Take Initiative To Learn, Be Responsible


by Katie Anthony

Being a junior this year, I’ve encountered many different living situations, and a variety of group projects. However, I’ve found that this year has been the most challenging.

First and foremost, here’s a disclaimer. I’m not the most organized person in the world—if you walk into my apartment, you’ll see that there are bottles of flavored water covering my desk and sweatpants covering the floor of my room—but when it comes to my schoolwork, I know how to prioritize.

In the first half of the semester, in almost all of my classes, I have been put into a group project situation. These group projects have ranged from group papers, to working with groups on a class-basis (including different assigned readings), and a few presentations.

While I understand the importance of group work—to be exposed to different ideas, to have someone outside of your “norm” challenge your thoughts and opinions—I found that the majority (not all) of these groups were mostly frustrating and not academically beneficial.

There were a few times that all of the group members were assigned the same reading, which made the class more beneficial (and in turn, it helped my patience) and my ideas were challenged and I learned some things. On the other hand, there were a few occasions where my group members and myself were assigned different chapters and my learning, I felt, was left in their hands.

This is how it would typically go. I would get a call or text an hour before class, or, on a good day, this phone call would come the day before class asking me what the reading was. Here’s the million dollar question: Why would I know what your reading assignment is, when we have different chapters? Why is that my responsibility, and why can you not be responsible enough to get your reading done when it obviously affects the entire group?

This particular group member had a planner, the assignment was written down in said planner (supposedly), and yet, I would still get this text or phone call three times a week asking me what the assignment is.

Once you reach the age of 18, you are legally considered an adult. With that being said, my advice to everyone on the campus is this: Act like it.

I’m paying to go to college to learn, and I love this teacher and I love the class, but I don’t love the fact that some of my classmates are irresponsible and cannot own up to their own learning, especially when it affects myself and my learning.

If you’re going to spend money on a planner, use it. Write down your assignments, refer back to it and be responsible. If you don’t care about your own education, then fine, that’s the decision that you’ve made—but please, for the love of all things holy, don’t let your decisions ruin and/or affect those of the people around you.