Shauna Rae Of TLC's I Am Shauna Rae Talks Coming Back For A 2nd Season - Exclusive Interview

Shauna Rae is coming back to TLC. The young reality star and her family debuted on the network with her series "I Am Shauna Rae" earlier this year, and a 2nd season is right around the corner. The show documents Rae's experience in the world after a childhood diagnosis of brain cancer affected her pituitary gland and left her standing 3 feet, 10 inches tall. In a trailer for the new season, she says that she looks like an 8-year-old. However, she's actually 22, and she's ready to take on the world. 

Aside from documenting her disability and increasing visibility for anyone who has a similar experience, the series is all about how Rae lives her life. This season will document new adventures and the resulting complications that arise as she heads out into the world. 

Below, Rae speaks exclusively to The List about returning to the network for a 2nd season and so much more. Aside from spilling the tea about what it's like to be a reality star (especially when going on dates accompanied by a camera crew), Rae also opened up about some of the things that are going on in her life — namely, learning how to drive, moving out of her parents' house, and possible college plans. She opened up about how the new season differs from her 1st at TLC and also toyed with the possibility of doing a 3rd.

Getting in the driver's seat will lead to an 'empowering moment'

It looks like one of the big hooks is that you're going to start taking driving lessons. How does it feel to get behind the wheel of a car?

To get behind the wheel of a car actually for the first time — because the only time you could count as a kid is when I sat on my mom's lap because I couldn't ever reach the pedals — so to get in the car for the actual first time and control it all by myself, it was super strange and really nerve-wracking. But it was also really cool.

My nerves definitely get the best of me my first time actually driving. But after a couple minutes of getting into it, actually, looking back at it now, it was a really cool experience, and taking the lessons and hopefully getting more comfortable is going to be a very empowering moment for me.

It definitely is going to allow me to be more independent, which is why it's such a big thing for me to have, which [builds up] an even bigger moment [of] when I actually have my own car and I start driving by myself and I'm more independent.

Speaking about independence, it looks like another thing that happens is you do move out. What has that experience been like for you so far?

The moving out experience, it's been definitely an adjustment. If you think about it, it was going to be an adjustment for me no matter what. I've never lived without my family or my parents. Even if it was a summer, I spent it at my sister's or something. So there's always been someone there for me, a very close safety net. For this move-out, that's not an option all the time. There's not going to be someone right down the hall; they're going to be probably an hour away. So it was definitely an adjustment emotionally but also an adjustment physically because I had to figure out how to do all that.

Dating in front of a camera crew presents unique challenges

Your love life is coming into play this season. How are things going on the romance front?

They're open. I definitely have quite a few pathways I can take romantically, and I'm definitely keeping an open mind and going with the flow. If something happens romantically, if it's taken that far, I'm going to let it be taken that far. But I'm also not going to put pressure on myself or anyone else for there to be feelings when there [don't] need to be.

What's it like going on a date with a camera crew in tow?

Going on a date with a camera crew is very uncomfortable a bit, because I love my crew that I work with. They're absolutely amazing. They are a bunch of guys, and they're all like my father. It's like going on a date with your father and a bunch of them in a sense, so it's definitely a little uncomfortable, but it also provides safety for me because I know that if something does go wrong with the date, the people there have my back.

Does it get easier the more you do it?

The more you do it, the more it gets easier, because the more [time] you spend with the people you work with every day, the more comfortable you are being in front of them. And the cameras — you kind of forget about them because it is a job and you know when you're on camera and when you are having your actual off-camera time. But it's sometimes hard for the brain to separate the two, so you end up being more of yourself than you've shown on camera before. It does get easier, but it's always going to be a little weird because it's always a first-time experience for the guy.

Did you mention that you're working with a matchmaker?

In Season 1, we did work with a matchmaker, and a date from the matchmaker is shown in Season 2. But after that date, we decided that the matchmaking wasn't the best fit for me.

Season 2 showcases more about Shauna Rae's family

How did it feel to come back for a 2nd season on TLC?

Coming back for a 2nd season is a great opportunity to show people that some of the perceptions they had from Season 1, the six episodes, that doesn't actually show a lot [of] what goes on in my everyday life. It's definitely going to show people a larger insight into my family's life and how they're personally affected by what I go through and what they personally go through also. I don't think Season 1 highlighted my family's individuality as much as Season 2, so I'm looking forward to seeing how people react to how each of us are individually.

Are there any ways that this 2nd season differs from the 1st?

The [1st] season was more of a broadened horizon on, this is my life, here's my disability, this is some of the things I have to face. Season 2 goes into actual detail on parts of my life, and it talks about my mental health and my sister's mental health and our personal journeys [of] how we got to who we are. A lot [of] that was lacking in Season 1. Season 1 was a great kicker, but with the lack of episodes, you can't really get in detail and in depth personally. So I think people are going to get to know us better personally [across] all spectrums. People are going to understand that I'm more than my disability.

It's so true that the more time you spend on camera, the more people will get to know more aspects of your life. It's great to get to show that much of yourself. Are you interested in doing a 3rd season of the show?

[It] depend[s] on where my life is when we're approached, if we are approached for a Season 3. [It] depends on if it would be the right fit. I don't want to overwhelm myself, but I think it's extremely important for shows like this one to be shown worldwide, because not many people have an understanding [of] the immense differences all human beings have, whether it's physical, mental, [or] emotional. This show highlights that, and I know that it's made an impact in not just little people's communities but other communities. I'm really grateful for that, and I hope that if the show doesn't continue, there will be other shows like this one.

Is that what inspired you to pitch the idea for the show in the first place?

The decision to go through with making the show — my family and I decided that there wasn't a lot known about my disability. There wasn't a lot talked about with mental health as much as we wanted [there] to [be], and [mental health had] a huge effect on my life because of my disability. 

We wanted to highlight a positive journey. A lot of, not just cancer patients, but a lot of [people with] disabilities don't always have a happy-go-lucky life or something to look up to. I never did as a child, and I've always wanted that. So if I can't have it, then why not try to be it?

Shauna Rae is thinking about heading to college

It looks like you're considering going to college. What would you like to study, given the chance?

When it comes to college and education, I am very split. I am interested in so many things. Growing up, I was interested in [being a] vet and anatomy and forensics and psychology and fashion. I'm definitely split between going towards vet school or going towards a business degree ... [whether I want to] create businesses or if I want to help animals for the rest of my life. I could always do both, but I haven't decided which one to tackle first.

Is there a dream school that you would want to go to?

There's a couple. If I was to go into business or fashion business, I would love to go to FIT [Fashion Institute of Technology]. I would love to do any form of college, though. If I do a regular degree, where I haven't decided what graduate school would be, I would go to a community college for the first two years and transfer somewhere I thought was better. But as a child who wanted to be a vet her entire life, I always wanted to go to Cornell.

Shauna Rae has thoughts about a 3rd season of the show

If you were to come back for a 3rd season, is there anything that you haven't gotten to show people yet that you would like to show in the future?

In a future season, I would love to dive deeper [into] some of the more personal things in my life, like my relationships with my friends that have been developing [and] my relationships with my sisters, in a way. The show touches on it, [but] I don't think it's a big focal point. I would love to see those develop. My romantic life is still very much developing, and it's in the early development stages, so that could be a great focal point for a potential Season 3.

I definitely think that with my other family members being on the show, there's a lot they bring to the table that Season 3 could show people. My family is a huge inspiration, each one individually, and I don't know if it's going to be 100% shown in Season 2. I think it is shown, but I don't think everyone's going to walk away thinking everyone is an inspiration for the reasons I think they're an inspiration. 

That's a huge part of who I am. If people want to understand me to the fullest capability, you have to understand where I came from.

What else are you watching on TLC?

Growing up, I watched "Say Yes to the Dress." My sister Kira was a huge fan of Randy. And we watched the Duggars; we watched a lot of it growing up because it was on all the time. [TLC] was one of the channels that was constantly on in my house, so I've watched glimpses of every show probably that's on TLC. My parents got deeply involved with "7 Little Johnstons," and they really did view that show as a way to approach my future, in a way. Even though it's not the same circumstance, it is very similar. I think my family actually enjoyed TLC more than I did because it was always [turned] on in my house by someone. I watched every show, but at the same time, not every show.

Season 2 of "I Am Shauna Rae" premieres on TLC on November 1 at 10 p.m. ET/PT.

This interview has been edited for clarity.