Superstitions seep into everyday life

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SUBMITTED PHOTO: Thomas Kovarik

SLY DOG. Sophomore Thomas Kovarik believes that his dog has a human consciousness. “I question everything now,” Kovarik said.

As Halloween rounds the corner and fall kicks in, spookiness and superstitions are everywhere. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, a superstition is an “excessively credulous belief in and reverence for supernatural beings.” One of the most prevalent superstitions in today’s time is knocking on wood to prevent disappointment. Some trace this practice back to the ancient religious belief of touching one’s crucifix when taking oath. Another surviving superstition is that those who cross paths with a black cat will have bad luck. Many believe that this roots from the Middle Ages when cats were associated with witchcraft or a disguised witch itself; crossing paths with a black cat symbolized that the devil was watching. At SPA, students hold various unique superstitions: pre-sports games rituals, beliefs about their own animals, and lucky-charm sweatshirts that bring success.

Sophomore Thomas Kovarik believes that his dog, Milo, has a human consciousness and thoughts. He first started to notice things this year: “I feel that there’s another presence in the room with me, it just makes me feel a bit uncomfortable,” Kovarik said. Milo’s presence can often feel like he’s always there watching, but sometimes Kovarik actually enjoys the company, “I feel like I can talk and be heard when nobody else is around… at the same time sometimes I just want to be left alone,” he said. Milo’s human-like presence makes Kovarik rethink everything he’s known: “I question everything now,” he said. Kovarik wants people to know that if they’re experiencing similar odd feelings, “they can reach out to me and I can relate with them.”

[Waiting until the last second to remove my jewelry] makes me extra nervous.”

— Clare Ryan Bradley

Freshman Clare Ryan Bradley waits to the last possible second before each sports game to take off her jewelry. This past season she had accidentally come upon this superstition when two games in a row she was forgetful of removing her jewelry prior to the game. Oddly enough, she played very well. Now as a consequence, Ryan Bradley believes that this pre-game ritual brings good luck. Her coach urges her to come to the game prepared, and this extra step “makes [her] more nervous.” But ultimately, it’s “comforting”, “reassuring”, and “makes me feel ready for the game,” Ryan Bradley said.

Senior Riley Erben owns a lucky sweatshirt that she wears when there is a big test or exam week. It all started in sophomore year, as she was walking into her first biology exam, she wore her pink tie dye patterned crew neck with a heart in the center. The exam turned out well, and she continued to wear it on important days. “People either think it’s a good idea, or it’s kind of funny,” Erben said. During stressful times “it helps me remain calm… it’s very comforting,” she said. In the end, “you can always take a superstition too far” but it can be good when “it doesn’t affect anyone else and can act as a little mental security,” Erben said.

Some superstitions develop into success techniques, and others are used for support. Ultimately, when kept in check, superstitions can be useful tools to help navigate life.