An invitation to Lauren Barron and Peyton Harris’ podcast journey

During the early stages of starting their podcast, seniors Lauren Barron and Peyton Harris pose for their podcast cover photo, taken in Hilton Head, S.C. over the summer. Through the making of the podcast, they were able to learn how to manage their responsibilities. “Motivation is key,” Barron said. “We have been taking a hiatus since school has started which was super unmotivating. Having a healthy life and work balance is so important to find.”

Courtesy of Lauren Barron and Peyton Harris

During the early stages of starting their podcast, seniors Lauren Barron and Peyton Harris pose for their podcast cover photo, taken in Hilton Head, S.C. over the summer. Through the making of the podcast, they were able to learn how to manage their responsibilities. “Motivation is key,” Barron said. “We have been taking a hiatus since school has started which was super unmotivating. Having a healthy life and work balance is so important to find.”

A studio, microphones, bright lights, editors and producers. You may think all these things are necessary to produce a great podcast. But seniors Lauren Barron and Peyton Harris proved otherwise as they produced their own podcast, “Uninvited,”  without any experience, or professional guidance. 

Uninvited” was made to appeal to teens in high school who struggle to fit in. They strive to be a best friend figure to their audience by offering advice. Streaming on Spotify and Apple, the two girls began their podcast journey during quarantine.

“Lauren and I found our love for podcasts and we realized there was not a podcast made for our age group,” Harris said. “It sparked the idea to create our own, and considering we both went through very different experiences in high school and middle school, it inspired us to share our story and to tell others that they’re not alone.”

Quarantine was the driving force behind making their podcast a reality. It gave Barron the inspiration to share her personal experience in middle school with bullying, self-image and mental health. 

“Ever since I left [my previous] school, I have been adamant about telling my story to others to make them feel comforted and not alone in this world,” Barron said. “We are all about breaking cliche stereotypes, one episode at a time.”

[The podcast] made me realize how alike we all really are and that we all go through very similar things in life.”

— senior Peyton Harris

Before their first episode was published August 7, Barron and Harris prepared the podcast by using editing tools such as iMovie, Voice Memos and Anchor.

“I had to learn how to work Anchor which is the platform we upload on,” Harris said. “Lauren and I work very well together considering I am great at editing, uploading and making graphics, and she takes over the captions and the socials.”

Barron and Harris were able to gain nearly 300 followers on Instagram. Featuring guest stars like Gabby Male, a fitness influencer, helped them boost their follower count. 

“We have really benefited through finding guests to bring on the podcast with either similar or different target markets,” Barron said. “We really want to get our brand out there through their platforms, as well as our own.”

Although having lots of supporters may seem exciting at first, Barron and Harris faced a lot of negativity as they entered the social media world.

“We immediately got a lot of positive and negative feedback which was really hard to deal with in the beginning since it was totally foreign to us,” Barron said. “We have to remind ourselves why we are doing what we are doing. It can be hard at times, but having each other to motivate us helps with eliminating the negative self-talk.”

Alongside positive self-reinforcement, there was even more positivity from their supporters that helped them overcome all the negativity. 

[This podcast] has helped with my overall self confidence, to practice what I preach and love who I see in the mirror.”

— senior Lauren Barron

“We had so many people reach out to us whom we never thought would have such moving and heartfelt stories,” Barron said. “Seeing all of the positivity would pull us out of the ‘funk.’ Nothing is more rewarding than seeing how we’ve pulled someone out of anxiety or depression, or just felt welcomed for once.”

Through growing their podcast, Harris and Barron were able to grow themselves and learn valuable lessons.

“[The podcast] made me realize how alike we all really are and that we all go through very similar things in life,” Harris said. 

Using her platform to advise others has helped Barron come to accept her own advice. 

“I have always hated anything awkward; awkward silence, awkward small talk, awkward anything,” Barron said. “This podcast has helped me learn to embrace that uncomfortableness and make it something to laugh at, rather than dwell on. It has also helped with my overall self confidence, to practice what I preach and love who I see in the mirror.”

Despite challenges in perception, management and scheduling, Barron and Harris hope to continue their podcast for as long as possible. As they go into their separate colleges, they plan on using Zoom to carry on with their podcast.

“We really want to grow with our audience,” Barron said. “We want to continue the pod into college and hope that we can still relate to our listeners. The fact that we have fans that can be vulnerable to a bunch of high school girls truly shows that we are putting good into this world.”