Talk to any college student about group projects and the overwhelming majority of them will gripe and complain about the inconveniences of having to work with their classmates.
I would know. I used to be one of them.
But the Hussman School of Journalism and Media opened my eyes to just how fun group projects can be.
Looking back on it, the group project that changed my mind should have been a disaster. I knew absolutely no one in the 50 person media ethics class so when the professor announced we would be choosing our own partners I was stressed. Bracing myself for the response, I emailed the professor telling her I knew no one and if there was any way I could write the group paper by myself. She responded by putting me in a group with two other students with the same request.
Something about it just worked. We got our work done and had fun doing it – but I thought the semester would end and that would be it.
Fate seemed to disagree.
On the first day of the next semester, one of my former group project members was sitting right at the front.
Gabri and I now have shared Google Calendars.
Sure it is difficult trying to fit schedules together and make time to work on things as a group, but after that is worked out the process can be made to be enjoyable. Building a friendship with your project members makes everything easier and the work better.
Meetings can move off campus and into coffee shops, wine bars (shoutout Tru) and people’s living rooms where work begins to feel less like work and more like fun.
Maybe I’ve just had incredible luck with group project members or maybe I’m biased because advertising is inherently group work but I stand by my opinion: College level group projects are a good thing.
From the National Student Advertising Competition to an international media class, some of my dearest friends have been made in group projects, so before you write them off, try to make the most out of them.