Personal Development StudioLab




A Curious Life

A willingness to wonder

There is a direct connection between curiosity and design thinking. One description of design thinking is a willingness to be an amateur with expertise. The Personal Development StudioLab helps to foster a love of connecting, growing, and learning - a curious life.

Choosing to be intentionally curious can lead to a more productive, optimistic, and effective quality of awareness. This is critical for the optimization of your energy in pursuit of your goals.

The choice to be curious must be intentional because we, as humans, naturally crave certainty. Our survival as a species depends on our ability to adapt and innovate. Change is inevitable and essential, but timing is everything. If we are willing to endure the cost of change the result is growth and flexibility.

Students dancing

Our Model

Igniting curiosity

The Personal Development StudioLab is a space where students develop their life approach through awareness, understanding, and response to their physical, emotional, and cognitive experiences.

Our curriculum aims to unlock the ability of all students to engage with the world in a unique, productive, and open way. Managing the stresses of contemporary life is a journey for everyone, and students in particular are at a time of great life changes, mounting challenges, and clashing priorities. Our curriculum is intended to shift each student's distinctive mindset, develop their intentions, and focus their attention.


The C’s of the Self

Each of us possesses a set of inherent qualities key to our growth and success: curiosity, calm, clarity, compassion, courage, confidence, connection, and creativity.

Throughout our lives, we have experiences that generate personal narratives/parts, which can alienate and separate us from these qualities. One of the goals of the Personal Development StudioLab is to help Northwestern students engage curiously with their recurring, unproductive narratives so they can explore opportunities to rewrite them in more productive ways.

The Big Three C's

In the Personal Development StudioLab, we believe curiosity is the key C because it unlocks what we consider to be the big three C’s of calm, clarity, and compassion. As we connect to our big three C’s through experience and practice, we empower our four remaining C’s of authentic courage, confidence, connection, and creativity.

Our Curriculum

What do we explore in our classes?

In our classes, we prepare you to act (craft, connect, create) as you ignite your curiosity.


Focus your attention

Think of your attention as a flashlight that creates a beam of light, what is illuminated by the light as your awareness, and where you shine it as your intention. Learn to manage your intention, to refine it, and to strengthen your ability to stay focused. The quality of your awareness determines the quality of the actions you can take.


Consider your relationships

We want to build productive relationships with everyone in our lives: from your personal, vocational, and societal relationships to the physical and spiritual. Understand who you want and need to connect with.


Build your relationship tree

Visualize your relationships to understand their current status — where are you currently spending your attention versus where could you be spending it? Then learn to balance your relationships, using your visualization as a plan for the future and as a monitoring device. Now you are prepared to act on your curiosity.

Our Values

2 students sitting and listening

Understanding over knowing

Cultivate a willingness to wonder.

Group of students talking and laughing

Connection over exclusion

Prioritize connecting and growing relationships.

3 student playing a game

Compassion over perfectionism

Engage openly, with courage and a willingness to learn.

Our History

Growing alongside our students

View the growth of our resources and philosophy over time.

Learn more