International, domestic students share: “What are you most afraid of?”

Sabira Khalili, Contributor

From infancy until old age and death, all people experience dread. Fear is one of our core sentiments and is essential to our existence. Fear is a restraint that keeps people from making mistakes that put them at risk or result in accidents.

This unpleasant feeling is common among all groups of people and we can’t live a long life without fear, because fear motivates people to create devices for their own safety and protection. The person who built the airplane had an ambitious idea, but the person who built the parachute made the parachute based on what we feared and what people needed for security.

Fear exists in every human, but how it manifests varies from person to person. It can be anything: some people are afraid of losing their loved ones, some are afraid of failure and some are scared of snakes or spiders. 

Global Observer contributor Sabira Khalili asked students in Snell Quad on Northeastern University’s Boston campus “What are you most afraid of?” Most respondents cited climate change as prompting most fear about their futures.

Kate Yanulis, 18, a first-year behavioral neuroscience and philosophy major, said, “I’d say global poverty and hunger, water scarcity. The water crisis is definitely something that is very scary to me. And I feel like it’s impending doom along with climate change, like how that’s affecting everyone who does not have access to anything.”

Audrey Shield, a first-year business major with a minor in finance, said, “I’m probably most afraid of the increasing arguments. I guess the size of countries and corporations in the world, and how they’re creating, like global fights and stuff that could lead to war.”

Nadeem Baba, a first-year computer science major, said, “Climate change comes to my mind first and then the internet and how it changes culture. The internet makes people kind of change socially.”

Jason Haynes, a fourth-year bioengineering major, said, “I am most afraid of AI, probably AI taking over the world. Like with ChatGPT, I saw that yesterday. It was kind of scary, like seeing how intelligent it is. And they’ve even dumbed it down.”

Samantha Zheng, a second-year health science major, said, “I am pursuing a major that I don’t really want to pursue and it’s kind of related to climate change. That can be one thing that I am most concerned about.”

Celine Shafee, 18, a first-year molecular biology major with a minor in business administration, said, “My personal biggest fear is not reaching my fullest potential and in a broader sense, climate change, which makes me concerned about the future.”

Ananya Mahansaria, a business major, said, “I guess everything that’s happening in the world makes me afraid to look into the future and I think climate change is a big one.”

Alyssa Caramanica, a health sciences major, said, “I’m just afraid of, I guess failing at what I want to do before I even get to what I want to do. I guess being alone would suck,  like, it’s nice having my friends and family but if I didn’t have them, that would probably be what I’m most afraid of, just losing everyone.”