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How to Babysit Your Group Project Members

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Ashoka chapter.

Edited by: Sahana Inuganti

Disclaimer: Anything written in this article is purely fictional and highly dramatized, any resemblance to individuals in any group projects may or may not be coincidental. Please take this with a grain of salt, quite like the amount of work many people are willing to put in. 

Double texting them won’t make them text back, you think. Even my crush has a better chance of texting back, you think. You glance over as the submission time inches closer, every minute hitting closer to that 11:59 and you realize that they still have left their part unfinished on the google doc without any communication. Their icon slowly pops up for a second and you perk up with hope, but they leave. It’s like a child playing a game of hide and seek—you look for their sheer presence in the many group zoom calls you had, and their contribution to the submission is so hidden that it is almost non-existent. You exasperatedly sigh. The phone dings. The conversation reads:

“Hey I was like vibing with my friends all week, when can we brainstorm the idea for the project”

“The submission’s due today”

“Why didn’t you tell me?”

“I literally texted the group chat twenty times this week”


“You can do my bit for the submission then? I’m very clueless”

Dealing with group members who contribute the same amount as the chips in a Lay’s packet can be frustrating. Eventually, you kind of have to learn how to babysit your group members. Taking inspiration from HealthLine, here are four ways you can be a good babysitter for your group members, while ensuring that you get a good grade (even though you’d much rather babysit actual children because at least you’d get paid for all that emotional and mental labour, but we don’t talk about that). 

  1. Understand Your No-Work-Tolerance Level

This might seem like a basic first step, but it is important to first sit with yourself and truly introspect so that you’re able to understand how much of doing absolutely no work, or completely incorrect work you’re going to let your group member get away with. After all, if someone has to practice self-awareness in this group project, of course, it should be you when you’re already taking up 90% of the work. Everyone has a different approach to this, some people think of a “You don’t do any work I’ll just do it myself” policy (which I would not recommend personally), while others have an “I’ll butt in no more than I have to, you figure it out on your own” policy. Both approaches are pretty extreme, so finding a middle ground that allows you to give your group member leeway while also making sure they deliver on their commitments can help you set expectations of where to draw the line. 

  1. Keep An Open Line of Communication 

You shout from the seenzone. The only thing that seems to reply back is the timestamp at which they read your message and decided to ignore it. Now, you need to think to yourself—if I was in this position, and someone wanted me to do something I didn’t want to, what would they do? The answer is simple —hand-holding (metaphorically, of course). Even though they didn’t ask for help and you didn’t sign up for this, drop everything, clear your schedule and ask them if they want to work with you on a call together. Guide them through the work. Stand over their head like a mini-helicopter parent until they get their work done. Jokes apart, just letting a group member know that you’re there to help out (while also keeping in mind your own boundaries) can take time, but allow you to get work done. If they continue to be unresponsive without any prior intimation, do remind them of their commitments in a sternly worded message. If you still get seen zoned, well, I don’t know what to tell you. 

  1. Be Organized and Plan for Mishaps

Reverting back to point 1, make sure everyone gets their share of work based on what they want to do, and what they do best so that you do not end up handing someone work that they do not have the bandwidth to complete (because partying in the SR all night when you have an assignment due that night is an emotionally taxing process). Account for social loafing while you’re planning, and maybe even use good old-fashioned ✨ deception ✨ to make internal deadlines seem like the actual deadlines so that work gets done on time. Desperate times call for desperate measures, my friend. 

  1. Just Snitch At This Point

You know what? If you’re still facing issues working with your group members just snitch. I know it makes you feel really horrible, but just try talking to a teaching team member about it. This should be your last resort, but do make sure that you are voicing your grievances if they are unresolved. 

Deeksha Puri

Ashoka '23

A wholesome meme collector, a certified stationery-hoarder, and sometimes has ramblings that may or may not make sense.