Fear Factor


For my fear presentation, I told the entire class my probably greatest fear; the fear of failure, specifically, in school. I first thought when I was about to share what I did, that my presentation would be short. I thought that everyone would just kind of say yep I have that fear a little bit too.

1) Examine the situation.
What is fear? Fear is something that keeps you from doing something. It’s something that holds you back.

2) Formulate an experiment.
My experiment was telling the class about my fear, failure in school. I told everyone about the reasoning behind my fear of failure in school, and it ended up being something else behind my fear.

3) Hypothesize the expected outcome.
 My hypothesis was “I believe that a lot my classmates will not realize that they have this fear, deep down in their hearts. It’s both a good fear, and a bad fear in ways, and this will be confusing to them probably. It should be fun to see the reaction from the classroom, as well as Beth. I’m conquering a fear of mine, as well as others’.”

4) Conduct the experiment.
I was one of the first few people to conduct my experiment (lucky me, with a slight fear still of public speaking). I talked about how my fear is failure. This fear always gets to me, especially since I’m only 17; younger than everyone else in the class and most people at IUPUI. I’m always afraid that, even though I’m “smart enough to get into college at 16”, I’m going to end up not doing as well as I planned. I have a 4.0 GPA, and this is my 5th semester here at IUPUI (I took a bunch of classes for “dual credit” when I was still technically in high school. My first semester, I got an A+ in the class I took. From then on, everything was A’s or A+’s, making my parents happy, and they’d buy me gifts for doing so well. I didn’t talk about it in class, but actually, this past Christmas, my grandparents gave me a substantial amount of money to pay for my college classes as well. Now that I really think about it, that probably didn’t help my fear. I guess my fear boils down to the fact that if I get as little as an A-, I’m letting down others, which makes me terribly depressed. There’s so much more I could say about my fear, but I expressed that in class.

5) Observe the reaction.
The reaction to my presentation had more of an affect on people than I thought it would. I had tons of people asking me questions and trying to get to the root of my fear. My reaction was probably the strongest though, because one question from Beth confirmed the reason for my fear, “what’s the worst that could happen with your mom if you got a bad grade?” As soon as the question entered my head, tears started pouring. I realized that my mom makes my life awful every time I do something that doesn’t live up to her expectations. This is with everything, not just school; she literally puts me into a miserable depression, as much as I love her, she does. I date a guy she doesn’t like, I get a bad grade on one assignment, I almost forget (I’ve never forgotten) to do an assignment, or just something like not helping her with her homework (she’s going back to school). I don’t necessarily have a fear of failing at school; I have a fear of failing at school because if I do, life will be miserable for me at home.

6) Analysis of hypothesis with actual outcome.
Well, I half-expected Beth to just tell me right then and there she was going to give me a B, just to see my reaction and see if I’d burst into tears. Other than that, from the other students’ comments, what I had expected to happen was correct (that quite a few others would have about the same fear).

7) Propose changes to your idea based on what happened.
I really like what happened (besides me crying) in my presentation. I’ve thought about what I would do differently if I did this again; I think I would have people right down on sheets of paper I could pass around, and write down what their GPA is and if they’re happy with it or not.

The person I related to most strongly:

a) What was it and who did it?
The presentation that I really related to/enjoyed was Amanda Wright, she talked about her many fears and had the class write down their name if they shared that fear. I had a lot of the same fears she did, but one in particular (fear of natural disasters, specifically tornadoes) I really related to.

b) Why did you respond to it so strongly?
I live in a town that hasn’t had a tornado since a few months before I was born. Although we’ve never had a tornado, every time the tornado sirens go off, I get worried and usually end up in tears. I have no idea why I’m so afraid of them, I mean, the news stories about people dying from them doesn’t help. I know quite a few people that don’t like them, but never that are actually afraid of them, so it was nice to see I shared that fear with someone.
I also like the way she presented her fears to, asking everyone to tell her if they shared some of her fears.

c) How does it impact how you see your own project?
Not the specific fear of natural disasters impacts my own project, but Amanda’s fear of failure definitely does. I could tell that she had the same chain-reaction-thinking that I do about failure. If you fail school, you don’t get a good job, don’t get a good job, have to move back home, which wouldn’t be bad but you want to have some independence.


About rmbennin

I'm a freshman at IUPUI. I'm majoring in Media Arts & Sciences, with a concentration in website design (web developing). I have my own side business (mainly building my portfolio right now by designing websites for others for free) called Hearty Project Management. I'm the head of aquatics, lifeguard, swim instructor, water aerobics instructor, child watch, or basically whatever they want me to be at the Witham Family YMCA in Lebanon, Indiana.

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