You may think that choosing your group mates in Poly is pretty easy. However, that is not the case at all. Based on my own personal experience, choosing the RIGHT group mates plays a huge part in your poly life and most importantly…in your grades! After all, in group projects, your grades will all be equal.
Fret not! Here are some tips on how to choose the right group mates in poly. (PS: based on my experience)
Tip #1: Do not choose your close friends
As much as you want to be with your friends for group projects, it might not be the best move in the long run. I agree, being with your close friends gives you that comfortability and some may even argue that it skips the process of getting to know your new group mates.
However, based on my own experience there are many downsides to it. Having your close friends as your group mates would bring up lots of complications. You will be vulnerable to distractions and that ‘comfortability’ might turn against you when you realise that your friends are not being effective and efficient. This will eventually lead to unproductivity and unsatisfactory within the group.
Tip #2: Choose your group mates early
During your poly studies, you will definitely need to do group project. Hence, as you start making friends in your orientation group during your school’s camp, you have already taken the first step to choose your groupmates! Choose someone you are comfortable to work with, someone who will contribute to the group project so that they will carry the workload together until Year 3!
Tip #3: You cannot choose your groupmates at times
It is not always about picking who you want your group mates to be. In another point of view, you just cannot choose your own groupmates. During project time, we might not have the liberty to choose our group mates due to the course nature or some of the coursemates happened not to be in the same clique as you. However, we should not shun or reject the group or group mates allocated for you. Just like Project M.A.D.
Project M.A.D was my first ever group project in poly Year 1. It was very unique as it was a cohort project. My entire cohort in our course had to work together to create one big project with Boy’s Town as it was our beneficiaries. I cannot choose my groupmates this time but I learnt the importance of working with different people in order to have a successful project.
We organised a concert in school and all the proceeds went to Boy’s Town.
Tip #4: Have an open mind
Do not be too judgmental and be open to grouping with strangers. Do not look down on the ‘quiet’ ones or anyone you might consider “not worth” to be a part of your group, they might end up being the ones that bring you an ‘A’ in your group projects. You will never really know what a person’s strengths and weaknesses truly are by just observing from a distance. It might surprise you that the quietest person would actually have the best ideas. Who knows, that stranger might end up being the most valuable person in the group.
In my 2nd year of poly, I was grouped with the quietest person in the class (3rd girl from the left in the photo above). Fast forward, she ended up being our group leader and lead us to a very successful project!
Clean-up on Kayak is one of my favourite group projects in my poly life. We led Youths-At-Risks and advocated for the marine life by picking litters in the sea through Kayaking in conjunction with Better Trails.
In poly, there are often times where you will have no say on who your groupmates will be. Therefore, the tips I have provided won’t be much help. However, a tip from personal experience. You should be open to it and work with whoever you have. Have a positive mindset, I personally believe that everyone has something to offer. It might just take some time to figure someone out, be patient. After all, your GPA is at stake here and your grades will only be as good as everyone in the group.
Poly prepares us for the future. Hence, every poly requires you to go for internships. If you do not have any idea who you will work with and what type of people they are in a workplace, its best to hone your people and communication skills in poly first before going out into the real world. Poly provides us with the safety net that we need when we make mistakes but it might be different from the working world.
In a nutshell, you can never escape group projects in your poly life, so be open and smart about deciding your groupmates if given the opportunity! Fun fact: It is actually easier to score in group projects compared to individual assignments so take advantage! With the right and positive mindset, you will easily breeze through group projects!