College Humor: The Dark Side

    The mid-semester slump is the most real aspect of the spring semester. Returning from the sunny beaches of far off places or the happy comfort of home, the dorms seem cramped, the dining hall is a hassle and homework is the actual last thing you want to do.  Motivation is nowhere to be found, and it's definitely not in that 10 page paper due next week. With no syllabus to go over and no days off until Easter, now’s the time we students become cynical about our education resulting in a very particular brand of humor. Jokes about how hellish our experience is, while extremely funny, point to some of the major issues in the infrastructure of education today. 

Jokes about dropping out


This category of joke can be heard on the walk of shame to or from a difficult exam, usually in reference to a possible future change in career aspirations. The problem with jokes about dropping out is that they tend to disregard the real goal behind our presence here at Notre Dame, which surprisingly, is not to pass every test put in front of us. It’s actually to get an education, a privilege that a lot of us fail to see in the darkness after a particularly brutal exam. Our current system places more value on GPA than the overall experience of learning.

Jokes about mental state/lack of sleep/overall health. 

Jokes about what percentage of your blood is actually comprised of coffee are surprisingly accurate in a very unhealthy manner. High percentages of students are consuming large amounts of caffeinated beverages in hopes that the added boost might let them stay up just late enough to finish that paper. College skews our perception of sleep cycles: 2 am is not an early bed time folks. We eat junk food, sleep less and drink so much coffee that it’s a wonder our bodies haven’t decomposed yet.  That’s not to mention anxiety, stress, and depression which can take real tolls on both your mental and physical health. Your health is never good comedic material. 

Jokes about self-worth

We tend to place a lot of importance on success when we conduct evaluations of ourselves. Rather than seeing all the good work that we put it into a project or to studying or finding an internship, we focus on the negative. Self-deprecating jokes about how stupid we are because we failed an exam allow us to overlook the positive qualities that make us who we are. We fail to see the love of our friends, the joy in the sunshine and the hope for better grades when we joke about how are grades make us less than.

Finally, I just want to state that I am guilty of frequently using jokes from each of these categories. I use laughter as a coping mechanism for my stress and academic based self-deprecating humor happens to be my specialty. The problem is that I have way too much material to work with.

Stay Sane Collegiettes XOXO HCND

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