The evening started like any other would, with a stack of homework and a week full of exams. I knew that I wouldn’t be able to focus in my dorm so I went to seek out a new place to study. My initial plan was to go to the library with a friend, but we ultimately decided we didn’t want to walk all the way there. Looking back, I’m glad we decided to be lazy. Instead of the library, we found a quiet classroom in Case Hall to settle down and get some homework done.
Nearly an hour into writing my essay, I get a text from my best friend that said “Where are you? I love you.” Initially, this didn’t seem out of the ordinary as we often send texts like this. I was in the zone while writing my essay that I ignored the text at first. Then the second text came in “there is a shooter on campus.”
My night from here on out would be filled with more “I love you’s” and “Are you okay’s” than I had ever heard or said in my whole life. Texts and calls started streaming in from people I haven’t talked to in years. But instead of focusing on all that was happening on my phone, we needed to make a game plan. The first thing we thought to do was barricade in the classroom. Come to find out, there was absolutely nothing that could be used to barricade the door as all the tables and chairs rolled.
We were faced with a tough choice. Knowing there is no locks between the outside world and this classroom, and the shooter was still on the loose, we decided to run. My dorm happened to be close, and we felt like we had no other option.
When we arrived at my dorm, we quickly barricaded the door, locked the windows, turned all the lights off, and checked on our suitemates. The whole night from here on out was spent listening to the scanner through air pods, to stay quiet, and peeking out the bottom blind of the window. With all the false updates streaming in on the scanner, it only made us more on edge. I think the worst part to me was the silence. The only sounds were muted sirens and every once and a while the whoosh of the helicopter would pass by. There was not a single police car in sight, and not a single person to be seen. At this point we all felt like sitting ducks.
When the night finally ended, I felt exhausted and relived. The exhaustion didn’t come from being up so late, because as a college student I stay up this late frequently. The exhaustion came from holding my breath for what felt like 4 hours and the absolute fear I had for the students who experienced it first-hand. And from this night on, Michigan State, my home, may never feel the same again.