Working Together Can Be a Stressful Endeavor


Kyle Brennan

Group work can either be exciting or dreadful, depending on partners and assignments.

Maia Colavito, Reporter

WOODBURY — When doing work in school, people either immediately search for someone else to join, or are content with working all by themselves. Whichever one you are, it most likely depends on the experience you have gained, and some of them are not so fun to remember.

“In fourth grade, I worked with three of these half-wits on a project with volcanoes,” Nonnewaug freshman Grace Rubacha said. “I stayed up until 4 in the morning working the volcanoes, lava, magma, the whole show, and guess what these kids did — absolutely nothing.”

Getting a good grade is hard enough when you have to complete assignments for yourself, but to do the work for others as well is unreasonable. Many students get irritated by group work.

“It’s really hard to navigate people’s personalities, and, when one person doesn’t pull their weight, it’s frustrating for others,” said Jessica McKay, Nonnewaug’s English department chairperson. “We’ve all been in this situation. It’s like the Hunger Games when you start group work. Everyone knows who is going to do all the work, so then everyone else just sits back and decides their level of commitment to the project. That is why people hate group work.”

While other group members not pulling their weight is annoying, sometimes the problem is not being able to choose who you work with.

“I’m OK with working in a group, if I can choose to work with people that I’m friends with,” Nonnewaug freshman Brynn Clampett said. “When the teacher pairs me up with people that I don’t know, it’s awkward and the work isn’t as coordinated.” 

For most, working in a group is always going to be worse than working alone, but McKay insists that the struggles are worth overcoming.

“People learn best from each other and learn best from problem-solving and discovering together,” McKay said. “All the questions you have ever had while working in a group, are questions everyone has.  You’re going to push each other to get to the next level in your inquiry. I encourage everyone to break the toxic group work cycle.”