my greatest fears

Mes plus
grandes craintes

bad health, unemployment

fear of disappointing others a: I smile back

heights and getting my eyes poked out


losing people I love.

losing the people I love.

making enough money and raising a family.

marrying the wrong man, being weak

not being successful. a: I would smile back.

not doing well at MIT, and getting a bad job

not finding a good job, losing touch with friends

not getting what i want in life

not succeeding.

of not finding my place in this world


that i will be alone

that I will not feel succesful in my life.

de faire de mauvais choix dans la vie.

de m'apercevoir que je n'ai pas profité de ma vie

de ne pas être heureuse dans la vie

de ne pas réaliser mes rêves

de ne pas réussir ce que j ai entrepris

haine,intolérance, non respect de la planête

je n'ai pas de grandes craintes

l'insécurité et l'extrémisme

la destruction de la planête par les hommes

la mort d'un proche, la misère, la solitude

la violence, la pauvreté, la mort

le cancer, le chômage, la violence

ne pas réussir (maison , éducation enfants, argent)

que l'ATI Fury 32 ne sorte pas dans une semaine.

vieillir, souffrir, la solitude


One thing that I noticed was that the French students mentioned national and international problems much more than the American students. The American responses were almost always about personal needs and fears. I wonder why the french students tend to be more globaly conscious. I feel that I never have time to watch the news or read a paper because of school work and maybe that is why I totally overlooked larger problems in the world. Do the french students feel that they have enough time and motivation to find out what is going on outside of school. Or do they feel isolated while they are in college?

I also noticed that the french students mentioned having fears that dealt with national and international problems. I was wondering if the french students were afraid of environmental problems and violence as it pertained to them or as those problems pertained to all mankind. The american students seemed to have more personal fears.


Many of the french responses were in the form of nouns (la misere, la violence, la mort), whereas the american responses were mostly action phrases (not doing well, losing people, getting my eyes poked out). It seems that the americans fear the things that might happen to them but the french fear the things. While an american might fear not doing well, a french might fear failure. Just a thought...

not/ne pas

I noticed that many French and American students responded with phrases using "not" or "ne pas", especially not being successful or not being happy. Do you think these fears are based more on personal goals or societal standards?

It seems to me that American students are most afraid of losing loved ones and loneliness. French students didn't really mention other people very much. Do you think that French people are more secure in their relationsips than we are? Or maybe they do not depend as much on other people...

In response to Katarzyna's thought that American's are more afraid of losing loved ones and being lonely than the French, I just wanted to point out that "loneliness" or "la solitude" appeared 2 times on both the American and the French sides, and that "losing a loved one" appeared 2 times on the American side while "la mort d'un proche" appeared 1 time on the French side. Therefore, the difference between the Americans and the French concerning loneliness and losing loved ones is not great. I don't think the survey answers differ at all when it comes to loneliness and losing a loved one.

Both the French and the Americans expressed fear of not succeeding in life, but the Americans stressed money matters more (ie not finding a good job, not making enough money). How is the job market in France? Are the French concerned more with making the most money possible or with having a job that allows them to do what they like?

Les etudiants francais ont je pense plus de temps libre. C'est pourquoi au travers de la presse specialisee, ils peuvent s'interesser a des problemes d'ordre plus international. Mais il faut aussi souligner que la France est bien plus petite que les Etats-Unis et qu'en consequence cela est plus aise. De plus, la proximite geographique des problemes peut favoriser leur diffusion sur les reseaux d'information francais. Je ne pense pas que "l'autre" soit moins important pour les francais. Les proches representent une valeur sure que nous avons tous peur de perdre. La crainte de ne pas avoir une carriere tres lucrative est moins presente chez les francais. En effet, je pense que le bonheur familial est plus important. En ce qui concerne le marche de l'emploi, le chomage est tres eleve en France (12%). Les emplois aux States sont ils instables? Peut on perdre son job en 1 semaine? Craignez vous la violence dans votre vie de tous les jours (Armes a feu diffuses). Vous mefiez vous de personnes que vous croisez dans la rue si vous avez une altercation avec ces derniers? Vous souciez vous de votre environnement et de la preservation des ressources naturelles?

US Unemployment Rate/Violence/Concerns for the Planet

Fabrice, the US unemployment rate is around 5% right now and has been for a while. Therefore, we're enjoying relative economic stability and prosperity, in contrast to certain Asian and South American nations which have had economic troubles in the past months. Jobs are fairly easy to find, and there haven't been any major layoffs recently. Unfortunately, it is estimated that the United States' GDP (annual)growth rate will be declining in future years. I believe that it is around 3% now, but economists say that it is not likely that the country could sustain such an economic growth rate. What is France's GDP? Is it difficult to find and keep a job in France with the 12% unemployment rate?

I can't speak for anyone but myself, but I don't really fear violence in day-to-day life. I lived in New York for 18 years, and my parents taught me how to be careful and avoid dangerous situations. Instead of fearing violence, I've tried to prevent it by being cautious about my surroundings. A few of my friends back in high school were mugged on the street and there are gangs near my hometown, but I was taught to avoid them. Just as a side note, violent crime has decreased dramatically in New York in the past few years, since the mayor has worked on increasing the police force. Do you think that the French fear violence because there is a lot of it in France, or do you think that they fear violence because they have never actually encountered it before?

Americans do have concerns about the planet. We have tried our best in past years to start recycling programs and not to waste so much of our resources. Unfortunately, from what I've heard, our recycling methods and habits are not as advanced as those of certain European countries and of Hong Kong (where my parents grew up). Scarcity of resources causes people to try to reuse more and waste less. Unfortunately, the United States is such a large country with so many natural resources that we have only recently realized that, if we don't preserve our environment now, there will be nothing left in the future. Therefore, I believe that the destruction of the planet, although it is one of our fears, is not one of our GREATEST fears at this point of time. Countries that have less space and are more crowded seem to be a step ahead of us in terms of environmental concerns. Does France have locally or nationally organized recycling programs? How successful are they?


I notice that some french students mention fearing death. I can understand if someone would fear not succeeding, but death is inevitable for everyone. You can always work hard to be successful, but whatever you do, you cannot run away from death. Why is that?

more free time

I noticed that Fabrice mentioned that one of the reasons that French students were more concerned about national and global problems was that they had more free time with which to read the newspaper or watch the news on tv. Is this greater amount of free time due to less school work outside of class or to less time in classes? Do French students usually stay up late most nights to get homework done and also do homework on the weekends like in the United States?