It's almost guaranteed that at some point in your time as an EVE Online pilot, you'll encounter a war declaration from another corporation. In some cases, the wardec may be provoked -- another corp's pilot killed or harassed, perhaps one ninja salvaging too many, and the next thing you know Concord sends you an email notifying you of hard times ahead. Then again, wardecs can also simply be used for kicks and consequence-free highsec kills. Potentially, a war declaration can also be a form of ransoming, a way for aggressors to extort money as a 'fee' to retract the wardec. Regardless of its cause, the situation remains the same: your opponents are free to fire upon you in high security space without triggering a response from Concord.
For a newer player, a feeling of panic can sink in. That warm, comfy security blanket of highsec no longer offers its sheltering protection from harm. Perhaps for the first time, there's real risk involved in playing the game. That's an angle of war declarations that writer Sam Guss discusses in a piece for MMORPG.com called "EVE Online: Surviving Your First War." (Guss is also a writer at EVE-Mag). But that's really just the backdrop. He recounts his own experience with being wardecced, from the surprise of the initial wardec to the sobering 24-hour countdown to war against far more experienced PvP-ers.