When an instructor assigns a group project, bet your mind heads in one of two directions: (1) “Sweet, I can take the backseat!” or (2) “Crap, I’m going to have to do this all myself.”
It’s no secret you learn a lot about your team members and their working styles from these projects… kind of like in cheerleading! Here’s how to land the grade you want without getting upset with your group:
1. Pick a captain: A squad can’t get anywhere until the captain rolls out the routine for you to learn. Assign someone to take the lead—maybe it’s you!—who can map out what needs to be done. Also, no one will get anywhere if everyone takes charge at once, so decide early on who should do this to avoid tensions down the road.
2. Set your schedule: Think cheerleaders start prepping the week before a competition? Think again, because the final result takes weeks, if not months, of practice. Make sure to set daily or weekly goals so that you begin the project like champs.
3. Reinforce each other: The success of the cheerleader pyramid rests in everyone’s mutual support. Remove one member and the whole thing falls apart! Check in with each other periodically to make sure all members are on top of their deadlines. That way, nobody has to cover for anybody at the last minute!
Your parents couldn’t be more proud that you’re off to college – they’ve already bought half the bookstore’s stock of T-shirts, sweats and mugs, right? So don’t be surprised when they ask how things are going. And don’t freak out! You can fill them in and keep them happy… without giving too much away:
What you say: “I’ve joined a great study group!”
What you don’t say: … because there’s a cute guy in class whose number I want.
What you say: “I attend all of the guest speakers’ lectures!”
What you don’t say: … so that my professor will give me extra credit.
What you say: “I always get to class early!”
What you don’t say: …because all my classes start after 1PM.
What you say: “I’m getting a head start on studying for midterms!”
What you don’t say: … for Phys Ed 101.
What you say: “I’ve even started to tutor other students!”
What you don’t say: … so that I can fund the social life you’ll never know about.
Whatever you’re “not giving up,” you could probably use some good tunes to maintain your motivation. Here’s a little playlist of songs I’m jamming to today:
“We’re Not Gonna Take It” by Twisted Sister
“Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor
“It’s My Life” by Bon Jovi
“Move Along” by All-American Rejects
“Miss Independent” by Kelly Clarkson
“Survivor” by Destiny’s Child
“Stronger” by Kanye West
Just got back from the first cheer practice of the season and, hate to say it, we’re a little rusty. I guess you can’t spend all of summer partying like in Last Friday Night and expect to be in prime cheer shape! Right now, we feel kind of like this:
OK, maybe not that worn out (actually, they weren’t half bad!), but here’s some inspiration:
Or the sassy Laker Girls:
We could definitely use a lesson or two from them on how to inspire all the guys in the stands. I’ll check back later in the semester with more updates!
Guess what, guys!? The women of a Filipino village went on a sex strike earlier this summer to end violence in their area! These brave women said “no way!” to their husbands until they agreed to peace, just like the original Lyssie in Aristophanes’ play, and according to a CNN article, “their stand helped end clashes in July between villages in rural Mindanao Island.”
So let’s give it up for these fearless Filipino women!
Here are some more helpful hints on how to navigate the quad like a pro:
1. Dorm walls are paper-thin
No, mom and dad won’t really know if you have “guests” in your room late at night… but your floormates might. Remember that every gossip session or phone conversation (or whatever else you do behind closed doors) might not be as private as you’d like it to be. I’m not trying to freak you out or anything, but just warning you of the nuances of “community living.” The more you make friends with your neighbors, the easier it is to laugh off any awkward moments.
2. The library isn’t the only place to study
It’s the week before midterms and you need a quiet place to concentrate, PRONTO. But everyone else has the same idea and the library is packed! Explore campus for remote student lounges, empty classrooms, and even graduate school libraries for prime study real estate. Just remember to use reading weeks to focus on your studies and not your study partners… unless you’re taking anatomy!
3. Some people get paid to listen your problems
Maybe it’s academic competition, maybe you’re having problems fitting in, maybe you’re just homesick… whatever’s bugging you, there is always someone on campus, on call (and on payroll) ready to help. Talk to your RA and/or seek out the counseling services at your university. They’re accommodating, great listeners, and they keep everything confidential.