By: Zykeria Rolle, Junior
Merriam-Webster defines fear as “an unpleasant often strong emotion caused by anticipation or awareness of danger.” So, as Halloween approaches, fear looms through the air.
As we grow from children to adults, our fears grow with us. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, “An estimated 19.3% of adolescents had specific phobias” from the fear of falling off a cliff to fear of death. Fear shapes our society one scream, jump, and cry at a time.
Fear shapes our decision-making forcing us to conform to social norms or break them. Interestingly, when asked about her fears Damaris V, a twelfth grader, she began to list her fears: “The front part of ships, SAT, failure, disappointing people, and not being enough for someone.” In high school, “fear of the unknown” is common to graduating seniors after being in school for twelve years.
After surveying the upperclassmen of iPreparatory Academy, 40 high school students, about their fears, the conclusions are pretty accurate due to the social climate of today.
The conclusions of the survey are quite interesting.
The 6 Top Fears of High School Students:
In any other survey, the traditional answer would be death. Why do people fear mass shooting over death? According to an ongoing crowd-sourced mass shooting tracker, there have been exactly 413 mass shootings in 2019, so far. Last year, in Broward county, near our school, a gunman killed 17 students on Valentine’s Day. This sparked an ongoing movement to combat these shootings.
In a frank discussion with Lucile Calvo, an 11th grader, she explained, “Being in a supposably safe space and hearing gunshots shake a person to their core. Witnessing death around you, you feel a sort of empathy, hearing the terrorizing screams makes you realize that life is precious. We don’t have control over our lives and our life in the hands of a shooter. Just to be in corner knowing that death is iminent, after hundreds of same incidents have occured, fear is the only option left.” The growth mass shootings has led to push for banning assault weapons, a push for bringing clear backpack to school, and hundreds of protests. The fear of what mankind will do with these weapons had led to the fear of an unforeseen death, in a safe space.
With a few weeks until Halloween, scary movies and haunted houses dominate Miami. The fear that some crave to experience gives us validity. The fear that consumes us, dominates everything we do in life. On October 31, 2019, reflect on your own phobias of school, life to grow into a fearless person.
“Mass Shooting Tracker.” Mass Shooting Tracker, 16 Oct. 2019, www.massshootingtracker.org/data.
Santiago, David. “Gov. DeSantis Signs Controversial Bill Arming Teachers in Florida Public Schools.” Miamiherald, Miami
Herald, 8 May 2019, www.miamiherald.com/news/local/education/article230195734.html.
“Specific Phobia.” National Institute of Mental Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services,
I am an African-American woman and advocate for human rights. I love my dog, food, and my Twitter account.