SINGLED OUT

Feb 19, 2019-

Dear Aunt,

I am third-year student pursuing my undergraduate degree in Information Technology. I am not a brilliant student, but I am well aware about my results and want to score a CGPA that will get me into a good grad school in the future. I have been doing fairly good in my academics, expect for group work assignments.

In our college, groups are divided by alphabetical order according to our surnames and there are three members in each group. In the beginning, I was very happy that I was coincidently paired with my best friend. Apart from us, there is a guy in our group who seems to not care much about his studies or grades. For the first two years of college, that didn’t bother me, because my best friend and I could finish the projects on our own. We didn’t even care about the other guy doing his share of work and never demanded any effort from him.

But since the beginning of this year, to my utter dismay, my best friend and this guy started dating and now I have no help from either of them. I have no idea what has happened to my best friend, but I am under serious pressure to complete projects on my own, due to their constant apathy towards the assignments. They have been getting equal grades without even putting any effort. I feel that this is not fair but I cannot find ways to confront my best friend. How do I tell her that she should focus more on her studies than dating this guy? Will I come off as the jealous one? Should I talk to the teachers instead? What should I do?

—Rohit

Dear Rohit,

Having trouble in group assignments is something most people face in college. But your case is worse. You are not getting help from a single group member and that can definitely put you in a tight spot. In order to get out of this situation, you need to talk to your best friend. It is necessary for you to understand that young love can sometimes be stupid and your friend might be going through that phase, as she is neither giving attention to her studies nor understanding your efforts in the group assignments.

If you are really best friends with her, sit her down and express your concerns calmly. Explain to her in detail why you are having this conversation with her. If you do so, there will be no room for jealousy or misunderstanding—given that your friend is mature enough to understand that. If she is the kind of person who is sensitive then a little step towards clear communication can go miles. Maybe, she does not get the gravity of the situation and isn’t aware of your situation, thinking that you’ve been handling the assignments easily so far.

But if she is not ready to understand your point of view, even after you have a one-on-one talk with her, then you should stand up for yourself. You are right—it is unfair to handle the pressure of group work on your own while others reap the benefits of your toil without any contribution. Talk to your teachers about your problem—ask your teachers to talk to your friend and your other group partner. If things still remain the same, you can ask to change the group.

Remember that it is not selfish to look out for yourself and people who continuously repeat the same mistakes even after multiple warnings are toxic to your life. You may fear losing their friendship, but any relationship is a two-way street, and it is the responsibility of both parties to save the friendship. So, do not feel obligated to quietly take whatever your ‘friend’ offers.

Published: 19-02-2019 11:28

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