Looking Back at Act Five: An Alumni Viewpoint from Matt

One year ago, we sent our first cohort of Act Five students home as many institutions, businesses and programs around the world shut down due to the pandemic. Matt, Act Five ’20, writes for our blog about what has stuck with him from his experiences at Act Five, looking one year back.

Act Five taught me a lot about what it means to listen well. The importance of listening well has continued to grow in my life, whether it be with family, friends old and new, and even in business. Putting your phone away, stopping your fiddling, and making eye contact are ways in which you can show someone you care about what they are saying and how they’re feeling. Whether you’re talking to a hurting friend or a rambling customer, attentive listening is always appreciated and it helps to give the confidence someone might need to say how they really feel without feeling judged or feeling like they’re over-exaggerating.

Act Five also taught me about what it means to be truly present. It’s important to focus on the here and now physically, but there’s so much more to it. Being present also means feeling and expressing your emotions in the moment, rather than pushing them away for “a better time.” This is usually pretty easy when you’re experiencing joy and happiness, but it’s really hard when something breaks your heart and threatens to bring you to tears. I really like to distract myself from the bad things in life, so this really struck home for me.

Stay tuned on the blog to hear from our current students and staff about the last leg of our term with the Act Five ’21 crew. We’re looking forward to finishing well as a community!

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