Episode 6, How to Get Out of Your Shell and Find Your Home Away From Home

In this episode,Youth Advisory Board members Kaelyn and Dannie probe the brilliant minds of Lauren Westbrook McIntosh and Dr. Michelle Maidenburg for the key to social wellness in college.




More on this topic from our Youth Advisory Board members:

Top Five Tips from Lauren and Michelle

By Dannie Bell
A lot of my questions in the podcast were centered on my goal of a flourishing social life in college.  As it turns out, I might have to go outside of my comfort zone in order to get there.  
“It’s impossible not to love someone whose story you’ve heard.”
I think one of the most challenging things that people struggle with when it comes to socializing with others, or meeting people for the first time, is finding the right words to say.  And so often we fall back on small talk that seems very surface-level, like “Oh, where are you from?” or, “What do you do?” or, “What are some of the activities you like?”. I try to encourage myself and people that I work with to go deeper to more powerful questions. So asking people how they decided to take a particular step in their life’s journey, understanding where they’ve come from, and what’s meaningful for them. – Lauren
An Exit Ramp
Walking into an engagement, such a party or a gathering, you can say, “This is so fun! I actually have to get ready to go in about 30 minutes. But I really wanted to stop by.” You have the choice to either stay, or to say, “You know what? I’m actually really having fun. And now I’m going to stick around and blow off that thing that I was claiming I had to do.” I think it’s always really useful to be in control of your own time, and set yourself up in advance for an exit ramp if you need it, so that you’re not forcing yourself to stay in uncomfortable circumstances.  And it can sometimes make it a little bit easier to take risks. – Lauren
Give People a Chance
But don’t decide by talking to somebody for five minutes that “these are not my people,” because of fear or judgement. So I’m going to say, also, to stick it out. Give people a chance. Not everyone is who they really, genuinely are the first time they meet somebody, so you kind of have to leave room for that. – Michelle
Power in Numbers
“The second thing I would say is that there is power in numbers. So the more people you meet, the better chance you’re giving yourself at finding your people.” – Michelle
On Vulnerability
Vulnerability is the ability to to share your true experience, which in certain instances is not going to be fun or enjoyable to share, but can ultimately help to draw you closer to other people, and can feel contagious because other people are more likely to share vulnerably with you if they feel that you are authentically sharing vulnerably with them. – Lauren 

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