Unpopular Opinion: I Don't Like Roller Coasters

Unpopular Opinion: I Don't Like Roller Coasters

It's fine, I'll just meet you guys at the end.
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The time has come for shorts, beaches, and making decisions that you’ll probably regret by the time you’re 40––it’s Spring Break!

Most students look froward to this week of freedom and revelry for the whole year, and I would be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy it as well. But one of the staples that most other people can’t wait for is one that I personally despise, or even fear: the amusement park.

Don’t get me wrong, if you invite me to go to Disneyland with you, I will have my Mickey ears on before you even finish asking, but practically any other park, especially one such as Six Flags, gives me goosebumps, and not in a good way.

I hate roller coasters. I’ve hated roller coasters my entire life.

I’ll allow you a moment of recovery as your jaw is most likely still on the floor in shock. It’s a ridiculous statement, I know. Hate roller coasters? Impossible! Nobody hates roller coasters! Well, I do. Sometimes I amaze even myself with my odd tastes (while we’re at it, I don’t like cilantro, either––an equally reprehensible sin from what I’ve been told).

But how could I possibly disown such a beloved worldwide phenomenon? The key is all in perception, my friend. Let me explain: for me, the absolute worst feeling one can possibly experience on God’s green earth is the dropping feeling you get in your stomach when you’re plummeting down a 180-degree drop on one of these so-called thrill rides (aside from getting a limb ripped off. Or getting impaled with a metal rod. Or childbirth. But as I’ve never experienced any of these, I’m just going to go with stomach drops for now).

What’s interesting about this is that these stomach drops are exactly the reason most other people (you included, probably) love roller coasters so much. Whenever I tell someone I don’t like the feeling, they invariably respond with, “Oh, I LOVE that feeling! It’s so great! You can just feel your stomach floating all the way up to your throat!” Yes. I know. That’s what I don’t like about it. And you reiterating how much you adore that feeling makes me think that you either didn’t hear what I just said, or are trying to invalidate my opinion simply because you don’t agree with my perspective.

I realize I’m in the vast minority here. I’ve met only a handful of people who share my distaste for drops, and if any of you are listening (or reading in this case), I appreciate you. But the reason this topic is so divisive is because that dropping feeling registers as something entirely different for me than it does for any given roller coaster buff. While they feel a thrilling rush of adrenaline, I feel pain. It hurts. It doesn’t make me feel nauseous or dizzy, it is just incredibly painful, and it only gets worse when I’m made to feel guilty for not wanting to subject myself to something that (according to my brain) is harming me.

I may sound defensive about this, but that’s because I am. I’ve had to be. I’ve learned over time that out of all the different squeamish discomforts people have about amusement parks, fear of drops is probably the least respected.

If someone doesn’t like the spinning teacups because it makes them feel sick, that’s fine. If someone doesn’t like roller coasters because they’re afraid of heights, that’s fine. And I agree with both of these statements. But usually people look down on me for not liking drops because they don’t understand how something they perceive as so enjoyable could be perceived as so abhorrent to someone else.

As I understand it, roller coasters are so well-loved because they give you a sense of danger but simultaneously a sense of immortality. They bring you just close enough to death that you can feel the panic and adrenaline, but then whisk you away again, like you have the power to fly away from your inherent human fragility with no repercussions. For whatever reason, my brain likes to interpret this phenomenon as a near death experience regardless of how strong I’m harnessed in.

If you enjoy roller coasters and are appalled by how I could denounce one of your favorite pastimes, I’m not looking to start a fight––I’m merely looking for recognition. Not everyone’s experience is the same, and in many ways, it’s our different perceptions of experiences that make us unique. In short, don’t hate––appreciate the fact that if you go to an amusement park with me, you’ll automatically have a ready and willing bag-holder.

Cover Image Credit: https://fthmb.tqn.com

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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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

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5 Reasons It's Always Worth It To Be A Summer Camp Counselor

Summer camps have a special place in my heart, and I'm here to share that with you.

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Since I was 15, I have been a counselor at various summer camps. I have been a Program Aide at Girl Scout camp, a counselor at church camp, and a counselor at a day camp. These were all camps that I attended as a kid, so they already had a special place in my heart when I got a chance to work at them.

After being a camp counselor for five years, there are things that I have learned on the job that has helped me in life. Being a counselor has also helped me grow as a person. It's helped me gain skills that I don't think I would have learned in other jobs. I'm here to share what I love about the job of being a camp counselor.

1. You get to be the leader/role model

As a kid, there were many counselors in my life that I looked up to. They were people that I strived to be alike in my life, but now that I'm older, I get to be that person for the kid. What I say and do will influence how the kids around me act. That comes with a lot of stress, but it's also empowering. You can be a positive influence in a kids life, and hopefully, teach them important life lessons.

2. You can be your goofy self

One thing that I love about working with kids is that I can be silly around them. Kids won't judge you for being silly because they're silly right alongside you. They feed off your energy, and it can help them explore the world around them through communication. Plus, when was it not fun to be silly?

3. You get to hang out with kids all day

This reason might turn people off from the job, but it's a part of why I love being a counselor. Hanging out with kids tires me out at times, but they also motivate me to keep going. They're little balls of energy, and I feed off of other people's energies well. The kids also help me feel youthful and like nothing matters. Everything is fun to them; they help me keep a positive outlook on life.

4. Your coworkers become your best friends

Working at a summer camp can be difficult at times. It's emotionally and physically draining as well. But having a good support team helps with that. The counselors that I have worked with in the past have become my best friends, and I still stay in touch with some. They're there for you when no one else is, and they understand what you're going through. You know that their feelings for you are genuine, and they want to help as much as they can.

5. You get to watch the kids grow

Over the summer, I get to see the same kids every week at my camp. I get to see them grow as people over the summer and it's a rewarding experience knowing that I was able to help them. Watching them become leaders and grow into little helpers by the end of the summer is one of my favorite things.

I'm excited to have the opportunity to work at a summer camp again this year. I know that it'll provide an opportunity to grow as a person and I can't wait to see my favorite kids again.

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