The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

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The place where optimism most flourishes is the lunatic asylum

A bird flew into my theology class the other day. As in through the window. Into my classroom. In the middle of class. A bird. From outside. Flying around inside.

So, of course, everyone screamed and jumped and had no idea what to do. The bird flew around for a while, circling from the front of the room to the back, in an endless flight of confusion.

Finally, it hit the window, was stunned from the blow, and landed on the windowsill. My professor then took a folder and gently shooed it outside.

Which got me thinking. I’m a lot like this bird. I fly around, confused, frustrated, lost, in circles, every single day. Only, I call it life.

And I’m not only confused and lost in my schoolwork, or even my work at The Torch. But in my relationships with people. In my relationship with myself.

I am supposed to be an adult. I am supposed to be a complete, functioning adult who can handle the pressure of papers, tests, readings, parties. A boyfriend.

But God forbid if I can’t. God forbid I let one of these balls drop, because then I wouldn’t be a functioning adult anymore. Then I couldn’t handle it. I didn’t quite cut it. College wasn’t quite for me.

Because then that means I flew right into the window, only to be stunned and shoved out into the world. Like the bird, I only want to find my way. I only want some help.

Having to deal with all this confusion is the daily routine of the college student. Work, school, and friends begin to build up after a while.

When it comes to work and school it’s pretty easy to figure out what is going wrong. Maybe you didn’t study enough for a test, or you showed up later than you were scheduled. It’s all pretty cut and dry.

But with friends, it’s a different story. It’s not a matter of simply learning facts about one another, and showing up when you’re supposed to.

It’s about finding out what makes people tick. It’s about understanding when to back off, and when to speak up, and when to do a little of both. Friendships are a tricky thing.

Nothing can come easy in college. Just as every professor is different, approaching every subject differently, so are friends. No two people are alike, and no two situations are alike.

The closest of friends can gauge one another; they simply understand. They can go days without really talking and still know that they are secure. Their relationship doesn’t depend on constant communication.

Boyfriends, on the other hand, are a little different. The best relationship with a “significant other” is based on friendship. You have to be able to “simply understand” one another. You have to be able to tell when to back off. Which is fine. No big deal, right?

Not in the least. It couldn’t be more complicated. Being an “adult,” I’m supposed to be thinking about the next stage of my life, i.e. marriage.

My grandma tells me all the time that a good marriage is based on the four C’s. Communication, Caring, Compromise and Cottage Cheese.

Not really. I can just never remember the fourth one. Which is probably why I haven’t gotten the concept quite perfect yet.

But anyways, I have to say to myself, MARRIAGE?” I can barely even fly straight! I’m expected to think about marriage? Which complicates the issue even further.

But, being my grandma, she’s right. A good relationship has to be about give and takeand being willing to change, just a little. And of course, talking. Really, really discussing everything and anything that comes to mind.

But it’s never that simple. Pride gets in the way. Egos and insecurities make every issue, every fight, every discussion seem about a million times bigger than it really is.

The biggest difference between a friendship and a ‘relationship’ is the fact that a relationship is not secure.

There is no guarantee that if you don’t talk for a couple of days that he will still be there when you decide to forgive him. If you have a fight, it could be the end. If you go through a rough time, it could be over.

How we relate to ourselves isn’t so cut and dry either. It should be the easiest. We should know ourselves better than anyone else does.

Personally, however, I think I know less about myself than everyone seems to know. Like I said, I’m like the bird flying around in my theology class. I have no idea what’s going on.

So why do we do it? Why do we make friends? Why do we fall in love? Why do we fly blindly into life?

It’s our optimism. Our faith in the fact that in the end we will all be rewarded, and that it will all be worth it. Basically, because we are all crazy.

The bird got out in the end. Despite being lost and confused and flying around in circles, it got free. Which gives me hope.

Even though life is extremely confusing and complicated, eventually we will all get free.

We are not flying alone either. Looking around campus I see an entire flock of confused, lost, scared students, trying to find their way.

Hopefully soon it will all become clear. Hopefully we can all spread our wings and fly away.

Amanda Weekes, the Editor in Chief of The Torch, hopes this column doesn’t sound cliche or preachy. Any comments can be directed to [email protected], or ext. 6444.

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