By Mary Grace Richardson, Co-editor
You wake up. Soft sunlight peeks through your blinds. Everything is quiet except for a bird or two tweeting outside. Still easing into the day, you stretch and then roll over to check the time on your phone.
You have 68 unread text messages from the time you went to bed, all ending with exclamation marks or multiple question marks in a row.
Don’t get sucked into the urgency. Group texts are helpful for getting that group presentation or paper together, but sometimes those convos move too fast when you’re busy doing something else—like sleeping, eating, generally doing things to sustain life, or working on your six other presentations and papers. If you can’t keep up with your classmates sending their personal reflections on these projects (or life), try these responses so they think you’re still paying attention:
That’s a great question. What does everyone think?
Look at you. Affirming your team members. Gathering feedback. Helping others feel heard. With this response, other chat members will automatically fill you in on what’s going on. It’s also productive so that everyone can offer their opinion and move forward without having to meet in person and exchange dumbfounded looks at each other and then their laptops.
Thank you so much! You’re a star (insert beaming star emoji)
Most likely, someone did something awesome for the project. Or if no one did, congratulations to everyone for tolerating this bombardment of messages!
Compliments not only serve the recipients, but also the people who give them. Going out of your way to say something nice and give thoughtful praise—or just taking the three seconds to type something generic and press send—amplifies your self-confidence and nourishes your well-being, too. You feel good, they feel good, and somehow you’re closer to getting this project finished.
Omggg, yes! Let me know if there’s anything I can do to help.
Even if you haven’t caught all the details, let your classmates know you’re with them and mutually freaked about whatever part of the project they’re dealing with. Chime in with a strong agreement to whatever was just said and pivot into asking what needs to happen next. You’re their rock.
Hmmm what do you think the professor wants to see?
We’re all constantly trying to figure it out: what the h-ll does Professor Moffett want?? This cuts straight to the point, and when it comes down to it, is what matters most. If your group text finally uncovers the mystery, let me know.
Is anyone free to meet at the Pub to talk about it?
Kills three birds with one stone: satiates your hunger, gets work done, and supports the local economy. And oops, if it turns out they already made plans to meet at the Pub, easy! Just respond: “Right, right, just confirming!”
Fellow crisis-managing T-birds, it’s time to textually shine, because you’re ready to pay attention to that group chat without really having to pay attention. Don’t forget the applauding hands and thumbs-up emojis!