Keeping Your Friends Close But Your Enemies Closer

Keeping Your Friends Close But Your Enemies Closer

The struggle of a girl with selachophobia through Shark Week. I literally cried picking this cover photo.
7
views

This past week, Discovery Channel celebrated its 29th annual shark devoted event — Shark Week. This week was filled with interesting scientific studies on all types of sharks, action packed videos of the predators in action, and even a number of compelling shark attack survivor stories. Since I can remember, I’ve had an extremely irrational fear of sharks. When I was younger, I feared the chance of them appearing in the swimming pool, the bathtub and even sometimes from underneath my bed. To this day, this fear lives on and I find myself closing my eyes during previews of movies like "The Shallows," steering clear of anything "Jaws" related, and not traveling further than ankle deep into the ocean.

About four years ago, the crazy fear got crazier when I decided to sit down and face Shark Week. Several times I screamed, shuddered, and looked away but all in all I survived. It’s then I realized that to successfully “fight” your enemy, you must first know and understand him. So here I am years later still watching and intensely learning about my dear nemesis, the shark. Here below you’ll find a list of the many emotions my poor heart endures throughout the duration of this week:

When they show the largest shark ever filmed:

I mean that sucker was like over 20 feet long.

Through the entire episode on how violent shark mating is:

Some of those videos are really disturbing, and I feel like female sharks need some kind of feminism activist group.

Every time they mentioned the need for shark conservation and how much more often we attack them than they attack us:

The harm pollution and such does to our oceans is disturbing. You should look it up sometime.

When they had the episode on the frequency of sharks moving into shallow water:


And y’all all thought I was crazy for not going in the water.

When I was reminded that bull sharks can swim up river; and then reminded there is a chance of crocodiles or alligators being there the entire time anyway:

How the heck am I going to survive on this earth, like it’s literally 70 percent water and there are these sharped-tooth creatures everywhere.

Every time “The Shallows” commercial aired:

I really cannot handle that movie even if Blake Lively kills it.

When they give tips to avoid shark attacks and I notice that people ignore them regularly:

So maybe I take shark attack prevention too seriously.

When they aired one of the final episodes about sharks coming onto shore for pray:

Really? No. I can’t do it. No beach is safe.

All jokes aside, sharks really are neat (terrifying) creatures and Shark Week does a great job of embracing the beauty and wonder of these sea animals. Even though I’m more likely to be struck by lightning than attacked by a shark, my fear still remains. Yet, thanks to Shark Week for educating me on the behaviors of my most feared competitor, I’m ready to fight if need be.

Cover Image Credit: http://i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/03575/shark_3575581b.jpg

Popular Right Now

I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

858579
views

Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

5 Ways We Can Help Protect Marine Life That Will Make You Say 'Shell-Yeah'

It is serious!

866
views

Marine mammals such as dolphins, whales, and seals have captured the hearts of millions of people all over the world. But if we're not careful about how we treat their environment, they may not be around for much longer.

Here are some ways you can help protect our marine life friends!

1. Be beach-friendly. 

Whether you are at the beach to surf, swim, or just relax, always clean up after yourself. Explore and appreciate the ocean without interfering with wildlife or removing rocks or coral. If you really want to make a difference, start patrolling the beach area, and help pick up any trash you see lying around. Maybe even see if you can gather a group of people who will do it with you!

Also, don't take wild fish or hermit crabs away from their homes! They're not likely to live very long if they're taken away from their natural habitat. Also, never release any aquarium fish into the ocean or other bodies of water- a practice that can be very harmful to them.

2. Use fewer plastic products. 

Plastic can end up as ocean debris, which contributes to habitat destruction and entangles and kills tens of thousands of marine animals each year.

Many marine animals (such as sea turtles) mistake plastic waste for a viable food source, sometimes causing blockages in their digestive system. Though the declining sea turtle populations in oceans are due to a variety of reasons, plastic pollution plays a significant role. They eat things like jellyfish and are very likely to mistake a plastic straw for a jellyfish snack.

Also, don't ever release balloons- just pop them and throw them out. If you release them, they are a danger to marine wildlife who can accidentally swallow them because they mistook them for food.

3. Limit activities that can alter an animal's environment. 

Worldwide, dolphins face a variety of impacts that threaten their very existence- most of which are impacts of human activities. In recent history, the Yangtze river dolphin was declared extinct due to its river habitat being obstructed by the building of dams and the invasion of boat traffic.

When you are in the animals' natural habitat, be careful not to leave behind or do anything that could cause serious harm to their environment. Clean up after yourselves, and don't leave behind fishing wires, hooks, trash, or anything else.

4. Advocate for oil spill clean-up. 

Going along with the above statement, oil spills can be caused not only by equipment breaking down but also by people making mistakes or just being careless. Oil spills into rivers, oceans, and bays are often caused by accidents involving tankers, pipelines, storage facilities, drilling rigs, refineries, and barges.

Most oils float, so the animals most affected sea otters and sea birds that are found on the sea surface or on shorelines if the oil comes ashore. During most oil spills, seabirds are harmed and killed in greater numbers than any other kinds of creatures. If heavy oils get into the feathers of birds, they may die of hypothermia for losing their ability to keep themselves warm. This same effect is observed with sea otters. Sea otters can easily be harmed by oil since their ability to stay warm depends on their fur remaining clean. When oil remains on the beach for a while, other creatures, such as snails, clams, and terrestrial animals may suffer too.

Many light oils, such as gasoline and diesel, are considered to be toxic. They can kill animals or plants and they are also dangerous to humans who breathe their fumes or get it on their skin.

Go online to learn more about oil spills, and what you can do to help!

5. Lesson your carbon footprint. 



Because of ocean acidification, global warming has been a hot topic in the ocean world. When acidity of the ocean increases, it can cause devastating impacts on marine life, including plankton, corals, shellfish, and the animals that eat them.

The vast majority of the air we breathe comes from the oceans. That's why we say "if the oceans die, we die."


Marine mammals like the vaquita dolphin (only 30 left in existence due to illegal fishing in the Gulf of California) are not much different than humans. They know when they are in trouble, and they get scared.

Start researching online today to see how you can help!

Related Content

Facebook Comments