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Monday night routines

| Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Unexpected events occur all over campus, from squirrels stealing food to thunderstorms breaking on the way back from class to elevators breaking down … scratch that last one: it happens pretty frequently. In the midst of these unprompted — and frankly unwanted — occurrences, students need some form of constancy that does not come in the form of class schedule. Each Monday at nine p.m., I leave work and rush back to my dorm room to watch the second half of “Dancing with the Stars;” when that’s over, I find YouTube videos of the parts I missed, since the show begins at eight. Many of my friends mock this routine — so feel free to join in — but I derive sincere joy from watching various celebrities compete with such extraordinary passion for the Mirror Ball Trophy.

Not only does the program serve as some form of entertainment, but it calms me to know that after a busy day, I can rely on watching Rick Perry or Vanilla Ice foxtrot and samba across the grand stage. Perhaps someone breaks a rib or sprains a ligament during rehearsal, but odds are that he or she still performs come Monday night. The show serves as a consistent event apart from often unpredictable or rocky starts to the week. Additionally, I often end up supporting people I barely even knew existed at first, from last season’s champion Nyle DiMarco, the deaf champion of “America’s Next Top Model” to Alek Skarlatos, who tackled a gunman on a Paris-bound train in 2015. I connect with the journeys various celebrities have while dancing because I love to observe progress and improvement, no matter how small. The show, even just for a little while, relieves my stress and enables me to focus on the roadblocks — from enduring pain to forgetting certain steps — other people have overcome in just one week.

Additionally, voting for certain couples serves as an integral part of the viewing experience, since couples who earn the lowest combined total of votes and judges’ points are sent home. In a way, those who tune in have the power to influence the fate of celebrities. Beyond the glitz and the glam of the show, however, lies its true purpose, which I firmly believe is to distract everyday people from the confusions and problems that temporarily plague them. Watching each Monday reminds me not to take everything so seriously, especially since I laugh out loud when I watch Ryan Lochte act like the competition is a life or death situation. The celebrities may encounter highs and lows each week, but in a way, watching the unpredictability of their situations serves as my consistent Monday night fulfillment.

So take some time each day or week to focus on yourself and take a break from hectic events that may consume your life if you allow them to. Taking a few moments each night to write in a gratitude journal or to meditate have also helped me put my problems into perspective, but watching “Dancing with the Stars” is by far my favorite way to take a break. I would happily give the show’s quality and ability to cheer up its viewers all tens.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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About Martha Reilly

Martha is a senior majoring in English literature and political science. She currently serves as Saint Mary's editor but still values the Oxford comma in everyday use.

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