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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

With Halloween fast approaching, it’s no challenge to spot ghouls and goblins around every corner. Front doors are embellished with fall leaves and greetings. Jack O’Lanterns sit atop front porches, anticipating eager trick-or-treaters. Though fall is my favorite season, I  typically avoid anything that invokes fear, such as horror movies and haunted house activities. I do not like to dwell on the unpredictable or supernatural. However, this time of year is a steadfast reminder to me that all humans experience fear at one point or another. 

Some things will always scare me. I’d say my top two contenders are spiders and airplanes. Though I am improving my spider-killing skills, I always end up calling my dad into the room to perform the grotesque action. And airplanes- don’t get me started. Being 30,000 feet in the air prompts an inhuman response in my nervous system as my heart beats at the speed of light. Whoever sits next to me on the flight, please know you’ll be squeezing my hand during any turbulence. Though spiders and airplanes will always make my mind spiral by merely thinking of them, I also have fears that have evolved as I have grown up. What scared me as a simple-minded kindergartener may not faze me as a college student. Conversely, I have certainly adopted new worries since the naive bliss of my youth. 

When I tell anyone that I used to be afraid of being myself, a similar song and dance follow each time. They spit out their drink, laugh violently, and nod their head back and forth in denial. The same bubbly communications major who can’t keep her mouth shut? The one I saw dance on a table the other night? No way she ever faced self-confidence issues. I then shrug and reply with “I know, crazy right?” 

Like many, I hated middle school gym class. My thighs became larger and my glasses were too big for my face. My body felt clumsy compared to the athletic girls who ran and jumped like sports models. I dreaded the times I would have to go up for kickball, especially in front of the boys in my class. My biggest fear was to be the person I knew I actually was. It was deemed socially unacceptable to read or talk too much in middle school, which ironically happens to be my two favorite hobbies now. 

I write this to serve as a reminder of our natural passivity to the trials faced by others. You may not know what keeps your roommate up at night. Your mother may conceal from you her biggest fears. We all put on a facade to communicate to others that we are fine, when we may be far from it. It took years of experience, impactful friendships, and self-love to radiate the most authentic version of myself. While some things will always frighten me, I know that my identity won’t be one of them. I am no longer scared of the future, my potential, or how others perceive me. I urge you to realize that life is short and that some of our internalized fears are acting as unnecessary boundaries. Tell that person you love them, laugh as loud as you want, and sing karaoke with your friends. Do what scares you- it will lead you to life’s biggest rewards. 

Hi there! My name is Katie and I am a freshman Strategic Communications major at St. Bonaventure University. My favorite activities include reading, laughing with friends, and learning about new people and places.