Living in Hawai can be hard if you are afraid of the ocean, roaches and lizards

Written by: 
Keryna Monson ~ Multimedia Journalist

Students and alumni share some of the inconvenient fears they are faced with each day while living and going to school at BYU-Hawaii.

“I am deathly afraid of the ocean,” said Sissy Cho, a freshman majoring in psychology from Hong Kong. “I am afraid that I am going to drown or that something in the water will get me. It’s really hard to have this fear here because it’s Hawaii, and we are all broke college students so the go-to activity is just going to the beach and swimming.” Cho is not alone in this. According to the local Counseling Center, there are many students on the BYUH campus who have this fear.

Mark Steer, a BYUH alumnus who recently moved to Kahuku from Nebraska to start working for his company, shared his personal fears. Steere suffers from a mild case of katsaridaphobia, or the fear of cockroaches.

“I’m probably out of my mind to move back to Hawaii when I have such a crazy fear of these nasty little critters that are everywhere,” Steer said. “I actually didn’t discover my fear until I moved out here for school a few years back. I remember the first time I saw one and it was the most intense fear I’ve ever felt. At the time, it felt so irrational, but I just can’t seem to shake it. Maybe living in Hawaii more permanently will help me to conquer it,” he added.

Emily Moore, a senior majoring in English from Houston, Texas, has an inconvenient fear living in Hawaii of lizards.

“I am terribly afraid of lizards. I don’t feel like they are going to eat me or anything like that but for whatever reasons, I just can’t handle them. If I see one outside my house by the door, I just have to wait for it to run away or for someone else to come home before I can go inside. It’s really a crippling fear to have while living in Hawaii,” Moore said.

According to Explore Biodiversity, there are at least 17 different types of species of lizards on the island of Oahu. Explore Biodiversity also estimated that the average person sees at lease five lizards a day, and so this makes it extremely difficult to avoid this fear.

The BYUH campus does offer counseling support for those who might need it and/or help overcoming certain fears if students are interested in taking advantage of that help. They can go to the Counseling Center at the McKay complex room 181 right across from the Café or call the office at 808-675-3518.