Boodoo: Paranoia – it can strike at any time

Maria Boodoo

The ball I call my world is growing bigger and more chaotic. Paranoia is as easy to catch as the common cold. However, returning to the sane world is not as simple as popping a pill. Sometimes, I wonder how we all wake every morning with a smile on our faces and a will to carry on with our planned activities. You hear the news about the crimes, the wars, the overwhelming cries and the illogical destruction of homes worldwide.

Many of us may be immune to the Mideast crisis, but there still exist threats to our health and safety. Random homicides, robberies, rapes and drug killings strike fear in our minds when we think of walking down Walnut Street during a hot summer night. The worst fear is a repeat of Sept. 11, which makes us wonder if today will be the last day. If physical harm doesn’t cross your mind, I’m sure the idea of cancer, anthrax or mad cow disease has infiltrated and paralyzed your thoughts.

For graduating seniors, your parents may be adding to the paranoia. The constant nagging about “what you’re going to do with your life” and “if you’re ever going to get a job” leads to more pressure. Sophomores and juniors can feel a heavy burden when they have to choose their majors and get internships. All of the above is in addition to the demands for good grades and a healthy social life.

“Adults” criticize students for not taking notice of the world around them, but I understand why we can’t always be alert. Sometimes it’s best to just let things roll off your back and not take heed. While we should always know the prime rate, the president of XYZ country, the leading cause of death among pigs, we need to sit back and take it easy sometimes. Always know your limit and as you approach it, find a friend, a holy book, a funny cartoon or peaceful place. When you turn on the news and become bombarded with endless crimes that never seem to be solved, stay and watch the sports and the weather. I’m not a fanatic but I do understand why the Fox 10 O’clock News chooses to include sports. Sports and weather help to alleviate your worries from concentrating too much on the pains of our world. Reading a funny cartoon or book can also help in ridding paranoia. Laughter is the best form of returning to our natural senses. Before you carp about my statement, consider the following–do you live to die, or do you die to live? Sure, this may make sense right now, but think carefully about all your actions and see if you’re living a life stricken with paranoia or if you’re having a free and fun life. If you feel like the world is just too much, sit down with a friend or family member and chat with them. Sometimes prayer is the best healer, and it allows you to take a big step backwards and look at the world through the big lens cap’ (and you can zoom in and out as much you want). Remember, it’s okay to laugh a little and enjoy the many parts of life. Take pleasure in the sun and rain, the beautiful campus, friendly faces and even the ocean breeze. If you don’t turn to something, then you might be lead onto a path from which you may never return.