It was a normal Monday morning when I woke up for classes. But after turning off my alarm, that was as normal as my day would be. I began to go through my notifications and saw many text messages from close friends and family. It was at the point I realized that something was really wrong. I specifically remember getting a message from a friend all the way in New Zealand. The message read:
At this point I dropped my phone in panic, picked it up and dialed my parents as fast as I could. My heart was pounding as I waited for the dial tone to stop and hear my parents answer. Finally, I heard a faint voice in the background and my mom picked up the phone. I must have woken her up as she was very quiet when talking. I asked if she was okay and what exactly had happened that I was getting so many messages.
She explained to me that there was a mass shooting not far from our house on the Las Vegas strip. It was at a venue that I am very familiar with and that hit too close to home for me. As I began to digest what was happening, I found out neither of my parents were at the concert in which this terrible shooting occurred. But that still did not take away the intensity and awareness of what was going on in our world right now.
As the day unfolded, I began to understand more and more what had happened that Sunday night in Las Vegas. I thought about what people would think of me and how the people would think of the place I called home. I even had thoughts of people who did not even bother to message me as they know I call Las Vegas my home.
While none of my immediate family members were injured, there were people my family know who were injured at the concert. Halfway across the country, I began to reach out to the other people who I knew were from Vegas to see how they were affected by this tragedy. I connected with these friends in deeper than exchanging the usual “hi”, as I headed for class.
Being so far away from home it can be challenging at times. It is especially hard when events like this happen and you are not just a short drive away. So, I encourage to think about others as this can happen to anyone on campus.
Things can change so suddenly in our world and we are not always be prepared for them. Tragedies like the Las Vegas shooting hit a little too close to home for me as well as many other students at Purdue. So the next time you hear news like this and know someone who could have been affected, don’t be afraid to go up to them and ask how they are doing. Ask if they are okay and lastly be a friend for them during these hard times because chances are someday it will be you needing some comfort and hopefully someone will come up and ask if you’re doing okay.