Now how’s that for a click bait title? The stability of this bridge is reminiscent of how much I like group projects. They’re a pretty big part of Engineering, which does make sense in a “prepares you for the real world” kind of way I guess. (insert overused truss pun here)

Let’s face it: group projects can be a cesspool of stress. I’d even say they’re less looked forward to than tests or exams, which is definitely saying something. So here are seven HOLY steps to surviving group projects, so YOU can be an effective group member (and also make the world a better place).

1) Choose wisely (if you can which you usually can’t)

I’ve definitely had really fun experiences working on group projects in the past, and some not-so-fun times as well. Sure, the fun times included pizza and baking cupcakes, neither of which had anything to do with the project at hand… Yup, that’s the first tip: good friends don’t necessarily make good group members. You’ll be more likely to goof off and get a grand ol’ heap of nothing done. If I could choose who I worked with now, I’d choose people I definitely can get along with, but not too well.

2) COMMUNICATE

Please talk to each other. With your mouth (or text), that you can use to say things. Shocking, right? DO make a Facebook group and keep each other up to date. If someone’s not pulling their weight, DO call them out on it. In a civil way, of course. Personalities do clash, people have biases and make assumptions about each other. That’s why communication is so important.

3) Organization

Get organized as soon as possible. This includes delegating roles, work distribution, and making sure everyone is on the same page. Use a to-do app, Google Drive, whatever. It makes life SO much easier for everyone involved.

4) Have an open mind

Be flexible, don’t always assume you have it right. Be open to criticism, and listen to everyone’s ideas.

5) DO THE STUFF YOU’RE MEANT TO DO…

It seems obvious but a really important step some people inexplicably forget to do.

6) …ON TIME.

Yes, set DEADLINES for when you want to be finished. Which should NOT be the SUBMISSION DEADLINE itself. Say, 3 days before to be safe. It sounds like overkill but you KNOW you’re going to miss your soft deadline so don’t make the hard deadline your soft deadline… does that make sense?

7) Be positive!

The final step in solving exam questions is usually “check your work” – so it makes sense that this final step is something I’m really bad at doing. I can get quite stressed if things don’t go as planned. Most of the times things do work out in the end, so it’s really not worth losing sleep over. Anxiety isn’t good for the heart. So no matter what you do, you’ll survive.

And on that note, I’ll try to be super positive for exams next week, which is what everyone else is talking about 🙂 Good luck everyone!

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Samantha Woon

Hi there! My name is Samantha Woon and I grew up in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. aka some obscure country in Southeast Asia. I’ll be living at O’Rorke Hall in 2017; I haven’t even met them yet as of writing this but I know they’re awesome people (from what I gather from Facebook chats). I’ve chosen to study Engineering at Auckland Uni, mainly because… I dunno, why does anyone do anything?
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