Carley’s Corner: The Skillful Art of Shutting Up


Cameron Jett, Editor-in-Chief

Please don’t adjust the way that you’re reading. This is not your regularly-scheduled edition of Carley’s Corner. She’s back home in Arkansas, so she’s tasked her favorite writer and friend in the world to fill in for her this week.

Carley and I share the same blunt approach to advice, so I think I’ll be a natural shoo-in to speak on top of her sacred soapbox. 

I’ve sat in enough classes, been to enough meetings and spent plenty of time on social media to know a lot of you haven’t learned the powerful art of knowing when to shut up.

I grit my teeth every time someone continues their deep dive into some irrelevant story to a professor who cannot possibly care any less.

Look, I enjoy being around people who can hold conversations and bring some life to a social setting. I like seeing good content on Instagram or Snapchat. But some of you could benefit from a simple flowchart I’ve got drawn up.

1. Did we ask? 

If the answer is no, proceed to the next part.

2. Do we care?

If you made it this far and answered no to both, let that be a wake-up call.

I’ll be the realest that I can be—I love to talk. But if I didn’t ask for advice, if you’re not a professor or some authority figure or if it doesn’t involve putting money in my account, then any conversation I’m involved in better not be mentally draining.

I have things I want to do. We all do. Not everything you say is going to be interesting. I know I’m guilty of it too, but please learn to be bearable. 

Be annoyed now, but you will thank me one day.

If you have a topic or idea for Carley’s Corner, please do not contact Cameron Jett at [email protected].