Students seek unusual methods to predict their futures – Web Exclusive

Jordan Berger | Staff Writer

As senior Stephanie Bohanon’s cell phone buzzes with the arrival of a new message, she clicks the key labeled “open,” which exposes her daily horoscope from Twitter. Her eyes scan the illuminated screen, a habitual routine for Bohanon.“I feel like it’s something I have to do every day,” Bohanon said. “Every day I get on Facebook and I check [my horoscope] on Facebook. Then, I get my Twitter alerts that send it to me too. Then, if I have a magazine, I’m always in the back checking those.”

This addiction has been long-term for many students and repeatedly attracts loyal horoscope addicts, according to senior Cari Caprio.

“I have been reading my horoscope since I’ve started reading magazines,” Caprio said.

While students share the daily necessity and urge to flip to the back of magazines or log on to a computer to read their daily predictions, the purpose these horoscopes play in students’ lives differs, according to Caprio.

“Horoscopes are more like goals,” Caprio said. “You try to complete the thing they tell you to do, so your horoscope comes true.”

Like Caprio, junior Chloe Crites said she has witnessed the use of horoscopes as less of a source for prediction, and, rather, a means for accomplishing a goal.

“[Horoscopes] can be helpful to people who need a goal or something to set,” Crites said. “Sometimes they can service an [ambition].”

The thrill and the building of anticipation throughout students’ days that comes from comparing days with daily predictions catalyses the obsession with horoscopes, according to Bohanon.

“I don’t read [my horoscope] in the morning, typically,” Bohanon said. “I’ll read [it] in the afternoon so I can see if my day turned out the way my horoscope said it would.”

As well as creating a thrill, checking predictions daily serves more the purpose of a pastime instead of the determining factor of students’ daily actions, according to Bohanon.

“I wouldn’t really say this is how it is, and all the stars are aligned and for a purpose,” Bohanon said. “I would say [my interest] is more for entertainment.”

While some entertain themselves daily by skimming the foretelling of their lives, others check horoscopes based on genuine belief and base their lives around these predictions, according to senior Tayler Tarvin.

“A couple months ago, I read a horoscope that said [I should] go for the gold because [my] romantic interest is going to ask [me] out tonight and [I] should just go hang out with him,” Tarvin said. “So, I went on a date with him and we had a great time and ended up dating for awhile. I definitely believe in horoscopes.”

Tarvin said students’ belief in horoscopes has affected their daily actions, including hers.

“I wouldn’t have [hung out with the guy] I liked [if my horoscope hadn’t suggested it,] because I get anxiety when I go on dates and I like friends to go with me,” Tarvin said. “But then I [decided] I [was] just going to what my horoscope told me to do, and I did it.”

Questions of legitimacy and doubt have seeped into the minds of some like Crites, who said she reads horoscopes simply for humor and a source of amusement.

“[Horoscopes] are so general that [they] could relate to almost everybody,” Crites said. “They are in really general terms and some [people will say] that [it fits] their [personality] when it [doesn’t].”

Crites said that many people identify with horoscopes because of the accuracy in stereotypes as well.

“I think [horoscopes] are directly written to satisfy the audience of the magazine,” Crites said.

Even avid promoters of horoscopes have doubts, according to Bohanon.

“I’m suspicious because I don’t [understand] how someone can figure these things out about my life,” Bohanon said.

According to Caprio, horoscopes will not come true if action does not take place.

“I don’t believe that it’s going to happen if you don’t do anything about it,” Caprio said. “I don’t think you’re going to go on this really nice date unless you do something about it. Your room isn’t going to be nice and organized unless you do something about it.”

However, through the doubts, astrology proves itself as a legitimate prediction for personalities and individuals’ futures through personality matching, according to Bohanon.

“The compatibility and what you’re looking for in a mate holds up with what horoscopes say you are compatible with,” Bohanon said. “It says [my sign] doesn’t mix well with Leo and Taurus. Two of my best friends are a Leo and a Taurus and our personalities clash a lot because we’re totally opposite.”

Tarvin said horoscopes consistently predict her compatibility with others, including significant others.

“I don’t look for someone [with a particular] sign, but usually [with] the people I’m attracted to, I find out their sign and do compatibility searches,” Tarvin said. “Every single guy I’ve ever dated always has a really high compatibility with my sign, Cancer.”

Besides astrology, tarot card readings and palm reading are other forms of prediction and personality analysis used among those seeking to understand the future before its arrival, according to Crites, who has given her attention to palm reading.

“My piano teacher, who also reads palms, told me what my palm meant about two weeks ago,” Crites said. “She said that I need to stop being so hard on myself if I get a bad grade and that I need to do stuff for myself.”

Palmistry typically uses both hands to not only foretell one’s future, but to look into one’s past and predict karma; the dominant hand is used for the future and the alternate hand to look into the past, according to Yona Williams, a writer for Unexplainable.net.

Reading monthly horoscopes does not affect Crites’ daily life, but her recent palm reading has led her to explore her daily choices more carefully, she said.

“I’ve been thinking [more] about how sometimes I am too hard on myself when I get a bad grade,” Crites said. “So I’ve been being less hard on myself since it’s just one grade. I’ve also been taking time out of my day to do things for myself.”

Credibility of palm readers affects some students’ belief in the practice, according to Crites.

“I’ve known my piano teacher for nine years so I definitely know she is really smart and educated,” Crites said. “I wouldn’t have as much trust in [other people] because they wouldn’t be as credible. [But] the readings also may have been accurate because I know my piano teacher so well. So, I just started thinking more about what she said.”

While some students make daily decisions based on horoscopes, others will continue to have doubts, according to Bohanon, and sometimes it is just plain luck.

“Since they’re general statements, it will say something like ‘today you might find luck in your life with someone you’ve been clashing with lately’ or something like that,” Bohanon said. “[Honestly,] sometimes it’ll be true and sometimes it won’t.”