100 Days of Fear

by Olivia Miller

Last Sunday, CBS Sunday Morning did a segment about one woman conquering her different fears for 100 straight days. This project, called the 100 Days Project was assigned to Michelle Poler as part of a class through the School of Visual Arts in New York City. “The students spend 100 days doing one thing again and again and again for 100 days,” and Poler decided to conquer her various fears. Now, I have seen various 100 Days projects on different social media – the 100DaysChallenge on Twitter, but never something like this, and it made me wonder if I could do it.

I do not consider myself a fearful person, but I do have a list of fears that I would not want to conquer in 100 straight days. A brief list of fears include severe storms and tornadoes, spiders, cows, driving, public speaking, the first day of school, disappointing people I care about, death, the unknown and the concept of forever/infinity. These fears are both simple and complex, and some can be conquered while others cannot. However, I was inspired by Poler who said, “When Debbie gave us the assignment, I knew I had to do something that would change my life.” Poler easily could have chosen to spend her 100 days doing anything else to avoid her fears, but instead she decided to push herself out of her comfort zone – “what she’s actually doing is recognizing her own power and her own strength.”

For myself in my second year of graduate school, I hope to push myself and find my own power and strength. This last year of school brings many changes and unknowns, and I already am worried and fearful, but I hope to face them head on, and head strong just like Poler. This school year brings about adding practicum experiences (fear/worry of being good at it), multiple conferences (as an introvert, conferences and networking terrifies and stresses me out), taking our comprehensive exams (again, will I fail and disappoint myself and professors), and finally finding a job and moving out on my own (self-explanatory). While this year brings about a lot of unknowns, it also is a time for growth, and finding my own power and strength. If I can find my own power and strength, I can better serve students in finding theirs as well.

With my last school year starting in less than a month, I need to reframe my fears in the same way as Poler did – as something I can conquer, and from which I can gain strength. As Aristotle said, “He who has overcome his fears will truly be free,” so I am challenging myself and my fellow SA First Years to their own 100 Days of Fear. Your 100 Days do not need to be 100 different fears for 100 consecutive days, but they should be your own days of overcoming a certain fear. Make this project your own, and may you become a stronger and more powerful version of yourself.

The following links to Poler’s story: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/conquering-100-fears-one-at-a-time/.

Student Affairs - the First Years

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