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Science of Creativity

5 Ways Improv Is Helping My Freshman Survive College

News

Last week, my wife and I joined a new demographic: parents who’ve sent their child off to college for the first time. Our son Nick joined the class of 2020 at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York. It’s a beautiful campus with amazing facilities, but leaving him there was akin to dropping an anvil on our hearts. The moment we walked away from him at the Case Campus Center, we had to fight our collective urge to turn back and hold onto him for dear life and never let go.

But that’s what this is all about, right? Letting go? In the days since, we’ve texted and emailed and spoken by phone, and I’m beginning to see that my son is far more prepared for this journey than I was at his age … or even am now. This is mostly due to the fact that he’s an improviser.

My wife and I have worked at The Second City for some 30-odd years, which means Nick has been directly―and indirectly―studying improvisation since the moment he was born. Already, we can see how his improv skills and practices are playing out, and I’ve noted five specific areas where this is at play.

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Tags
why improv

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