Generation Fear

Fear is no “elephant in the room.”  Much of our generation seems to be driven by fear: fear of the future, fear of uncertainty or even fear of random acts of violence. Fear can be hindering to one and their ability to live their everyday lives with ease.  So what is there to do to cure ourselves of our own terrors?  Or is it just naturally ever-present?

Our generation seems to be plagued by the idea of fear.  We have it ingrained in our minds to be cautious, being taught from a very young age.  One of my close friends suggested that it starts with our parents teaching us the concept of “stranger danger.”  They teach us to never speak to someone we do not know, for anxiety that they will do something to harm us.  Fear being the common driving factor, even at such a young age.  As a college student, the fear that was instilled in me as a child, still resides.  Now, it is translated into uneasiness for the future, uncertainty of unknown outcomes, fear of rejection and scares of random acts of violence striking our campus.

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After talking with a good friend that attends Florida State University, it was further proved to me why she, I, and many other college students, live with this very terror of getting caught in the midst of an unraveling campus attack.  She illustrated to me her worry, telling me that she used to pass the library on a daily basis, frequently stopping in to study.  It just so happened that the night the shooting occurred, she did neither but the fact it hit so close to home, shook her to the core.  She carries on with her day-to-day life, but now she, and the rest of the Florida State University population, have to live uneasily and with caution of something like that happening again.

My heart truly goes out to all of those affected by the Florida State University shooting and to any other person affected by like events.  My heart hurts for those that have to now live with the very real nightmare of something like what they experienced happening again.

Many times fear is a gateway; fear of one thing always seems to lead to another.  Yet another common angst amongst students on college campuses across the nation, seems to be the fear of rejection.  Being in college, it seems that the worry of rejection not only stems from the area of academics but also from the social aspect as well.  People are concerned of not being accepted by others for who they are and the interests they have.  It is a sad reality, too.  College is a time when individuals dig deeper into who they are and what they envision for the rest of their lives and no one wants to do it alone and without support.

My argument is a simple one; we, with speaking of college students specifically, should not have to live in fear.  We should not have to live in fear of a school shooting unraveling on our campus, or of not having a stable future, or even of approaching someone we may not know.  I acknowledge that this is easier said than done but I believe that it all starts by not allowing ourselves to let our fears interrupt our daily lives.

Collegian Columnist Olivia Jordan can be reached at letters@collegian.com.