By: Brad Manock
Group projects are often thought of as a necessary evil. Every kid from middle school onwards has probably experienced at least a few group projects that were a cluster-fuck of confusion and stupid/bossy people. Group projects are supposed to teach kids how to cooperate and work with other people. There is the key phrase right there “other people.” I always found group projects to be extremely annoying and I would much rather work alone when it comes to school work. In this article I am going to discuss group projects and why they are a nightmare for socially awkward people.
You Don’t Have Any Friends? Group Project Time!
Imagine you are sitting in your desk back at school; you are day-dreaming, not really paying attention to what is being said. All of a sudden the teacher uses the word “group” that word cuts right through the lack of attention and your heart drops. “Oh shit I don’t want to do anything with groups; I don’t have any friends in this class.” At this point there are two ways the teachers can precede with grouping the students, they can assign groups or they can let the students pick their own groups.
I always rooted for the teacher to assign groups. Why would I want the teacher to assign groups? It’s because then I know I will have at least a half-way decent group, let me explain. Let’s say the teacher goes with the option of letting the students pick their own groups. At that point the groups are almost immediately decided between the groups of friends in the class. I would end up walking around the room awkwardly asking every circle of friends “can I be in your group?” They would all say “no, you’re weird, fuck off!” Well…ok they wouldn’t say THAT but they were all thinking it. After about two minutes of walking around with no luck of finding a group the teacher will then stop everything and say “ok now who is left that doesn’t have a group?”
The Weird Kid We Don’t Know
One of the possibilities at this point is that I am the only person in the class without a group. If that is the case the teacher would ask “ok is there any group that would take Brad?” No, there never was, every group would remain silent. If you have a group made up entirely of your circle of friends then adding someone else would just make that person a cancer within the group. After nobody steps up to recruit me to their group the teacher would assign a group at random for me to go to, that group would then have no choice but to have me in their group and they would hate me for every second of the project’s duration. They would not ever think of me as part of the group, they would think of the group as their circle of friends…and that “Brad” kid.
The “Leftovers” Group
Another scenario which is not much better is that after picking groups I raise my hand along with two or three other kids when asked “who is not in a group yet.” The teacher will then say “ok all of you who raised your hands are in a group.” Why is that a bad scenario? It is a bad scenario because all of the other kids who raised their hand are also rejects that none of the other groups wanted. These kids were almost always either: “special” or they had a severe case of “being an asshole” and were intolerable human beings. So logically it would make sense to put the awkward/quiet kid with no friends “me” in a group with these people. I would get grouped with these people more times then not. I always thought of this as the “leftovers” group because we were made up of the rejects nobody wanted to work with. So yes, group projects are a socially awkward person’s nightmare.