Horseshoe Magazine

The Long-Form Journalism Source of the University of New Haven

Horseshoe Magazine

Horseshoe Magazine

Staring into the Sun is Fun

Total solar eclipse over Texas through a filter. Photo courtesy of Gregory Radko. Used with permission.
Total solar eclipse over Texas through a filter. Photo courtesy of Gregory Radko. Used with permission.

Where were you this Monday? Did you get to see the once-in-a-lifetime total solar eclipse that blacked out—well, dimmed—the sun? Before the eclipse even started, experts were warning little ones and adults alike to absolutely not stare into the sun. But, how else, people asked, were they supposed to bask in the glory of this “once-in-a-lifetime” event? I mean, after all, their Dear Leader, former President Donald Trump, had done just that during the 2017 eclipse, and he’s fine, right? Well, no matter the resultant effect to the former president’s eyes, students all across the University of New Haven campus that didn’t want to be considered sheeple followed suit and bravely burned their retinas for the chance to watch one circle pass slowly over another circle.

Photo of the eclipse beginning, as seen through a filter. Photo courtesy of Catherine Radko. Used with permission.

We asked various students after the brief yet life altering event what their experiences were and not a single student seems to have been singed by the sun, like those pesky experts had said they would be.

Solar eclipse glasses. Photo courtesy of Horseshoe Magazine/Elizabeth Radko.

One student, Fatimah Anwar, said she initially heeded the warnings about the sun, “I trust in science, I’m coming here for a degree in it, so of course, I believe it when science tells me that this will hurt me.” But that attitude quickly shifted as the warm, radiant, light of the sun bathed her as the point of totality was reached: “My friends started to say I was glowing, my skin looked as if golden hour was happening, and not only that, I felt warm, too. It was like a warmth was crawling all over my skin, like the sun was cooking me until I turned into the perfect version of myself.” 

This desire to become a perfect person, Anwar states, was the reason she decided to remove her eclipse glasses, to ensure that every part of her was kissed by the sun.

 When asked about how she felt after the event, Anwar responded saying: “I feel this profound burning, like there’s a light inside me now. You know when people do those at-home chemical peels? I felt like this was the sun trying to give that to me, helping to make me into a stunning, totally new, version of me, Fatimah 2.0.”

Photo of Svetlana Dulik staring into the eclipse. Photo courtesy of Nyemiah Collins. Used with permission.

Svetlana Dulik had a similar experience, but they were already prepared to walk out in the sun, seeking to be “one with nature.” Dulik walked around campus barefoot on Monday, wanting to feel the Earth move and grow as the sun “nurtured it and everything on it” before “making the planet realize what it had to be thankful for by ripping their light from them.” Upon hearing this remark, Dulik was asked by a passerby who did not wish to be identified if they were in a relationship. Upon replying “No,” the passerby shouted “Good! Keep it that way!” and walked to the other side of the quad.

Photo of the eclipse without a filter. Photo courtesy of Shaunie Harinath. Used with permission.

There were many people with similar beliefs to Dulik at the gathering on the quad to watch the eclipse, but none more satisfied with their decision to stare into the beauty of the sun than Ally Staples. 

Staples said that looking directly into the eclipse was the best decision they ever made, much like Anwar, they said they felt a warmth wash over them, but they also said they felt “powerful.” When asked to elaborate, they explained, “Well, I had been worrying all day about an exam, but then, that pain washed away, and I suddenly felt this burning passion behind my eyes that made me feel like I could walk inside that classroom, let my eyes reset, and then just, boom, do the test perfectly.”

Photo of the eclipse, viewed through a filter. Photo courtesy of Catherine Radko. Used with permission.

I decided to catch back up with Staples after their exam to see if they still felt that power. Sure enough, Staples ran back over to me and told me, “I didn’t leave a single question blank, I can’t wait to see my professor’s face when I tell them I didn’t study and that I just had faith that I could, had faith that nature would be there to help me, and that that was why I passed an exam in his class for the first time.” I wish Staples the best of luck with their grade.

Photo of the moon completing its eclipse of the sun through a filter. Photo courtesy of Catherine Radko. Used with permission.

With all of these profound experiences showcasing nothing but positivity, we at the Horseshoe Magazine feel comfortable sharing a message from our Executive Editor, Lee Salazar, given on behalf of the whole staff:

“PSA from the Horseshoe Magazine Staff: Stare directly at the sun during the eclipse. It is good for your eyes and your overall health. Don’t listen to the professionals; they like turning the public into sheep.”

I hope you take this advice into account the next time our skies are graced with this lovely type of anomaly.

Leave a Comment
Donate to Horseshoe Magazine

Your donation will support the student journalists of University of New Haven. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
About the Contributor
Elizabeth Radko
Elizabeth Radko, Photojournalism Editor
Donate to Horseshoe Magazine

Comments (0)

All Horseshoe Magazine Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *