Article by: Sam B.

Elephants have mice, Superman’s got his kryptonite, and ISM students have PowerSchool. Now and again, we encounter our foes, our rivalrous counterparts that seem to be attached at the hip. However, some fears or idiosyncrasies may be more discreet than others. Despite their eloquent-sounding names, phobias are simply irrational fears, from a fear of the dark to the #FearOfMissingOut. To name a few more unique phobias, there are people with globophobia (the fear of balloons popping), anatidaephobia (the fear of being watched by a duck), and what is perceivably a product of this tech-centered era, nomophobia (the fear of not having cellular service).  

Though some phobias do seem more common than others – for example, a quick Google image search of ‘trypophobia’ (the fear of holes) has been known to irk whole classrooms – everyone has his or her own quirks and irrational fears, whether they know it or not.

For example, sophomore Dias K. had stated that he’s “afraid of the ocean,” despite being an IASAS medalist swimmer. When asked what exactly it was that causes this thalassophobia, he responded that he’s “not really sure, it’s just there…also sea creatures freak me out.” Kamille J. shares this same fear of the ocean, saying that she’d “always prefer to stay in the kayak/boat than go out and swim freely in the middle of the ocean.”

Adding on to the seemingly inexplicable phobias, junior Mark W. openly stated that he’s “afraid of feet,” meaning he suffers from podophobia. He describes them as “underdeveloped hands…hand imitators, ugly, and they’re so not chill.” To name a few more testimonies from our very own ISM students, senior Andy P. is also known to have a “fear of odd numbers” (disparnumerophobia), and senior Liah G. is admittedly afraid of horses (equinophobia).

On the other hand, Juliana A. admits that she has a fear of “being alone in a room” (monophobia). When asked what exactly she’s scared of whilst being alone, she claims that she fears that “someone is actually there…but not someone, something.” She adds, “I just don’t like being alone because I feel as if something is there, like something not human.” To combat this, Juliana says she just “runs out of the room and finds Bianca,” her younger sister.

Despite the perceived irrationality of all these fears, there’s no denying that everyone has a phobia of their own. And if you deny it, who knows? You may even have a fear of having fears —a condition known as phobophobia.


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