What we fear can paralyze us, or provide good fuel for our friends to make fun of us. Either way, since this is Halloween season, I asked students and staff members what really freaks them out, and some of the answers were reasonable and others were just funny.
Senior Tyler Smith has a fear of small holes clustered together. I’m not kidding; I laughed in his face but the fear is common enough among the general public that it has a name, trypophobia.
As to why Tyler is afraid of clusters of holes, I haven’t the slightest fraction of a clue. What I do know is that fear varies from person to person, which is fascinating. While many people I talked to, such as art teacher Mrs. Curley, junior Allison Camillo and about half the population of the earth (including me), confessed an aversion to spiders, others had an oddly specific fear such as a fear of being rejected by Steve Carell. This is Mrs. Fay’s actual fear. The English teacher wakes up screaming in the night from this.
Fear can be brought forth from childhood trauma or overexposure to a certain thing. It’s entirely dependent on the person. Ms. Della Croce, the PE teacher, is actually afraid of dying in a plane crash. “I wouldn’t want to know if I was going to die,” she said. “I would just want the plane to crash ‘cause if I knew, I would be scared.”
Ms. D is suffering from agoraphobia, or the fear of being trapped in a place from which she can’t escape.
I managed to get a word with junior Dan McDougall, whose fear is sharks. When I asked Dan why he’s afraid of the animal, he responded with, “I don’t know. They’re just scary.” Wow, such prolific words.
Fears can be both rational and irrational. A rational fear would be junior Courtney Ceurvels, who was feasted upon by ticks . . . so she obviously hates ticks. An irrational fear would be from junior Kylie Chetwynde, who claims to be afraid of jeans. I didn’t ask why; I just moved on with my day.
Some people have no time for fears. “You shouldn’t be afraid of something,” said junior Erin Thornton. “That’s messed up.”
Plenty of people are afraid of plenty of things. Librarian Mrs. McHugh fears nothing more than crickets in her library. The scars from last year’s senior prank have not healed and I wonder if they truly ever will.
It’s important to realize, however, that being afraid of something isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Conquering a fear can be a very rewarding experience and it helps you grow as a person. Really, no matter what you’re afraid of . . . I’ll always be scarier.
Remember that when you go to bed later 🙂