“Everyone find a partner!”

Navigating how to handle partner or group work can be difficult. However with more time you will become more and more confident and  comfortable with it. To help, I have a few tips I would like to share. First off is to make friends within your major. Chances are that they will be taking a lot of the same classes as you. This creates a few go-to pairings, allowing you to be confident in your partner choice and aide in your shared success. If this doesn’t work for you, the next thing I would like to suggest is to make new friends within your classes. The people sitting next to you probably have similar interests or course goals as you, and would most likely be a great partner. By making a few friends early, you might have a few great options for partners on big projects later in the semester.

Work load is where partner work gets really tricky. How do you make all the work equal and fair to everyone? I would like to suggest simply dividing the assignment into equal parts for each partner involved. In doing so, each participant in the group or partnership has their own responsibilities to worry about and is forced to do their fair share of the assignment. Unfortunately, no matter how successful you think your group might be you may run into a problem. If someone still doesn’t do their work, you might be affected or more seriously your grade may be affected. In this case, I would discuss the situation privately with your professor. Consequently, your professor will see how committed you are and will most likely not punish you for the mistakes of your group. On the inverse, they might just tell you to deal with it on your own. With this in mind, my last tip is to always advocate for yourself. If you are speaking to the professor or to the other students in your group, you should always make sure you are spoken for. While it may be awkward calling someone out for not doing their share of the work, it is only fair that the issue be brought up and resolved. By speaking up, you might motivate your partner or group to actually do the work.

Hopefully these comments will help in any partner or group working struggle you may have!

-Megan

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