Coming to Emory has changed my views on collaboration. In high school, I did not see much benefit to collaborating with my classmates in my academic courses. This is because I often saw my peers as less motivated than me. Because of this, I thought that working with my peers could only hold me back. I was academically successful studying by myself, and therefore did not see any reason to change. I did play team sports, however, so I recognized that collaboration within non-academic contexts could often be positive.
However, after coming to Emory, I realized that collaboration can have profound benefits. For example, after coming to Emory, I realized that studying with friends could help me learn content faster and gain a deeper understanding of it. For example, after doing badly on my first midterm, I formed a study group with some classmates who were in a similar situation. By reviewing the material with each other outside of class, we all gained a significantly better understanding of it, and started scoring higher on exams. This situation taught me that there could be profound benefits to collaborating within academic contexts.
Although collaboration can sometimes be difficult and time-consuming (especially because people may come in with different perspectives), the process of reaching consensus can sometimes result in superior ideas. When everyone is respectful and devoted in a collaborative space, working together can be extremely positive. Yet, in contexts such as group projects,
Also, I still feel that some tasks are better suited towards collaboration than others.
For example, when writing an analytical essay, I feel that I am entitled to my own intellectual property. Yet, I also realize that discussing my writing with others can help me improve the depth of my ideas.
Thus, I feel that collaboration is not universally good or bad. When collaboration is used effectively, its benefits can be enormously positive. However, when members of a group are not equally devoted, it can be frustrating to feel like one is being taken advantage of, as well as burdensome.