I asked this question to some readers and got the following responses:
What is/was Your Biggest Fear about Starting College?
My biggest fear was failure. Finding certain material too hard and not being able to find the right help. I am about to start my third year in college and I still have the fear of failure.
My biggest fear is not doing as well as I did went I was younger and had less responsibility; as a single mother, it's just hard to pick a up a book to read.
I have always had a fear of failure since all I ever heard from people in my family was you will never amount to anything. I am now in college, married, children, and I am enjoying life. Classes are going great. My oldest son graduates in four years. The same year I do. I am not letting fear get in the way of something that has been my dream for the last 10 years.
Quote from my former student:
Two essential lessons that Perry's class taught me are: important information is everywhere if we spend the time to look closer; and it's more meaningful to find humor in our daily lives than to live with fear, pessimism, or divisiveness. Those lessons go a long way toward finding happiness and reaching the success that we all imagine.
My Thoughts on Fear and Education:
To me, the greatest barriers to success, however you define that, are a fear of the unknown, a fear of change, and a fear of failure. But you need a game plan, and hopefully you can lean a little on what you learned in school to figure out that route. No matter what you do in life, you always will have your education.
You have already accomplished a huge milestone. The biggest step was just showing up. That’s it. The secret most people don’t get until it’s too late. Just showing up as young freshmen is a threshold event. Trying something which may be hard for the first time. Experiencing new things, even if it’s unknown whether the objective is attainable.
Many times the things you do won’t work. And you will fail at some things you try. That’s just a fact of life. Abraham Lincoln once said: “My great concern is not whether you have failed, but whether you are content with your failure.” And you will make mistakes. A lot of them! Both in your careers and your lives. That’s just another fact of life. But that’s okay. The trick is figuring out how to deal with setbacks. Your family and friends will always be there for you. And your education will continually serve as a foundation to get you back on track.
Franklin D. Roosevelt said: “We are not prisoners of fate, but only prisoners of our own minds.” Students, each of you must unlock your mind and blaze a path built on reason and purpose. Life is too short to spend it bouncing around like a random and aimless ball in a game of Pong. Whether you are 17, 18, 19, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, or 80 years young, it is never too late to test the boundaries of your dreams.
Wishing you a great Thanksgiving and a motivated Final Exam week.
Excerpt: 99 Motivators for College Success