Coping through comedy

Students and adults deal with their problems through humor



At Coppell High School, stress levels run high among students who balance standardized tests, extracurricular activities, schoolwork, a job and more. While some fall victim to dangerous coping mechanisms, a more prevalent means is using humor to ease oneself with the problems he/she may be dealing with.

 “I’m drowning in the tears that school has caused me.”

 “If I don’t ace this test, I’m going to die.”

 “I’m a zombie just doing schoolwork and sleeping occasionally.”

These are just a few of many quips made more frequently than one would think by students at CHS. While they seem nothing more than humorous and harmless to the peers who chuckle along with the jokes, the underlying problems behind this humor cannot be ignored.

Many students use humor as a defense mechanism in order to lighten the stress they feel from personal and academic obstacles.

“When you exaggerate a situation through a joke, it puts into perspective how small the actual issue is,” said Kass, who is currently the top ranked student in the class of 2017.

This is why students turn to such hyperbolic jokes to find relief. Students need to reassure themselves that whatever stress they are feeling, it is not the end of the world. They will be OK, and they will move on from whatever stress that they are dealing with. This is the unseeming power of cracking a joke.

This power, however, can sometimes become a misfortune. While teenagers can feel relief through joking about their problems, their underlying issues often remain undealt with.

GT/AP English IV and Creative Writing teacher Matthew Bowden uses humor in his classroom and personal life to ease the burden of his problems.

“Behind every joke lies some truth,” Bowden said.

This becomes especially alarming when humor extends further from the academic realm into a self deprecating form of comedy.

“I don’t think humor is a solution but it helps to keep your head up,” CHS senior Remington Sosa said. “If humor was the answer, I wouldn’t be as depressed as I am.”

This is the issue that arises when people constantly turn to comedy to cope. Kass admitted that during her freshman year, she joked off her issues for months, which led to a lot of built up stress and anxiety.

“That built up stress led me to go home one day, and just cry for an hour or two,” Kass said.

Many students fall victim to this cycle. We say we are fine. We say we will have Friday to relax. Then, school starts on Monday, and students continue to suppress their problems through comedy. Ultimately, they have that one day where it feels like everything is crumbling apart, and the stress is too much to manage.

This issue is too prevalent in our school. With the highly competitive environment we are surrounded by, students find anything they can to feel stress relief. While using humor to deal with issues is much safer than drugs and alcohol, students need to stay in touch with how they are feeling. Students need to acknowledge their stresses and properly deal with them.

Bowden recommends writing. Sosa recommends creating music. Kass recommends spending time with friends and family. Find something. Find something that will be your liberation from personal and academic issues. Do not just laugh it off.

Laughter may be the best medicine, but it is not and should not be your only medicine.  


Follow Rutuja Joshi on Twitter @Rutuja_Joshi