Suspension: Getting Over My Fear of Heights (Sort Of)

Suspension: Getting Over My Fear of Heights (Sort Of)

I've always been terrified of roller coasters and Ferris Wheels, but I might be getting out of that fear

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I am a baby. I'm not afraid to admit that, especially right when I back out on going on some tall ride at an amusement part. For as long as I can remember, heights have never been friendly to me. I always envisioned falling out of my seat or the whole contraption collapsing for some ridiculous reason. I never wanted to do anything about it either, because I thought it was a pretty reasonable and common fear.

Then came this trip to Costa Rica. I knew we would be doing some stuff out of my comfort zone like zip lining through the rain forest canopy at night and taking some leaps from waterfalls (they were never more than 30 feet though, no worries). Each of us had the chance to pick an activity to do each day, and I decided to push myself.

"Canyoneering in the Rain Forest" seemed like the perfect thing for me. Rappelling down cliff faces, a waterfall, and dropping into a river all felt pretty uncomfortable but not so unreasonable. The first three drops were no more than 45 feet, so I felt perfectly fine. Then the last drop came. Our guide turned to us and said, "Okay guys, now this is the last drop. It is the waterfall drop and it is 120 feet to the bottom." I didn't know if I had it in me at first.

But once I got to the edge after being secured to the ropes, I pushed off and felt nothing but pure joy. I had to ride a zip line to the center of the waterfall (it's dry season here, so it was more of a water stream) before beginning my descent. Despite the less-than-impressive waterfall, the rock face was very slippery. No matter though, because I rappelled to the bottom with no anxiety or worry in my body.

That wasn't the tough part. After we all got to the bottom, our guide directed our attention straight above us. A suspension bridge crossed the small canyon we stood in, more than 120 feet in the air. They said it was optional, I decided to give it a try. How hard can that be if I just dropped 120 feet into this same canyon?

I was terrified. Going across, I could only think of when the possible instant could be that the whole bridge would snap. The constant rocking and unsteady footing didn't help my anxiety much. I clutched the side cables with my life, not daring to look down. Once I crossed, I was told we have to go back across in order to get lunch. I thought I couldn't do it. But that photo above? I took it roughly 40 feet out on the bridge, hands-free, with a straight drop of 120 feet below me to a shallow pool of water.

I felt so accomplished knowing that I had just done so many things in one day that I would have never dared to consider years ago. I still don't think I could take on a roller coaster just yet, but maybe a Ferris Wheel. Start off slow? Maybe this is the start of me finally getting over my fear of heights, and I can't be more thankful for this chance.

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To The Nursing Major During The Hardest Week Of The Year

I know that no grade can possibly prove what kind of nurse you will be. I know that no assignment will showcase your compassion. I know that no amount of bad days will ever take away the empathy inside of you that makes you an exceptional nurse.

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To the Nursing Major During Finals Week,

I know you're tired, I know you're stressed, and I know you feel like you can't go on. I know that no part of this seems fair, and I know you are by far the biggest critic of yourself. I know that you've thought about giving up. I know that you feel alone. I know that you wonder why in the world you chose one of the hardest college majors, especially on the days it leaves you feeling empty and broken.

But, I also know that you love nursing school. I know your eyes light up when you're with patients, and I know your heart races when you think of graduation. I know that you love the people that you're in school with, like truly, we're-all-in-this-together, family type of love. I know that you look at the older nurses with admiration, just hoping and praying that you will remain that calm and composed one day. I know that every time someone asks what your college major is that you beam with pride as you tell them it's nursing, and I know that your heart skips a beat knowing that you are making a difference.

I know that no grade can possibly prove what kind of nurse you will be. I know that no assignment will showcase your compassion. I know that a failed class doesn't mean you aren't meant to do this. I know that a 'C' on a test that you studied so. dang. hard. for does not mean that you are not intelligent. I know that no amount of bad days will ever take away the empathy inside of you that makes you an exceptional nurse.

I know that nursing school isn't fair. I know you wish it was easier. I know that some days you can't remember why it's worth it. I know you want to go out and have fun. I know that staying up until 1:00 A.M. doing paperwork, only to have to be up and at clinicals before the sun rises is not fair. I know that studying this much only to be failing the class is hard. I know you wish your friends and family understood. I know that this is difficult.

Nursing school isn't glamorous, with the white lab coat and stethoscope. Nursing school is crying, randomly and a lot. Nursing school is exhaustion. Nursing school is drinking so much coffee that you lose track. Nursing school is being so stressed that you can't eat. Nursing school is four cumulative finals jam-packed into one week that is enough to make you go insane.

But, nursing school is worth it. I know that when these assignments are turned in and finals are over, that you will find the motivation to keep going. I know that one good day of making a difference in a patient's life is worth a hundred bad days of nursing school.

Keep hanging in there, nursing majors. It'll all be worth it— this I know, for sure.

So, if you have a nursing major in your life, hug them and tell them that you're proud of them. Nursing school is tough, nursing school is scary, and nursing school is overwhelming; but a simple 'thank-you' from someone we love is all we need to keep going.

Sincerely,

A third-year nursing student who knows

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To The High School Graduating Seniors

I know you're ready, but be ready.

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Seniors,

I am not going to say anything about senioritis because I was ready to get out of there and I'm sure you are too; however, in your last months living at home you should take advantage of the luxuries you will not have in a college dorm. The part of college seen in movies is great, the rest of it is incredibly inconvenient. It is better to come to terms with this While you still have plenty of time to prepare and enjoy yourself.

Perhaps one of the most annoying examples is the shower. Enjoy your hot, barefoot showers now because soon enough you will have no water pressure and a drain clogged with other people's hair. Enjoy touching your feet to the floor in the shower and the bathroom because though it seems weird, it's a small thing taken away from you in college when you have to wear shoes everywhere.

Enjoy your last summer with your friends. After this summer, any free time you take is a sacrifice. For example, if you want to go home for the summer after your freshman year and be with your friends, you have to sacrifice an internship. If you sacrifice an internship, you risk falling behind on your resume, and so on. I'm not saying you can't do that, but it is not an easy choice anymore.

Get organized. If you're like me you probably got good grades in high school by relying on your own mind. You think I can remember what I have to do for tomorrow. In college, it is much more difficult to live by memory. There are classes that only meet once or twice a week and meeting and appointments in between that are impossible to mentally keep straight. If you do not yet have an organizational system that works for you, get one.

I do not mean to sound pessimistic about school. College is great and you will meet a lot of people and make a lot of memories that will stick with you for most of your life. I'm just saying be ready.

-A freshman drowning in work

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