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Responsibility and Teamwork


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I guess I maybe need to rant a bit, but I could use some advice or words of comfort from anyone who cares, too.

 

I'm just tired of people not fulfilling their responsibilities. This week, so far, I was at school Monday until 2:00 AM, Tuesday 8:00 AM, Wednesday 11:00 PM, and today 2:00 AM. I've been working on a group project, and about half of our group doesn't do anything. When they do stuff, it often is not acceptable and has to be redone. I typically start my day around 9:00 AM.

 

The thing is, I don't drink, party, watch TV, hang out with friends, or do anything fun. I saw a movie last weekend for the first time in over a month. I typically don't have time to eat dinner, and sometimes I have to skip lunch. And I'm still falling behind.

 

I've been doing a lot of extracurricular stuff around school, and that does detract from my schoolwork. For example, I recently organized a training workshop for our school's students. The skills we learned are almost essential for finding jobs, but the school doesn't teach us this, which is why we need this workshop. Funny thing is, I already had these skills, and organized the workshop just because I wanted to help my peers. I also tutor and help my friends with their homework and projects, and when it comes right down to it I don't even have time to do homework for myself.

 

I'm also one of the lead programmers on a research project our school is very proud of. It's a team, and most people spend upwards of 15 hours per week working on it. I spend at least 40 per week.

 

I do it because I learn from it, more than I do from class. The irony is, I may not graduate because of it. I'm programming machine vision for a robot, which is a very daunting task. Others come to me for help and I've spent hours getting them all set up to work autonomously, but then as soon as I go to work on my own stuff, they stop working and say it's too hard.

 

Also, I do it because I said I would. Too many times in the past, I've been the one who sticks through it when a number of people drop. Each time someone quits because it's "too stressful" it makes it even more stressful on those of us who are left, and it just snowballs. Until recently, I had never let the ball drop, and week after week, year after year I've paid my dues and the dues of those who've quit.

 

But now, I am seriously falling behind in one of my classes. When I ask the very people I've helped for help, they just ignore me. Why? Some say I'm developing an ego, but others say I'm still very humble and reasonable. I say I target my criticisms on those who have promised to get something done for the project, but don't because they spend their time drinking and partying.

 

What can I do to get out of this? I've been so stressed that I've been in physical pain lately, had difficulty breathing, sleeping, my grades are dropping to the point that I have to worry about possibly failing a class, and I'm getting so irritated with my peers that I just want to give up. What can I do? And why can't people just grow up and be responsible finally?

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Have you tried talking to the professor of the class? Tell them your situation, and point out that your fellow group members are unwilling to change their ways and become more helpful with the projects. Either you should be getting extra points for the effort you are putting forth, or the others should get a smaller amount of credit, because they put forth such a weak effort. It is so irritating when people do not pull their weight, but I'd think a bad grade or two might change their minds very quickly.

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In college you get assigned to groups to accomplish projects. In real life you get assigned to groups to accomplish projects. The people who succeed in life are those who take the lead, take control, and make things happen - regardless of circumstances. The truth is, there are always going to be leaches - people who rely on you to do their work, but they don't last long.

 

College is a trying experience. If you want to stand out - work hard. Don't complain. You can't let anyone bring you down, especially people you have no choice but to work with....I think instructors intentionally assign groups to include the weak and the strong just to see how you will cope with having to pull someone elses weight.

 

You seem to have a good head on your shoulders - don't give up!

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What can I do to get out of this? I've been so stressed that I've been in physical pain lately, had difficulty breathing, sleeping, my grades are dropping to the point that I have to worry about possibly failing a class, and I'm getting so irritated with my peers that I just want to give up. What can I do? And why can't people just grow up and be responsible finally?

 

If you're having these health problems you need to see a school counselor or your doctor pronto. School is stressful, but it shouldn't create physical pain and breathing problems.

 

Sounds to me like you've taken on too much work. Your first priority at school should be to do well in your classes. If your grades are suffering because of your extracurriculars, you need to cut down on your extracurriculars, no matter how cool they are. Either that, or just get a bad grade in the class and accept it. As a recent grad, I don't recommend this.

 

Since it's pretty clear to me at least that you're burning yourself out, I suggest sitting down with a list of the things that you do at school, and figuring out what you can cut out.

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