Laughter is the best medicine: Why every CWRU student should attend stand-up comedy shows

Laughter is the best medicine: Why every CWRU student should attend stand-up comedy shows

After spring break, college can feel like a whirlwind of never-ending assignments and responsibilities. While going out with friends or watching a movie can be a good way to let go, ever consider going to a stand-up comedy show? With the University Program Board’s spring comedian coming up, let me tell you why every Case Western Reserve University student should attend a comedy show at least once in their academic career.

We know college life is notorious for its demanding schedule, tight deadlines and the pressure to perform academically. The weight of these expectations can often take a toll on students’ mental health and overall well-being. Laughter, as they say, can truly be the best medicine. Attending a stand-up comedy show provides a much-needed escape from school, offering a chance to share in the collective joy of laughter and lighthearted fun with friends. Sources show that endorphins triggered by laughter not only reduces stress but also contributes to an overall improvement in mood and mental well-being.

And if the clinical benefits aren’t enough to persuade you, attending a comedy show can also incite feelings of community and togetherness. Especially at academically-focused schools like CWRU, college can be a lonely place. Stand-up comedy shows are communal spaces where individuals from diverse backgrounds can come together to share in the hilarity of a good comedian. Laughter has a unique ability to break down social barriers, fostering connections between students and community members who may otherwise never interact. Relatable jokes about bad dates, strict parents or the struggle to become a functional adult can create a sense of shared experience and camaraderie. Seeing others laugh at things we can relate to can be strangely comforting, reminding us that we’re not alone in our quirks. There are several comedians who will take this feeling a step further, joining in with the audience and making them a part of the set—it’s the one time being picked on is a good thing.

When it comes to content, stand-up comedy can be so much more than a slew of well-timed quips. The best stand-up comedians often touch upon a wide range of topics, from personal anecdotes to societal issues. In doing so, they can expose you to diverse perspectives and engage with you about issues you may not have known about otherwise. In this way, comedy becomes a medium for cultural exposure, forcing you to get out of your comfort zone. And comedians have the unique ability to address sensitive topics with humor, opening up a safe zone for discussion.

Still, arguably the best reason to go to a comedy show is to simply enjoy the absurdity of life and everyone’s life journey. Life is inherently uncertain, and the ability to navigate ambiguity is something we all have to learn to accept. Stand-up comedians often draw humor from their personal experiences, teaching audiences to embrace the unpredictability, uncertainty and beauty of a chaotic life. As college students, we sometimes get lost in the weeds of letdowns, but stand-up comedy truly shows you how bad experiences make the best stories. If nothing else, attend a comedy show to learn about the resilience and adaptability of the human experience—qualities that are essential for success in academic, social and professional pursuits.

For CWRU students caught in the wheel of routine, a night of laughter can be an unforgettable experience. So, consider getting a ticket to see Matteo Lane in Severance Hall this Friday—it might just be the laughter you didn’t know you needed.

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