I Asked 33 College Students What Their Biggest Fears Were And The Responses Were Heart Breaking

I Asked 33 College Students What Their Biggest Fears Were And The Responses Were Heart Breaking

"My biggest fear is walking outside of an elevator and their being a shooting going on. Reality itself is scary."
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Has anyone ever asked you what your biggest fear is?

If so, did your stomach twist itself into multiple suffocating knots just by the thought of it? Were you comfortable enough to share what you genuinely feared the most with the person who proposed the question? Or do you turn to a less emotional response like "cockroaches" or "the dark" just to avoid the reality and the judgment or embarrassment that may come with your answer?

Our fears are molded heavily by both our environment and our society. They are influenced by emotional events we've personally experienced and by stories that enter and never escape our minds. Maybe, way back when you were just a toddler, you had, like me, a traumatic encounter with a spider and since then have turned statue figure numb just at the plain sight of one of those eight-legged monsters.

But beneath this type of fear, there are fears we never really spoke about until now.

When I initially began to interview college students on what their biggest fears were, I was expecting to hear fears that have carried along from childhood straight to adult life. When I asked the question,

"What is your biggest fear, and why?"

Rather than getting the basic "goofy" answers immediately, I had handfuls of people ask me if I wanted their basic silly fears or their 100% stomach clenching fear they fear more and more as the days go by. I asked for for the latter and the responses were heartbreaking.

Everything that is happening in the world today has become a greater reality. The devasting headlines on the news are becoming more and more frequent. Suddenly all the fears we had as children are being overcast by the harsh reality we are living in today.

Years ago, people may have felt embarrassed to say what it was they feared most because the probability of it happening seemed slim to none. People used to believe that the world was so big that out of the entire population their fear would never impact themselves.

Today, every passing day is becoming less and less predictable.

We are hearing sad news after scary news after devastating family news after some more shockingly tragic news. Our fears have developed into specific ones, ones we never had to fear as much as we do today. People have become more comfortable expressing their fears with others because most of us are growing to share the same exact ones, and no longer feel ashamed to vocalize their fear because we can never be too dramatic.

I asked 33 college students what their biggest fears were, and this is what they had to say:

1. "My biggest fear is dying alone and not being able to call for help." -Sophomore

2. "[I] Would have to say that my biggest fear is failure. I have high ambitions and aspirations for my future, but the idea of failing in front of my friends and family has always been a factor that’s held me back on more than one occasion. I’ve avoided new experiences because the idea of not being good at something always lingers in the back of my mind." -Senior

3. "I fear heartbreak. Maybe it's almost ridiculous but I fear it with every fiber of my being. I get this sinking feeling in my chest when it happens and it can't dissipate no matter what. It just doesn't go away. Like my second biggest fear has to be walking out of an elevator to realize there's a shooting going on." - Sophomore.

4. "Getting kidnapped, because it's extremely scary to get sold into sex trafficking." -Freshman

5. "Ok, so my biggest fear is fear itself because that's the only thing that stops you from living life to the fullest and is what leads to a life of regret." -Sophomore

6. "Hmm. my biggest fear would have to be living a boring life, because I have the whole world in front of me, and if I didn’t do anything interesting, I’d feel as if I wasted my life away." -Freshman

7. "Ngl, my biggest fear is settling for less than I deserve." -Sophomore

8. "Losing my family and being alone." -Junior

9. " Probably, being in a situation where I'm going to have to question if I am going to die or be able to survive. For example being kidnapped or stuck in a house fire, or being in a situation like Las Vegas because situations like that are all random and can come at any point in your life, your high points and low points and you might not get an answer as to why it happened. You don’t know when or how or why. It’s all an if-based question if that makes sense, and that makes people limit their life experiences too, which means you aren’t living it to the fullest ability." -Sophomore

10. " I guess it would be growing up. Having all these responsibilities and doing the same routine pretty much every day for the rest of my life. I'll still have fun but not the same kind of fun that I do now or in the past. It'll be very different and kinda exciting but I wanna stay young for as long as I can." -Sophomore

11. "My biggest fear has to be losing someone important. I feel like if I were to lose someone like my mom or Kaelyn or even you, my world would take a major turn in the wrong direction." -Freshman

12. "Fear of dying without having experienced everything I want to experience and without reaching my long-term goals." -Sophomore

13. "I would say it would be being so invested in my studies that I forget to stop and breathe to enjoy life as it can be taken any moment, especially now when the world is so corrupt and full of violence." -Sophomore

14. "Losing someone I love which is my biggest fear because it’s inevitable." -Junior

15. "My biggest fear is probably like not being successful in life and not having money because when I think of my future, I think about all the things I wanna give my kids and I wouldn't want them to grow up with me being super poor and not being able to not support them." -Sophomore

16. "Not knowing how my life is going to turn out." -Sophomore

17. "Alright, so this fear has been haunting me since I was twelve when I told my dad I wanted to be a professional soccer player and seeing countless hours spent on the field go to waste. I also fear how if it doesn't happen, my father's money would go to waste, knowing he worked so hard to just help me reach a simple dream, a goal." -Sophomore

18. "I thought about it and instead of it being snakes or spiders, my biggest fear is to never reach my full potential and give up on all my goals and dreams and just become a 9-5 cynical employee to a company I don’t care about and just give up. I want to see the world, help people and love my career. I would hate to become that person that always asks 'what if' you know?" -Sophomore

19. "I fear regret. Having a lot of regrets when I'm older is scary because I can't change the past, and the time is now to do a bunch of crazy stuff while I still can!" -Sophomore

20. "My biggest fear would probably something related to my family, like something serious. For example, one of them getting hit by a car... I don't like to think about it but that's what I am most afraid of. But, you know what's funny? I'm not really afraid of me dying as much as I fear the people around me dying." -Freshman

21. "Not being good enough." -Sophomore

22. "Getting raped without knowing (like if you're unconscious) probably because you have no control over it and you never know what the perpetrator has or will do." - Freshman

23. "My biggest fear is being trapped, like in your own body and mind and life; especially if there's no way to communicate! Like being a person in a coma to me sounds terrifying, especially if you're not brain dead just unresponsive because it means you're trapped in your own body and can't get out or let anyone know you're there. Kind of like in space no one can hear you scream." -Senior

24. "My biggest fear is needing to scream but I just couldn’t because no sound came out from my mouth although I am literally shouting." - Junior

25. "I don’t like being alone, I’m scared of not having any friends left around me." -Senior

26. "Personally, I would say cancer because there’s no easy solution and It can take life so quickly." -Senior

27. "I think my biggest fear is not living up to my fullest potential. I would just hate myself for the rest of my life." -Sophomore

28. "Failing school is my biggest fear. There is so much pressure on students nowadays that the competition is overwhelming." -Sophomore

29. " Ok so my fear is a super weird fear but I'm like terrified of getting my blood taken and I have a weird fear the needle will get ripped out and my blood vessels will break and blood will squirt out." -Senior

30. "My biggest fear in life is losing my family. My biggest personal fear is not living up to the bar I've set for myself." -Sophomore

31. "My biggest fear is leaving my house on any regular day, doing the same usual routine and never making it back home." -Junior

32. "It would probably have to be giving my heart to the wrong guy. I hate that you can never know what somebody's true intentions are with you. It's just scary to think that I may not feel comfortable enough to fully commit because of all the scary relations stories I've heard." -Sophomore

33. "Definitely would have to be disappointing not only my parents but my future children and myself." -Freshman


All these fears come straight from the heart. They are real concerns that lie in the center of our hearts and in the mass of our brains. Each day our fears grow at an alarming rate directly with the growth in breaking news headlines.

Will our lives eventually be completely consumed by fears? You tell me.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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14 Inspirational 'Winnie The Pooh' Quotes For College Kids Feeling Like Eeyore

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Winnie the Pooh and his friends were my best buds as a child. Now, as a college student, I've realized they knew more about life than I thought.

These 14 quotes from the 'Winnie the Pooh' movies, TV shows, and books, is getting me through this difficult semester, and maybe it will help you, too.

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Music Review: Greta Van Fleet, "Anthem of the Peaceful Army"

The best rock album of the year.

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Greta Van Fleet is a rock band with a classic rock sound. But what is so amazing is that the four members, 3 of which are brothers, are between the ages of 19 and 22. You have Josh, the lead singer; Jake, who plays guitar; Sam, who plays the bass and piano; and Danny, who plays the drums. They just released their first full album this year, back in October. I have been waiting for this album for so long and it is just so awesome! I love it. I ordered a vinyl record when it was released and it is amazing. This is a breakdown of each song, and what you can expect from each one.

1.​ Age Of Man

Age Of Man: This is the opening song of the album. The song starts off slow, but it reminds me of something mystical. The lyrics of the whole song remind me of an oral story that is being told from an elder to the younger people about how we as people have come about. Josh's vocals are just amazing in the chorus, he can really belt! Overall I think this is a great song, and it's a great opening to what these guys want to tell.

2. The Cold Wind

The Cold Wind: This song is just so fun. Sam does an amazing job in the bass in this song. It sounds so intricate and really adds a lot to this song. Furthermore, Jake's little guitar solo is so fun. One thing that is starting to grow on me about this song is the vocals in the middle of the song where Josh is just saying "Ma ma ma ma ma…". It sounds a little funny and the first time I heard it I actually laughed out loud because it reminded me of a confused dodo bird. But the more I listen to it, the more I like it because it's just such a fun thing. This is the kind of song that I can just stupidly dance around to and have fun with it.

3. When The Curtain Falls

When The Curtain Falls: I actually had this song stuck in my head for the past few nights while trying to sleep, which was interesting. But this song is so fun. Just every aspect of this song, from the vocals to the guitar, to the drums, to the bass, perfectly melds together to create this masterpiece. Also, Jake does a sick guitar riff. Like I am blown away! Just so good.

4. Watching Over

Watching Over: We're slowing it down again. But it has a psychedelic feel to it. This song is much more serious than some of the other ones. The chorus really hits on the point how much we have ruined our planet, but we don't want to see it or fix it because many people are acting like it's fine. Kind of a deep and depressing song, but so relevant and thought provoking. A very interesting detail that I hope you hear when listening to this, it kind of freaked me out the first time I heard it, but during the part when Josh sings, "With the water rising" you can hear like a deeper voice singing it too. Perhaps it's the one watching over?

5. Lover, Leaver

Lover, Leaver: This song is one of my favorites. It reminds me of a 70s song because of the way the instruments come together. It gives a feeling of Woodstock and nostalgia. Furthermore, the lyrics are a fun play on words. For example, "Lover, leaver" sounds like "love her, leave her". I don't know if they meant for that to happen, but it just adds a bit extra to the song. The ending is mind boggling. Danny does an amazing job on those drums. I can only imagine how tiring it must be.

6. You're The One

You're The One: This song is just so cute and loving. Sam does a great job on the piano, which adds a lot of character to the song. It sounds like a song I've heard before, like this could be a cover to an older song, but I can't find anything about it. Obviously they've done a good job achieving that older sound if I think it sounds like an older song. This is a great song and I highly recommend this song if you want something a bit more relaxed and loving.

7. The New Day

The New Day: I love this song. It makes me feel so inspired to just go out and love people. The opening line, which is my favorite, just says it all, "Let the new day shine its light on me". What a powerful opening line! However, there's a line that says, "You're growing up I'll watch you bloom" but I always think he's saying "You're throwing up". I think that's just a "me problem", but it makes the song a bit funnier. Anyway, I feel like a flower child when I listen to this song, and that's all I want in life. I hope that this song inspires you too and that you wake up each day with a fresh start.

8. Mountain of the Sun

Mountain of the Sun: Another great song. This is an awesome song to listen to while hiking or just out and about. The opening guitar sounds so cool, and makes you feel like you're on a journey. Josh's voice is just so incredible, but it really shines in this song. Jake has an awesome riff in this song, and one of my favorite parts is when they use the tambourine. It's such a simple sound, but it adds another layer to this song.

9. Brave New World

Brave New World: This song is much darker than the others, in respect to both content and sound. This song again reflects on the damage that we have done to this earth, but a more social commentary on it. One of my favorite lines of the song is "kill fear, the power of lies For we will not be hypnotized" because fear is a powerful thing, and fear is a liar. It makes us believe lies that we tell ourselves or that we hear from others. Once you realize this, you will not give in to fear and you will know the truth. Again, Jake has an amazing rift near the end and Sam does some awesome things with the bass. They just kill it every time.

10. Anthem

Anthem: This song is personally one of my other favorites. It's one of their slower songs but it ties the whole album together since it is the "Anthem" of the Peaceful Army. The song talks about how there are so many problems in the world and everyone has different opinions, but we should "agree to disagree" on our opposing views and just love each other. This is a chill song. It almost has a tropical feel to it, so you feel so relaxed.

11. Lover, Leaver (Taker, Believer)

Lover, Leaver (Taker, Believer): This is an extended version of "Lover, Leaver" and it is just as amazing. It's a bit longer because there is more of a rif in the middle. You get so much more from all of the members. You just have to listen to this song because they all just do such an amazing job making this song even more perfect, which I didn't even know was possible.

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