A laughing matter


Juncu cackles from behind her hand as the Bledsoe playfully pokes fun at her during their lunch block. Photo by Kristine Cho

Kristine Cho

The sound of laughter constantly flows between the conversations of seniors Rucsanda Juncu and Maryam Bledsoe. Even with winter just around the corner, flowers bloom and the sun shines with the giggles that bubble forth from the two of them. In the early mornings when most would be struggling to pry their eyes open, Juncu and Bledsoe transform dreary silence into a chorus of hooting and cackling. It’s almost no surprise to learn that the first time the two of them met, Bledsoe was laughing so hard she had a hard time keeping her food in her mouth.
“Rucsanda made me laugh so hard I almost spit out my food,” Bledsoe said. “She left a really big impression on me. It was basically love at first sight.”

Juncu and Bledsoe throw their heads back in laughter in the early hours of the morning.
From that fateful day as ninth graders, the two continued their friendship, laughing at anything and everything through it all. Juncu, when citing her favorite thing to laugh at, merely said “ourselves,” while Bledsoe had difficulty pointing out a specific, given the wide range of jokes they exchange.
“We laugh at almost anything, but memes always add an additional spark to our discussion,” Bledsoe said.
Juncu cackles from behind her hand as the Bledsoe playfully pokes fun at her during their lunch block.
The bright positivity that they bring wherever they go is one that has come to define their friendship. Juncu and Bledsoe use their time together to lift each other up, both an influence and source of support for the other.
“I feel like our ability to constantly raise each other up really makes our friendship unique to me. I’ve never gotten tired of her and she really serves as an inspiration to me,” Juncu said. “I know it’s kind of cheesy, but the way she treats people pushes me to try and better myself.”
Bledsoe finds optimism in Juncu’s very laugh, saying it’s her favorite thing about her friend.
“[Her laugh] encourages me because even when I make a terrible joke, her laugh is there to guide me out of the darkness,” Bledsoe said.
Bledsoe leans into Juncu’s embrace as the two wait for first hour to start.
Both Juncu and Bledsoe are busy students, often staying after school for extracurricular activities and spending hours studying for Advanced Placement (AP) classes. However, together, amid their laughter, is a genuine expression of glee and carefree positivity that becomes so hard to find when neck deep in school work and responsibilities.
“Whenever I am around Rucsanda, I’m about 10 times calmer than usual. I don’t feel pressure to act a certain way when I am with her,” Bledsoe said.
Juncu and Bledsoe intertwine fingers while chatting and unwinding in the EEE room.