Friendship helps fight fear of roller coasters

By Jess Moshoginis

For being so alike, there is one thing that these girls do not have in common: their thoughts about roller coasters. While junior Latroia Acklin loves them, junior Ray’Von Jones fears the big drop-offs and the feeling they give her stomach as she goes down the long stretch of steep, rickety roller coaster.

Jones and Acklin met during summer 2009, when they attended many cheerleading events for the school. They realized they had a lot in common and instantly became best friends and started hanging out more and more. This past summer, they continued to have fun together.

Acklin and her family planned a trip to Six Flags, and Acklin invited Jones to join. Jones accepted, not anticipating what she was in for. Many thoughts went through her head as she rode the roller coasters.

‘Why did I get on here? I’m so stupid, I’m going to die. Why did I get on this,’ Jones thought.

Jones got through those thoughts and felt better at times. “On the calm parts of the roller coaster I felt kind of cool,” Jones said.

Jones remembers waiting in line for a long time for Superman: Ultimate Flight, fearing this ride the most. On this ride, you lay face-down and it takes you in spirals, loops, and curves. This roller coaster does not closely compare to Kingda Ka though, a roller coaster at Six Flags located in Jackson, New Jersey. Kingda Ka reaches a height of 465 feet, while superman only reaches 115 feet.

Acklin and her family tried to bribe Jones with money as a joke to get her on the rides, or promise they would hold her hand through it all. As they were waiting in line though, the Superman broke down. Jones was relieved, as everyone else was disappointed. She was glad she had an excuse to not ride the roller coaster.

Jones recalls the trip and is proud of overcoming her fears and riding the roller coasters, even if her friend had to pressure her to. “I didn’t cry at all, so I was kind of proud of myself,” said Jones.