Students get their daily dose of humor


Illustration Credit: Gitanjali Raman

A recent poll survey students about humor.

A loud, welcoming sound of laughter fills the large, open space of the Summit Center. The students gathered on the rectangular frame of couches laugh at a string of sarcastic comments shot from one corner to another. Two sophomores in a nook of the library giggle at funny stories about their weekend experiences, each clutching a beanbag pillow. A single student sits cross legged and smiles at a funny YouTube video on his computer screen.  Lightness and laughter are a great way to start the day, take a break in the middle of it, or end it on a positive note. Every student gets their daily dose of funny in some form or another. Sophomore Maya Smith gets her fix of funny from meme databases, including Spartz Network, a chain of websites with over 160 million monthly pageviews. “Sometimes it’s fun to get a few jokes [into my schedule],” Smith said. She indulges in memes as a break from schoolwork: “I sometimes procrastinate, especially if I have a lot of really stressful assignments and I sometimes need a break.” One of the main attributes that draws Smith to meme sites is their easy accessibility.“It’s really quick and it’s a nice little distraction,” Smith said. Another unique aspect of meme sites is that they can be entertaining to a single individual or laughed at with a friend. “Usually I go on it on my own, and then kind of poke my friends,” Smith said.

Sophomore Alena Porter finds bits of humor in her day to day interactions with her peers. Porter is the kind of  friend who can effortlessly make another friend feel happy. “I just say some stuff sometimes and people laugh,” Porter said. When she isn’t the one saying something funny, Porter is quick to laugh and enjoy the moment. “[Laughing] makes your tummy hurt,” Porter said. “It’s a good kind of hurt.” However, Porter does enjoy the best of both worlds, finding humor in vis-à-vis interactions in addition to social networks. “It’s nice to have a balance, I think,” Porter said. Some things that take place in staged scenarios online are exaggerated to make a commentary on everyday situations. “You never see those types of things in real life,” Porter said. This exaggeration is something that draws Porter to seek funny videos on Vine, a popular social network for six second long video loops. Porter isn’t alone in enjoying the company of others for humor.

Junior Louie Bogolub turns to friends “[Humor gets my] mind off things and helps pass time with friends,” he said. Junior Asad Masood also talks with peers when in need of a laugh, and said a good conversation can “make your day better.” Sharing a funny experience or a laugh can bring people together. Sophomore Will Donaldson noticed that telling a joke is a subtle bond making experience: “It is part of communication. When people “get it”,  they laugh and are connected,” Donaldson said.

Another easy-access website with loads of humor to tap into is YouTube, a favorite of Sophomore Quinn Smith. For him, fitting a smile into his day doesn’t have to mean sacrificing time or putting off studying. Smith breathes a little more life into history homework by watching the popular Crash Course video series by author John Green, citing the channel for doing a “fantastic job of combining educational content with fun. It’s almost never boring and I can sit for hours on end watching it [Crash Course videos].” While Quinn Smith does enjoy tuning in to a variety of different YouTube channels, he sometimes holds back on watching them with friends: “If it’s very funny I’ll show it to a friend. But I almost never watch videos for the first time with friends because I have a fear they won’t be funny [to them] and I will have wasted their time,” Quinn Smith said. As summer approaches, students’ schedules become more flexible. Both during and after this seemingly long school year, finding a favorite tried and true source of humor is important. Humor makes the worst of experiences significantly better and the best of achievements even more memorable.