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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Why High School Musicals Should Be As Respected As Sports Programs Are

The arts are important, too.
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When I was in middle school and high school, I felt like I lived for the musicals that my school orchestrated.

For those of you who don't know, a musical is an onstage performance wherein actors take on roles that involve singing, and often dancing, to progress the plot of the story. While it may sound a little bit nerdy to get up in front of an audience to perform in this manner, this is something you cannot knock until you try it.

For some reason, though, many public schools have de-funded arts programs that would allow these musicals to occur, while increasing the funding for sports teams. There are a few things that are being forgotten when sports are valued more than musical programs in high schools.

Much like athletic hobbies, an actor must try-out, or audition, to participate in a musical. Those best suited for each role will be cast, and those who would not fit well are not given a part. While this may sound similar to trying out for say, basketball, it is an apples to oranges comparison.

At a basketball try-out, those who have the most experience doing a lay-up or shooting a foul shot will be more likely to succeed, no questions asked. However, for an audition, it is common to have to learn a piece of choreography upon walking in, and a potential cast member will be required to sing a selected piece with only a few days of preparation.

There are many more variables involved with an audition that makes it that much more nerve-racking.

The cast of a school musical will often rehearse for several months to perfect their roles, with only several nights of performance at the end. Many sports practice for three or four days between each of their respective competitions. While this may seem to make sports more grueling, this is not always the case.

Musicals have very little pay-off for a large amount of effort, while athletic activities have more frequent displays of their efforts.

Athletes are not encouraged to but are allowed to make mistakes. This is simply not allowed for someone in a musical, because certain lines or entrances may be integral to the plot.

Sometimes, because of all the quick changes and the sweat from big dance numbers, the stage makeup just starts to smear. Despite this, an actor must smile through it all. This is the part of musicals that no sport has: introspection.

An actor must think about how he or she would respond in a given situation, be it saddening, maddening, frightening, or delightful. There is no sport that requires the knowledge of human emotion, and there is especially no sport that requires an athlete to mimic such emotion. This type of emotional exercise helps with communications and relationships.

Sports are great, don't get me wrong. I loved playing volleyball, basketball, track, and swimming, but there were no experiences quite like those from a musical. Sports challenge the body with slight amounts of tactic, while musicals require much physical and mental endurance.

The next time you hear someone say that it's “just a musical," just remember that musicals deserve as much respect as sports, since they are just as, if not more demanding.

Cover Image Credit: Cincinnati Arts

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10 Shows To Watch If You're Sick Of 'The Office'

You can only watch it so many times...

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"The Office" is a great show, and is super easy to binge watch over and over again! But if you're like me and you're looking for something new to binge, why not give some of these a try? These comedies (or unintentional comedies) are a great way to branch out and watch something new.

1. "New Girl"

A show about a group of friends living in an apartment in a big city? Sound familiar? But seriously, this show is original and fresh, and Nick Miller is an icon.

2. "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend"

Ya'll have been sleeping on this show. It's a musical comedy about a girl that follows her ex boyfriend across the country. I thought it sounded horrible so I put it off for WAY too long, but then I realized how incredible the cast, music, writing, and just EVERYTHING. It really brings important issues to light, and I can't say too much without spoiling it. Rachel Bloom (the creator of the show) is a woman ahead of her time.

3. "Jane the Virgin"

I know... another CW show. But both are so incredible! Jane The Virgin is a tongue-in-cheek comedy and parody of telenovelas. It has so many twists and turns, but somehow you find yourself laughing with the family.

4. "Brooklyn Nine-Nine"

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Brooklyn Nine-Nine has been in popular news lately since its cancellation by Fox and sequential pickup by NBC. It's an amazing show about cops in, you guessed it, Brooklyn. Created by the amazing Michael Schur, it's a safe bet that if you loved "The Office" you'll also love his series "Brooklyn Nine-Nine".

5. "The Good Place"

Another series created by the talented Micael Schur, it's safe to say you've probably already heard about this fantasy-comedy series. With a wonderful cast and writing that will keep you on your toes, the show is another safe bet.

6. "Fresh Off The Boat"

Seriously, I don't know why more people don't watch this show. "Fresh Off The Boat" focuses on an Asian family living in Orlando in the mid 90s. Randall Parks plays a character who is the polar opposite of his character in "The Interview" (Yeah, remember that horrifying movie?) and Constance Wu is wonderful as always.

7. "Full House"

Why not go back to the basics? If you're looking for a nostalgic comedy, go back all the way to the early days of Full House. If you're a '98-'00 baby like me, you probably grew up watching the Tanner family on Nick at Night. The entire series is available on Hulu, so if all else fails just watch Uncle Jesse and Rebecca fall in love again or Michelle fall off a horse and somehow lose her memory.

8. "Secret Life of the American Teenager"

Okay, this show is not a comedy, but I have never laughed so hard in my life. It's off Netflix but it's still on Hulu, so you can watch this masterpiece there. Watch the terrible acting and nonsense plot twists drive this show into the ground. Somehow everyone in this school dates each other? And also has a baby? You just have to watch. It might be my favorite show of all time.

9. "Scrubs"

Another old show that is worth watching. If you ignore the last season, Scrubs is a worthwhile medical comedy about doctors in both their personal and medical life. JD and Turk's relationship is one to be jealous of, and one hilarious to watch. Emotional at times, this medical drama is superior to any medical drama that's out now.

10. "Superstore"

I was resistant to watch this one at first, because it looked cheesy. But once I started watching I loved it! The show is a workplace comedy, one you're sure to love if you can relate to working in retail. If you liked the Office, you'll like Superstore!

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