The Five Emotional Phases of Group Work

You hate it. I hate it. The only thing this group can agree on, is that we hate group work. Group work is not the magical, “real-life experience” thing professors try to convince you it is. It is much worse than that. It is a fury-filled, panic at the last moment, “I hate all of these people” type of experience. An experience that can be broken down into five separate emotional phases.

 

1. Excitement

Yeah! You’re amped. This is a new opportunity to work with old friend or meet new people. Maybe you’ll make a new best friend. Maybe you’ll burn the school down. Who knows! The possibilities are endless.

2. Realization

That excitement you had a month ago is gone. You are beginning to realize that you have two months to finish a project you haven’t even started. And based on your group members’ snapchats, they don’t even remember that there is a project due.

 

3. Frustration

So the project is due sooner than comfortable. Your beloved group mates? Nowhere to be found. That’s fine. Totally wanted to do all this myself. No I’m not bitter. It’s fine.

4. Panic

Holy sh*t. The project is due in the morning. You are missing half the information and you have no clue how to find any of it. You’ll just stay up all night and finish it. Maybe schedule a mental breakdown around 2am. Yeah, sounds totally doable.

5. Acceptance

It's the due day. What you turn in is not what you hoped it will be. At that point, there isn’t a thing left for you to do. So you do what you’ve done all semester long. Head to your favorite bar, order a beer and tell them to keep your tab open, and as you take that first sip all you can think is, “man, group projects are the worst.”

 

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