Why We Shouldn't Joke About Serious Things

Why We Shouldn't Joke About Serious Things

Mental illness, racism, etc are not punchlines

I remember one time, while I went to public high school, there was “alter-ego day”, and I remember seeing a bunch of girls dressed in all black with red pen marks horizontally drawn on their wrists, and I remember thinking, “Why the hell would you make fun of such a serious thing?” At the time, I was in the worst place mentally, suffering from severe depression, and hiding my self-harm cuts whilst these girls were making it seem like a joke. I remember actually snapping on one girl whilst her and her friend were laughing about it, drawing the red pen marks like it doesn’t actually happen, and I said something along the lines of "be careful who you say that around, you never know who might actually be suffering with that issue". The girl was shocked that I said something, and responded along the lines of, "it’s just a joke". No, it’s not.

You shouldn’t joke about depression, self-harm, weight, abusive relationships of any kind, racism, terrorism, etc.

I remember in middle school my friend Austin would joke around with me about my weight, when in all honesty, I really wasn’t at my biggest at that time. The thing he didn’t know was how serious I took those jokes, until one day, knowing he’d take my iPod at some point during study hall, I put my background to a quote that had to do with how I was feeling and I remember the look of shock on his face, he had no idea that his jokes really got to me, or that I thought of myself so poorly. Another time that same year, after Austin knew how I felt about myself, he knew someone had a crush on me, but refused to tell me who, and another one of the people in the group, Logan, said , “Ew, who would have a crush on Gabbi?” I snapped, I turned around and said, “I know right?! Why would someone have a crush on someone fat and gross like me? I don’t know why anyone would have a crush on me!” and broke down crying. I remember the look on everyone that I was actually friends with in the group's faces’, they were shocked at my reaction, shocked to hear me say that, because I hid how I felt from them so well, they had no idea. I remember Austin just putting his hand on my knee, speechless. Everyone was speechless. Logan was just joking, but his words really hurt. I went home that day and just laid on the couch, listening to my iPod, and stared at the ceiling. My parents had, and still have no idea, why I did that that day, for all I know they don’t remember that day. But that day was the true start of my long road of severe depression.

My most recent experience of jokes that aren’t funny was actually here at college. This one girl asked an African American male, “Why do you wear sunscreen? It’s not like you get burned.” I, having been in a relationship at the time with an African American male, was shocked at such a stupid statement. The girl laughed at what she had said like it was a joke, and the male responded with, “That was SO arrogant and rude.” This girl thought because someone has a darker pigmentation to their skin that their skin doesn’t burn! She didn’t understand why her comment had been in anyway rude.

What I’m trying to say with all of these stories is, DO NOT, BY ANY MEANS, make jokes about self-harm, depression, the color of someone’s skin, etc because you have NO IDEA how anyone around you may react, what those people might have gone through, or what they are going through. Just don’t be rude in general and ask stupid questions.

Cover Image Credit: SiliconeAngle

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Saying Goodbye To Freshman Year

"High School goes by fast, but college goes by even faster."

“High School goes by fast, but college goes by even faster”, we’ve all heard it and probably all ignored it as well. I mean time is time. It moves at the same pace no matter what you’re doing right?


High School is over, I’m now a freshman in college and it’s April. I’m sitting here in my dorm looking at all my clothes, and bins thinking, how in the hell will this all fit in my car again? It is crazy, I need to be thinking about all of this now because there is one month of my freshman year left, just one.

All I can keep thinking is how? Wasn’t it just last week that I moved into my cozy room at the end of the hall, or just yesterday that I ran home to two hundred beautiful new sisters? As much as it seems like yesterday, it wasn’t.

It was almost eight months ago that I stepped onto this campus as a freshman, now it is my last four weeks and they are jam-packed. From formal to finals I am in the home stretch of my first year of college. I just registered for my classes next semester, and can’t get it through my head that I will soon be a sophomore.

While walking around campus I still catch myself thinking, wow I am really here. I am a college student, at a school, I fall more in love with every day. So, how can I be a sophomore now when I feel like I just got here?

Yes, I still have three amazing years of college ahead of me, and I can’t wait to see what those years have in store in for me. But, I just can’t help but feel a little sad that I won’t be a freshman anymore. I won’t be the youngest in my sorority family, I won’t be coming back to a dorm every night.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am stoked to live in an apartment next year with my absolute best friends. And you definitely could have heard me saying “I am so over this whole dorm thing” once or twice this semester, but now I can’t help but see all the things I’ll miss.

Freshman year is just unique. You get this giant clean slate, a fresh start. And it is just waiting to see what you’ll do with it. It truly is a year of firsts. My first failure, the first time being on my own, my first time not knowing anyone in my classes. Yes, that can all be a lot to take on, I was terrified at the start of the school year. But before I knew it, I had a routine, I had friends, I had a life here.

And this life surpassed all my expectations. I have a home away from home. I have friends that I know will be my bridesmaids some day. I have experiences that I’ll never forget.

Now as I head back home for the summer I couldn’t be more excited to be with my friends there and my family. But, I also couldn’t be sadder to leave my friends here, even if it’s only for three months because they’ve become another kind of family.

Despite leaving freshman year behind, we have so many more memories to make whether it’s doing the Seminole chop in Doak, coordinating our Halloween costumes, or just chilling at the house. We’ve all come so far this year, and I can’t wait to see just how far we go. So bring it on Sophomore year, I’m ready for ya.

Cover Image Credit: Cameron Kira

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Poetry On The Odyssey: Remember Her

A guy reflects on the day he met the girl who made him see love from another angle and how much he has learned since then.


Remember the day you met

Her favorite shirt and comfiest shoes

The way her hair was pushed in front of her face by the wind

How you literally ran into her because neither one of you were paying attention

It wasn't her lack of grace that drew you in

It wasn't her eyes either, they were the second thing you noticed

You saw the freckles on her cheeks she hadn't noticed yet

But the freckles weren't what got you either

No, it was the way the blush in her cheeks accented everything around you

Her blue eyes stuck with you for days

You couldn't think of anything that matched that shade of blue

The greenish gold center didn't help you at all either

That was until you found that exact shade again

And once again it wasn't her clumsiness that made you want to know her

It was the way she immediately apologized

And then it was the way she laughed when she recognized you

It was the way she looked surprised when you asked her name

Instead of saying "we have to stop meeting like this"

When she gave you her number

You blushed and tried to hide it

She noticed and her giggles gave her away

You waited five more days to hear her laugh again

You waited for her in your favorite coffee shop

It was her favorite too

You were too nervous to notice her walk in

It was a round of giggles that made you look up

The flare of jealousy in your chest made you realize what you had been denying

You didn't even know her yet

She didn't show up to class one day

She didn't answer your texts

Or your calls

She left all your Snapchat's opened

Later you learned why

And now you know what to do

Because you're there

Some days she rolls over with a smile

And you swear she's your own angel

Other days she curls up in a ball

And you know she's become her own demon

Those are the days you make her coffee and bring her back to Earth

You make her laugh about anything

You distract her because you know

That the imagination you found beautiful when you met

Is also one of the darkest places she's been

You know her biggest struggle is trusting herself

Being reminded of how far she has come

Only makes her think of how much farther she has to go

You don't know this,

But you make her not care about the distance

Not everything is perfect

You guys fight sometimes

But coffee and books help you both see each other's sides

Sometimes she goes through her bad days alone

You are always on the other side of the door when she unlocks it

Armed with blankets and the sense of calm she can't seem to find in herself

You promised each other you wouldn't go through things alone

And the promise hasn't been broken

She tells you her side of the story of how you met

You fall in love with how much detail she remembers

You only remembered her

She remembered the sky and the way the corners of your eyes looked when you squinted

You were surprised when she said your eyes

And the grass that day were the same shade of green

You told her you loved her

You knew her by then

That was all she wanted

She married you two years later

Now you remember the day you met

Your first date

Her first bad day

Later that same day when she spilled coffee on the white bed sheets

And you knew you were in love

The day you told her "I love you" and she didn't stop smiling until the next day

Most of all you remember the day you proposed

She remembers how you almost lost the ring a week before

You thought she didn't know

She remembers your face when she said "yes"

You both remember your wedding

How her anxieties disappeared when she saw you at the end of the aisle

You swear you still have marks from how tightly she squeezed your hand

When she had your first born

She still has bad days

You still help her through them

The baby helps too

You just tell her

Remember the day we met


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