What’s Really Scary

WhatsReallyScary.JessicaLaGreca Lions, tigers and bears, oh my!

Ebola, ISIS and abductions – oh NO.

In a world of American horror stories and pretty little liars, what used to be “scary” is now seriously laughable. Pop culture has nipped and tucked our gory guilty pleasures to make them perfectly presentable for prime-time audiences. And while it’s all for entertainment purposes, don’t you think it makes our fears a little… irrational?

Exhibit A: according to our favorite little liars, murder is totally standard and actually pretty glamorous. NBD, right?

But c’mon, how many of us can’t sleep at night because we’re terrified that we’ll be victims of a murder trial? Not too many of us. For years pop culture has downplayed these fears, allowing us to believe that most killers are well-dressed prom queens.

“I feel like it’s easier to be afraid of things that don’t really play a part of your everyday life, like ghosts or murder,” says junior Paige Wertz. “It’s easier to do that than worry about things that are huge and could actually happen.”

The truth is that there is some seriously scary stuff going on in this world right now. While it may not be glamorized on our favorite TV shows, if we flip the channel we’ll find news anchors breaking down the latest in ISIS threats, Ebola scares and missing person’s cases.

Take for example the current missing person’s case of University of Virginia student Hannah Graham. Graham – a student just like you and me – disappeared over a month ago after a night out off-campus.  CNN confirmed her death last Friday.

Heavy stuff for college students.

The take away from the Graham case is that what happened Hannah could have happened to anyone, at any school – and that’s scary.

Perhaps it’s easier to focus on our irrational fears of killer clowns and murderous cheerleaders than to face the truly frightening issues head-on. Why live our lives in fear? Just because you cough doesn’t mean you have Ebola, and we’re a good 6,000 miles from any ISIS activity.

The key is awareness, and keeping the scary stuff on your radar. The more we think about the big picture, the less irrational our fears actually seem. It’s OK to be afraid, as long as we keep it all in perspective.

So, Penn State, what really scares you?


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