The first instance where I have been in a group with a hitchhiker was in eleventh grade Advanced Chemistry class. I was in a group with two of the top girls in my grade, as well as one of the bottom guys, and myself in the middle. Every time we worked in class he never took notes. Then when we did in-class group work, he spent more time talking to any group but ours. So of course, once we tried to meet outside of class, he wanted nothing to do with it and was never there. Our way of handling this was just to simply leave his name off of our final work which of course we had to turn in. When the teacher saw this he asked us why, and when we explained the situation to him, he firmly agreed that we had done the right thing and did not give the guy any credit for our work.
The next instance was the next year in Physics class, with the same teacher. I was in the same group as the year before, minus the hitchhiker. The problem this time was actually me. I did not understand much of the material we were working on, so when we met for group work outside of class, I found myself being a couch potato. This was very bad for me, because despite going to group meetings, I learned nothing. In turn, by the time our first couple of tests came I was clueless, and I failed miserably. After my first couple of tests, I realized I could not do that or I might even not graduate. Basically I was going nowhere very fast, and I started asking my group and teacher to help me learn the material. After that, I started putting in the effort and somehow managed to finish the class with a B.
The biggest thing I have learned through this reading and my own experiences is that you should never let anyone hitchhike or be a couch potato. It will only hinder the group as a whole by picking up their slack. If you ever find yourself with a hitchhiker, be assertive and let them know you are not willing to carry their weight along with your own. Talk to your professor if you...
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