Navigating midterms with a laugh

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Quinn Hettich

The CSUN campus on Sept. 11, 2022, in Northridge, Calif.

Lizzy Casas, Reporter

The University Student Union hosted “Laugh Your Class Off” at CSUN on Friday, Oct. 7. Easing into midterm season, the event was open to CSUN students as well as the public. CSUN students had been able to attend this event every fall semester prior to the pandemic.

While students gathered for the event in the University Student Union, they were welcomed with an opportunity to enter a raffle for prize tickets to a comedy show taking place later this year off campus. There was also a photo booth where students had the chance to take pictures.

This year, professional comedians Jamario McClain and Christine Little performed. McClain has been a comedian for 12 years, frequenting comedy clubs such as the Improv, The Comedy Store, and Laugh Factory. He has also featured on television shows, including “Laughs” on Fox and “Funny AF” on Revolt. Little has been a comedian for over 10 years, performing at various comedy festivals, among them Limestone, Laughing Skull, Cape Fear, and Laugh Your Asheville Off. She has featured on “Laughs” on more than one occasion.

McClain performed his set first and connected with the crowd by sharing his own journey as a scholar with an ironic joke. He exclaimed, “I have a degree in communications but my girlfriend says I don’t know how to communicate.”

The crowd laughed as he continued, “It’s important to face rejection in life.” McClain went on to say, “Embrace the rejection. That’s why I do comedy.”

As the night continued, raffle prize winners were announced during a short intermission, with a variety of food and beverages for the audience to choose from.

First-year student Stephanie Ajanel shared, “I feel like for a lot of people midterms are stressful, and it can be overwhelming on top of everything else going on in everyone’s day-to-day life.”

She continued, “It feels great just being around a lot of people laughing while socializing with different people and having a good time.”

Then Little took the stage and related to students by sharing some facts about herself. Little shared where she lives with the audience by breaking out in song, “Keyes Keyes Keyes … Keyes on Van Nuys.” The crowd laughed as Little continued, “It’s like the free section of Craigslist formed a city.”

McClain and Little shared where their inspiration comes from when creating material.

McClain said, “My inspiration comes from growing up a class clown in school and always making my family laugh at parties.” He continued, “I loved the feeling it brought me when I made a group of people laugh. It’s very therapeutic for me as well.”

Little said, “My life and experiences, whatever I feel passionate about, turns into a joke. Whether it’s anger, or sadness, or just obsessing on something.”

Jericho Venturina, a student events assistant at CSUN, was very enthusiastic to be back in person and pleased with the turn out. “It just feels amazing seeing friendly faces,” Venturina said. “Everyone laughing and unwinding from the stressful midterm season.”

“Laugh Your Class Off” began with laughter and came to an end with more laughs from the crowd with closing remarks from Venturina.

Venturina concluded the night with, “Thank you so much for coming. It’s midterm season, go study hard. Do your homework. I know some of you have assignments due at 11:59 p.m., so let’s go!”