your lucky stars.
Also, feel free to take part in our poll at the end, where you can cast your vote on which of the 10 you most closely resemble.
1. The Dictator
Not many group projects in history have not witnessed one person “take the lead”. The dictator will rule the project with an iron fist, whilst providing the strategy for the day-to-day running of the project.
They may not be the easiest person to work with, but the fact is, you need them. They will often do the most work, and without them, deep down you know the project just wouldn’t work out properly.
Yes, they are a control freak, but they are the team’s control freak – and the group wouldn’t want it any other way, nor for another team to get their grubby hands on them.
Unfortunately, the dictator never gets the thanks they deserve. A lot of the time they will lead the group to a strong result, only to come out with relations with others in tatters.
2. The Understudy
Behind every good dictator is a right-hand man, or an understudy as we call it. This is the person who acts as a trusted lieutenant to the leader, and will do whatever they can to help.
Loyalty is a rare quality to find these days, but the understudy will follow their leader without questioning them. Yes, they may alienate the rest of the group, but they want a good result.
3. The Freeloader
Next up, we have the person that simply has no idea of what is going on for the entire duration of the project.
They will be there at the first lecture, will come along for the first meeting, but will then suddenly go quiet. No responses to messages, not showing up to meetings, and generally no contribution.
Yet they always magically find a way to appear at the end of the project, just in time to make enough of a contribution to ward off any threat of being reported to the authorities.
4. The Passive One
While you can never doubt their commitment to the cause, the passive one is a person that says very little, and contributes in a quiet way.
They show up to every meeting, but will typically sit in the corner, passively nodding at each suggestion a team member makes.
They will be a steady member of the team that does their work on time, but doesn’t exactly go above and beyond.
5. The Creative One
The creative one is the person that comes up with all of the ideas. These can range from ideas of how to present or format work to coming up with innovative ways of completing assignments.
They are a very useful person to have in the group. If no dictator exists, they will typically be the leader. Moreover, if the dictator gets mad with power, then the creative one will normally become the leader.
The creative person is typically a firm team player, and earn the respect of all those around them. Certainly an important part of any successful group project.
6. The Troublemaker
As many will know only too well, it is very common for a group project to feature a troublemaker – someone that will cause tension, friction and perhaps a full-scale riot.
They may question decisions that the team makes, urge some group members to stage a coup or just generally derail the project.
However, the troublemaker will normally contribute towards the end of the project. Their strong finish means they will remain an acquaintance of all, with their past indiscretions largely forgotten.
7. The Cheerleader
Unlike the troublemaker, the cheerleader is that person that will do whatever they can to help the team.
They will do what they can to motivate others, remain upbeat despite any setbacks, and in general, will be a good team-player.
While they don’t contribute an awful lot, they will always be the furst to reply on the group chat, and will be ready to attend any group meeting.
8. The “Busy” One
There is always one person that seems to have a very, very busy schedule. One of the biggest frustrations of the group project process is trying to set up a meeting time.
Despite only having around 15 hours of classes a week, there is always someone that seems to be occupied for the other 153 hours in a week.
This person seems unable to fit an hour for a meeting into their schedule. Sadly, you just need to plough on without them.
9. The One That Starts Well But Finishes Badly
Things start off so well with this person. They come into the first meeting bursting with ideas and even set up and invite everyone into the group chat.
But with each passing week, their motivation drops lower and lower, and by the last week of the project, they are crawling over the line.
They promised so much, only to deliver so little. What happened to them is one of life’s great questions.
10. The Normal One
If you’ve managed to get here without identifying as any of the above people, then congratulations – you can be classed as that rare thing in a group project – someone normal.
While normal people are rare, they try and keep grounded, attempt to ensure the project ticks along nicely, and generally try to do their best for the team.
They do exist out there, and ultimately manage to come out of the group project unscathed, and just about ready to cope with a future group project.