Cassily Zhao

I believe everyone has experienced fear. No matter who you are, where you are, fear is something everyone feels at some point in their life. Some people have fear of heights; some people have fear of small spaces; some people have fear of public speaking; and some people have fear of falling in love.
Hyelophobia is a term that describes the fear of glass. People with this phobia are fearful of glass’s fragility and are constantly afraid of glass breaking into shards. Unfortunately, when I was four years old, I became one of them.
Everything started due to an accident. I attended a wedding with my parents. I was having so much fun running around with other little kids. I felt thirsty, so I ran to a table and got a cup of water. I guess I was too hyper when I tried to drink the water.  I accidentally bit the cup. To my surprise, the glass cup broke. I will never forget the feeling of glass shards surrounding my tongue like a hundred tiny needles.
Luckily, I didn’t get hurt that much because my mom saved me.
After that, I was so scared of touching glass.  I shook so hard when I approached any glass product. I was afraid of doing any science experiments at school because I needed to hold the beakers. Glass is such a beautiful thing to observe and touch, but I was not able to do so. 
I love art. It’s such a pity for me to miss glass---this beautiful art in my daily life. I decided to attack my hyelophobia. I wanted to touch glass, I wanted to feel the smooth surface and to see the beautiful design. I started trying to convince myself that it wouldn't hurt me.  At first, I tried to push myself to touch the glass directly. When I saw a glass bowl, my brain was telling me to go ahead but my heart stopped me. My fingers were trembling like dead leaves on a wintry tree,and my feet became heavy like blocks of stone.I couldn’t do it. I blamed myself and I got disappointed. After a while, my mood became calmer. I stopped pushing myself to change. I started to make myself get used to my phobia. When I had to use glass, I would see it as just another material because I was trying to lie to my brain.  My fear got much better when I began to ignore the fact that I was using glass. 
       One day, my dad’s friend came over to our house for dinner.  I was drinking orange juice from a beautiful glass cup, which I pretended was made from something else. However, my dad’s friend started to talk about his plan of opening a glass art factory. And he kept on saying how attractive it is and how much people like it. Glancing at my cup for a second, he said that he really liked how it was designed. Suddenly, I dropped my cup on the ground and it shattered.  I was shocked. My brain was a blank at that moment because I didn’t even feel scared. That was a quick incident; however, I found that my fear disappeared after I actually had broken the glass. When it hit the ground, my phobia was also broken.  The glass splinters hadn't hurt me at all. I used to be scared of breaking glass, but when I experienced it again, I found that it was not that scary.
       The transition was quick. Ever since, I began to pay more attention to the glass in my life. I had never noticed how beautiful it is.  I gained courage to approach it. And I started to buy those glass items and proved to myself that I had conquered my fear.
       Facing your fear is not an easy thing to do. Sometimes, you are so afraid of doing something, but you just need to try it one more time. That might happen on purpose or by accident, and then you may find that overcoming the fear that you used to have is just a piece of cake.

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Rolling Hills Preparatory School

One Rolling Hills Prep Way
1500 Palos Verdes Drive North
San Pedro, CA 90732

T: (310) 791-1101 | F: (323) 310-9973 
Rolling Hills Prep School prides itself on being a forward-looking, academically rigorous college-prep school with a soul. Every day we provide our diverse student body a high-powered traditional curriculum combined with stimulating and innovative teaching techniques both inside and outside the classroom because we believe that success in college and life is best attained by equipping our students with disciplined minds, sound character, healthy bodies and creative spirits. RHP is a private, coeducational day school for grades 6-12, located on the Palos Verdes Peninsula in Los Angeles, CA.

Renaissance, our sister school, believes that bright students who learn differently can rise to great heights when they become empowered and confident. Visit the Renaissance website.