Everyday, millennials are faced with the daunting new challenge that the generations before them took lightly: personal human interaction. From day one of their existence, millennials have been integrated into a highly technological society where their hunger for technology shaped their identities and attitudes unlike any generation before. For the ones born into the age of digital access, it becomes increasingly easier to find means of communicating indirectly and avoiding face to face interaction. With this, a decline of human comfortability becomes steadfast: the 18 year old that is scared to call their hairdresser and make an appointment because they will need to have a conversation with an unfamiliar person, the kid who is too afraid to talk to their college professor after class because the anxiety of face to face interaction is too high, or the group member that is afraid to organize a meeting because they will have to voice their own opinions. The absence of personal communication will lead to the downfall of human connection.
To combat this, Physical Integration of Psychology should be part of every college curriculum. A class not yet proposed, it would combine the learning aspects of a psychology class and the practice aspects of a physical theater class. The underlying roots of the problem with communication and personal relations would be addressed through learning about the science of the mind. As a graduate of AP Psychology, I can attest that learning how everyone else around me thinks and becoming aware of their mental processes greatly expands one’s interest in other people. Additionally, psychology helps people understand the motivations behind others’ words and actions. The knowledge I gained from psychology made me more accepting of working with different people to understand different kinds of communication. Implementing the basic learning principles of any psychology class would help every student feel less threatened by face to face communication with others, yet having the knowledge of how to do something is
different than actually being able to do it.
Physical theater forces people to first hand get comfortable with being around other people physically and learning to communicate through body language. A veteran of physical theater experiences myself, physical theater forced me into uncomfortable situations with other people where we had to work with our bodies in order to produce a harmonious final product. Working with people where we had to find familiarity in human touch and invading each other’s personal space made me and everyone involved much more comfortable with human interaction. It eased finding communication with nearly anyone in a face to face interaction due to the practice of becoming comfortable with strangers in even uncomfortable situations.
Taking these key goals of either class, combining psychology and physical theater into a Physical Integration of Psychology class, would allow students to become more aware of the world beyond their screens and allow the barrier of digital communication to not be the forefront in human interface, but rather act as an aid to personal human interaction.
Written by Lily Higgins
College Essay for Kansas University’s Honors Program
Lily has been accepted into the KU Honors Program.