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College seems sort of like the place where you find people you vibe with …but in reality no one actually wants to invest the emotional effort or time into it.Margaret Clark, head of Trumbull College and professor of psychology, investigates this phenomenon extensively in her lab, which studies close relationships.Examining the ways in which various forms of personal expression, mindsets and social frameworks influence the maintenance of close relationships, the Clark Relationship Science Laboratory provides insight on an area Clark describes as a gap in the literature about love.You’ve got to quit self-protecting and be willing to reveal weaknesses because that’s what you need support on, and you’ve got to quit evaluating your partner because no one wants to be evaluated,” said Clark.Though these three elements facilitate the type of “social penetration” that Clark, professor Lindsey A. Aragón describe in their paper “Relationship Initiation: Bridging the gap between initial attraction and well-functioning communal relationships,” they also prevent the development of a healthy relationship.You have the reliable ones who are taken and the ones who like playing the field — also known as the ones who can’t, for their lives, decide on which seat to take. Initiation has always been an obstacle for the formation of relationships.At the end of the game, all the chairs are taken, and you’re just left with your disappointed mother on the phone who asks about the “boyfriend” you made up months ago just to shut her up. Ridden with social anxiety and the crippling fear of rejection, the lack of an answer to the question: “What if they don’t like me back?
Reinforcing the prominence of self-promotion, self-protection and partner evaluation that Clark described, the imminent need to uphold a particular image on campus becomes an obstacle for individuals seeking more than just a hookup.Our faculty are dedicated to helping students reach their maximum potential.And with more than 100 undergraduate and graduate degree programs, South provides plenty of avenues for discovery. Grand prize for the winner, and the first 400 attendees to check in will receive a limited edition Musical Chairs t-shirt (redeemable with a ticket).
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South is a place where students discover and strengthen their passions, find their career paths, and form connections that result in lifelong relationships. College is an exciting time for you and your student, and we want to help you navigate through making your decision and finding resources for your student.