The following column is the opinion and analysis of the writer, Katharina Buczek.
When did the world start to feel scary for you? This is a subjective question based on your own definition of scary and whether or not you place more value on current events, personal circumstances, or some other factor.
So, while I cannot speak to everyone’s perception of fear in the world right now, I can discuss my own personal experiences. And for me, the world really “became scary” in 2020.
At the time, COVID-19 was running rampant, there was sociopolitical unrest all around me, and the one outlet that always offered structure was in disarray. I am talking about school.
For the first 20 years of my life, there was a developmental guideline, an inherent structure to my life that was no different from the kids around me.
In kindergarten, we learned to count, write some letters, and say the alphabet. By late elementary school and early middle school, my classmates and I were able to choose an instrument. I picked the violin.
Then, in high school, most discussions about the “future” seemed just like that– something that would happen in a timeline that was unimaginably far away from freshman or sophomore year.
Yet, in the blink of an eye, that future came barreling around the corner. Of course, I had dreams of what I wanted to pursue.
Still, though, asking an 18-year-old to set their goals in stone, cough up tens of thousands of dollars, and spend four years pursuing them without any real-world experience is a tough pill to swallow.
Nonetheless, I watched as friends I grew up with got accepted into colleges and universities across the country.