I have an unnatural fear of roller coasters. Most people look forward to amusement parks but not me. It was Halloween, and me, my cousins, my two sisters, and my older sister's boyfriend, were on our way to Great America. I was excited to go, but dreaded going on roller coaster rides. We went on the haunted mazes. It's when people put costumes on and try to scare people as they pass by. It's usually dark and it's decorated based on a scary theme. It was fun. I thought it was going to be way more scary. We went to like three different haunted mazes. After that we went to go buy food. I wasn't hungry. While they were eating, my cousin kept asking me to get on some rides with her. I didn't want to get on then because I was scared of heights. I saw the ride from where we were sitting, and fear came over me. I remembered the videos I watched when I was younger. The videos talked about roller coaster ride failures and how people died because of a roller coaster malfunction. Would I be the next victim? Would I survive the ride? These were the questions that clouded my mind. I'm also afraid of heights, so I was reluctant at first to accept the challenge. I built up the courage and agreed to get on the roller coaster ride. I wanted to have fun and conquer my fear. When I got on the rollercoaster my heart was beating really fast. I felt the adrenaline. My stomach dropped when we were upside down, but I soon got over it and enjoyed the rest of the ride. At that moment, my fear went away and I allowed myself to enjoy the ride. But would this feeling last or would I be afraid the next time? To my surprise, I wasn’t afraid. I got on like six more rides. For most of them I just closed my eyes. But I still enjoyed them. If I went to Great America right now I feel like I would still have doubts about getting on roller coaster rides but now I know that it isn't so bad after all. I overcame my fear by not letting my thoughts take control over me and prevent me from trying new things. The feeling I got after each ride was excitement and happiness. I was proud of myself.
© Abigail Becerra. All rights reserved. If you are interested in quoting this story, contact the national team through this website and we can put you in touch with the young person's teacher.