Freshman year of college was a very disorienting time for me. I was unsure, I was nervous, and I was awkward. All of the social insecurities that I thought I’d come to terms with in high school came back and this time, they were stronger than ever.

One weekend, I found myself heading out to a party with a group of people from my dorm. At the time, they seemed far cooler than me. Their sneakers, their haircuts, the effortless way they laughed with one another — they seemed to have everything figured out.

I felt like an imposter.

I resolved to just keep up and try not to say anything that would make them realize how out of place I felt. Then someone — coincidentally also named Mike — interrupted the running dialogue in my head to say “hey”. I was so grateful.

Mike then went on to tell me each person’s name and share a funny, humanizing story about them.

After five minutes of talking with Mike, I felt less like an outsider. I'll never forget that night and how that one act of kindness made me feel anchored and accepted. Ever since, I have looked out for opportunities to extend this same sense of kinship to others who might be feeling like outsiders.

You’d be surprised how little it takes and how much it means to simply show someone that they too belong.

Mike Radparvar
Co-Founder, Holstee

👉  Dive deeper into Kinship and the relationships that have played a formative role in your life with your Kinship Guide [Member Content].

Begin your day feeling grounded and inspired.

A free 30-day email series where we share the most impactful stories and ideas that have helped us on our journey to live a more meaningful life.

✌️ Free. Unsubscribe anytime.

Welcome to Holstee

Our monthly membership helps conscious people (like you!) live a more meaningful life through actionable guide, inspiring art, thought-provoking content and a like-minded community.


This article is part of our series on the theme of Kinship.

EXPLORE Kinship →

Our Themes

Distilled from our Manifesto, positive psychology, the science of mindfulness, and ancient philosophic studies we have identified twelve themes core to living both fully and mindfully. We mapped these twelve themes to each of the twelve months in a year. Together with our community we explore one each month.