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Anonymous, Location: Off Campus Apartment

Monday, February 13th, 8 pm. I had been on campus with my roommate at the WIE Connect social. We were eating breakfast for dinner, making cheesy Valentine's Day cards, and talking about our plans for the week. I had been texting my best friend, she had something she wanted to give to me to add to my outfit for Valentine's Day. My roommate wanted to stay longer at the social and continue working on her card, but I was tired. I had been on campus since before 8 am that day, and all I wanted was to go home, change into my pajamas, and watch some Netflix before going to bed. We left the building at around 8:05 pm, drove to Hannah Lofts where my best friend lives, picked up something from her, and left campus at around 8:15 pm. I drove right past Berkey and the Union on my way home, blasting music, and laughing about how stupidly cheesy the card I had made was. That's when we noticed the first police cars heading into campus. We thought nothing of it, this was MSU, and there could be anything going on. At most, we had assumed there was an accident somewhere near campus, and so the police were heading towards it, or there was another random robbery on campus. When we got back to our apartment, I noticed my friend's group chat blowing up. I thought nothing of it at first, went to change, and then finally opened the group chat to see everyone freaking out over an email. My curiosity got the best of me when I continued to hear siren after siren headed away from my apartment and toward campus. Sometimes I wish I had never opened that email. As soon as I read "Run, Hide, Fight" my heart stopped. I had just been on campus, I had driven right past where everything was happening, and I had no clue that it was happening. My roommate and I immediately texted our friends, our family, and everyone we could think of. We listened to the police scanner for 4 hours that night, hearing the reports roll in and fearing for the lives of our friends. I knew people that had been studying in the Union, or outside near the Union when it happened. I know people that crouched in their closets or under their desks or locked themselves in their bathrooms. I was safe, far away from all the chaos, but I couldn't find it in myself to remain calm. I reached out to all my friends, waiting for their responses. I had the news up, listening to the press conference for any updates. From that day on, sirens have been scary. I hear sirens and my immediate thought is that something horrible is happening and there are people who are scared for their lives and I am absolutely helpless and cannot do anything for them. The survivor's guilt that has come from this event just won't go away, but I know with time I will grow stronger. I will be strong for the three whose lives were taken away from them, their friends, and their family, and for the 5 who are fighting for their lives because they refuse to let one man win. I hope that there will be change soon so that innocent lives aren't lost due to this level of violence. No one should ever have to experience what we experienced.

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