All you need is love… or a laugh

May 31, 2022

I have a problem. You see, I have uncontrollable giggles. Whether I’m sitting in the middle of the longest AP U.S. History lesson of my life or watching a dramatic scene from backstage, I’m always laughing…loudly. Frankly, it tends to come on at the most inappropriate times; this includes when I’m being scolded by my parents for not doing my laundry or when my teacher is asking me how I felt about a test I 1000 percent bombed.

In the past three years, we have experienced an “unprecedented” amount of turmoil. From the pandemic to fires to having class out in the portables (twice a day!), I’ve decided that my high school experience is quite different from the one I watched in Disney Channel Original Movies. I have yet to be prom-posed to by Heath Ledger through an extravagant musical performance nor have I made the captain of the football team fall in love with me. I have, however, fallen down the main stairs multiple times. When you think about it, it’s kinda funny. Actually, it’s straight-up hilarious.

Illustration by Julia Frankus

Once the pandemic started, I watched my whole world dim: every character that used to be overflowing with life was filled with anxiety. It’s hard not to succumb to that energy when you’re constantly surrounded by it. So I did what every reasonable teenager does: I turned everything into a joke. From a substitute teacher mispronouncing my name (which is really hard to do considering it’s Ava) to a fellow classmate mansplaining Zoom to me, everything cracked me up and everything I said was saturated with sarcasm. It was also all out of love, I swear! I made jokes to hopefully bring a smile to the faces of my sad peers. I’m proud to say that oftentimes I succeeded; even if those around me were not amused, I managed to chuckle at my own jokes once in a while, making the loneliness of isolation just a little more digestible. 

I understand that not everything is funny. But I also know this: I’m not sure that I would’ve survived my high school experience so far if I hadn’t laughed my way through it. For the class of 2022: I hope you take your humor with you wherever you go next. Personally: I hope I never lose this joy in me. I’m getting ready to leave a place I call home in a year. Though I feel a deep sense of fear, I do know this: I can always rely on a good joke… or a shitty one to make me laugh. At the end of the day, that’s all that matters, isn’t it?

As a wise Barkie, otherwise known as my favorite ex-Editor-in-Chief Ms. Lindsey Kornfeld, once wrote in her EIC farewell, “I learned that if I am able to keep a sense of humor about my life, I will be much happier than the person continually taking [everything] 100 percent seriously.”

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