What are you afraid of?

KRISTA ALBRITTON
Contributing Writer

In the spirit of the festivities that have gone on this past week, why not talk about something scary? There are many things out there in this crazy world of ours, so allow me to set the scene.

Now, imagine that you’ve just woken up from a beautiful night of sleep. You are well-rested and ready to tackle your 8:00 a.m. head on. You are confident that today will be a good day. But, the second you leave your dorm, something feels off.

There is a chill in the air that gradually crawls down your spine, the sky is a deep stormy gray and the wind can be heard whistling through the trees.  You swallow down your initial feeling of fear and tell yourself that you’re being silly. Nothing could possibly be wrong.

You try and ignore it, but the closer you get to your first class, the faster your heart beats. Your breathing picks up, catching in your throat. You start walking slower and debate on whether or not to turn back. Finally, you are at the right door.

You hesitate and take a deep breath, preparing yourself for whatever is in the room. With your eyes shut tight, you walk in. One…two…three…You open your eyes. Immediately, a sigh of relief escapes you when nothing appears to be wrong. You smile. However, just as you are heading to your seat, something flashes in the corner of your eye.

Every muscle in your body tenses as you freeze in place. You slowly turn your head in the direction of the board, and you start to tremble as the horrific sight burns itself into your memory.

There, right in front of you, covering the entire board is the one thing you never wished to see. Bright red and seemingly splattered without care, they mock you. Those hideous things are your worst nightmare, and you’ve done your best to avoid them.

Now, you stand there staring at the symbols on the board. All of those formulas and those equations. All of those disgusting numbers. You can stand it no longer and fly out of that room of horrors back to the safety of your room.

Now, that story may not have gone the way that was expected and may not have been scary to you. To some people in the world, however, it is a very real fear. Numerophobia, the fear of numbers, is only one example of the many phobias that are present in this world.

A phobia is an extreme or irrational fear of something that often poses no real threat. People with phobias will often go to extreme lengths to avoid the fear stimulus. It can even be so severe as to affect the afflicted person’s day to day life.

As someone with Cnidophobia, the fear of stinging insects, I leave you with this question: What are you scared of?