This month was 2018’s first Friday the 13th. It may seem stupid, but I was anxious the entire week leading up to Friday. For years now, I have been afraid of Friday the 13th. When I was younger, a relative happened to die on Friday the 13th, and ever since I have been superstitious. Everytime it comes around, I hunker down in my room and leave the house as little as possible. I know this seems irrational and that it’s just a superstition, but nevertheless, it puts me on edge. I don’t have a problem with other superstitions. I don’t hesitate to open an umbrella indoors and I’ll cuddle black cats any day. But I can’t look at Friday the 13th like any other day.
I had been anxious this Friday all week because I had obligations that would pull me out from the safety of my dorm room. I imagined myself failing to turn in a history paper on time or getting in a car crash on my way to dinner. Despite my trepidation, nothing bad happened to me all day. And on past Friday the 13ths, I’ve survived unscathed. Even though I know that a calendar day isn’t going to give me bad luck, I’m still nervous for the next time it comes around.
I think that people succumb to superstitions partly because there’s no way to truly justify or deny it. Some might claim that it arises from confirmation bias. When the smallest incident occurs, one can blame it on the superstition. Maybe they have persisted because they persist across cultural lines. Superstitions exist in various religious and cultural contexts from the evil eye to knock on wood. Even if someone thinks someone else’s superstition is silly, they can grasp the sentiments behind it and may be superstitious about something different. People understand that superstitions are irrational, but there’s the slightest chance that they could be true. Avoiding black cats and not walking under ladders gives you a sense of comfort and eliminates any doubt that they could hurt you. My objective, intellectual thoughts on Friday the 13th are that it’s just another day and a pretty good horror movie. But my honest opinion is that as long as you don’t let it control your life, it’s completely fine to be a little more cautious on that particular day.