When writing the post on Avoiding Freeloaders I forgot to discuss another group, whom I have taken to calling cheap loaders!
A cheap loader will present themselves as being overtly helpful during the early stages of your degree course, offering assistance to other students, for instance sharing useful sources of information, revision notes etc.
There is nothing wrong with this in itself, most students cooperate in this way, however, the Cheap Loader is slightly different.
A Cheap Loader is a social engineer of sorts who seeks to trade low value resources and assistance for high value assistance and resources.
By offering lots of students low level assistance, they aim to create a sense of obligation in others, allowing them to recruit a smaller number of students to provide more valuable information such as access to degree assignments.
These people are almost impossible to identify until they pop the question and ask for your work.
As with any working relationship on your degree course, ensure that:
- There is balance
- Everyone contributes equally
- You never participate in plagiarism
- You set your boundaries
If someone tries to manipulate you in this way be firm, offer similar information in return, but don’t give them access to your degree coursework, or worse still, end up doing degree work for them.