I came out of this physically unharmed. But I will carry this trauma with me forever.
My roommate and I ate at Akers dining hall at 5 that day, unaware that they would be evacuated by police a few hours later. Then around 6 I thought to go for a walk, because the sunset was so pretty. My usual route is up Farm Lane to the Broad, then in front of Berkey, then in front of the Union, and back to Shaw. I decided against it. I walked by myself to the Owen Hall Sparty’s at 7:20 and was back in my room by 7:40. I was sitting on my bed in my room when the first round of emails was sent out at 8:32. And to be honest, I didn’t think anything of it. We live in Lansing, and we all know it has never been the safest area, so it didn’t really faze me when I read “shots fired” because I thought “how bad could it be? It’s probably some idiots messing around in a neighborhood off campus.” And oh my God do I wish I was right. When the second round of emails went out not 5 minutes later, I realized that this was real. I started paying attention to the number of sirens and red and blue lights outside of my window. I checked Life360 to make sure my people were in their dorms, or somewhere far away. My roommate was gone off campus, so I texted them not to come back. I texted my mom there was a shooter, and subsequently said “I can’t believe that I just had to tell you that”. My best friend called me sobbing to make sure I was safe, so I started sobbing too, and I didn’t stop until it was over. I barricaded, I shut the blinds, and turned off any light source in the room. I sat on my floor, alone, in the dark for four hours, terrified. I was on the phone with my mom for all but 30 minutes of the entire lockdown. I only hung up on her because 3 of my friends and family members who were also listening to the police scanner said, “They just said shots fired East Shaw” and my body went cold. There was so much misinformation. So many people scared out of their minds thinking the sound of their neighbors barricading or shutting their window was gunshots. Regardless of if the shots were real anywhere, besides where 3 people lost their lives and 5 more were injured, the threat was real and that was all that mattered. I listened to the sound of sirens, a helicopter, the police scanner, and sobbing from my next-door neighbors. I think they were listening to me too. I don’t remember much after the all clear was given. I remember undoing the barricade and being scared to go down the hall to the bathroom. And then, I was in my parents’ car going home. I jump every time the dishes fall in the sink. The sound of sirens will never be the same. I can’t sleep without taking melatonin or Benadryl. I am always nauseous. I am always anxious. I am always feeling guilty. I got to go home to my parents, and three others didn’t. I was inside my dorm room, and others were trapped in unlocked classrooms. I want to go to the vigils and be with my community to honor the lives that were taken, but I never want to be on campus again. We are Spartans, and we are strong, but we shouldn’t have to be.