Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
Life > Experiences

The 5 Stages of Grief You Go Through When the Fire Alarm Goes Off

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at VCU chapter.

It begins with the look you give your roommate at 6 a.m. when you hear the first couple high pitched, echoing buzzes. It’s the groans and cries of despair as hundreds of students rush down the stairs. It’s the one overconfident guy that always walks out without his shirt on and the poor girl who still has shampoo in her hair. That’s when you know—it’s a fire drill.   

1. Denial.

You’re awoken at 6 a.m. and try to shut off your phone when you realize you can’t. You roll over to glare at your roommate for having her alarm go off so early but she’s already glaring at you. Simultaneously, you both groan and wait for one of you to decide to get up. Deep down, you know there’s no way your university could have a fire drill this early.   

2. Anger. 

Once you realize the piercing noise is the fire alarm, you throw your blanket off in a fit of rage. In your head, you’re screaming “How could this be? How could my school do this to me?!” You’re still spewing angry thoughts as you and your roommate try to groggily hunt for your IDs and room key. Kids in the hallway are already yelling profanity and groaning.   

3. Bargaining.

As you are slipping flip flops on, you wonder “Would anyone even notice if I wasn’t outside? I could hide in the closet,” but the risk of the felony charge and actually dying in a fire immediately get rid of that thought. Almost at the door, your roommate looks at you head to toe and you realize you’re about to walk outside wearing your favorite middle school Jonas Brothers t-shirt and no pants. Quickly, you grab the first pair of shorts and sweatshirt you see.  

4. Depression.

With every step down the 10 flights of stairs, reality sets in that yes, this is happening to me. Just when you hit the last step and think it can’t get worse, a rush of cold air hits you when you open the door. It’s November and you immediately regret grabbing shorts instead of sweatpants. You look around for comfort hoping to see someone else with your struggle, yet every girl is the epitome of Beyoncé saying “I woke up like this, Flawless.” You put your head down, anxiously waiting to go back inside and not make eye contact with the cute boy on your floor. 

5. Acceptance.

When the fire trucks pull in and the firemen rush inside, you’re slightly relieved that you decided to not hide in the closet. After the false alarm is over and the hall director tries to coordinate a single file line, you’re almost trampled in the stampede of students eager to get back in bed. You’re thankful you managed to find your ID so fast when you pass the line of people who forgot theirs. After waiting in line for what seems like forever for an elevator, you decide it will be quicker to just take the stairs. When you make it to your room, you flop on your bed and close your eyes. Just when you’re about to fall back asleep, you hear a lighter buzz and you know you have to shut off your phone alarm and get ready for class.  


Amritha Nair is a double major in Psychology and Business Management at Virginia Commonwealth University. She is a member of many organizations on campus including greek life and numerous philanthropic organizations. Her writing has always been an outlet for her; her favorite pieces to write are short stories and poems that usually reflect personal experience or are inspired by other works of art. Other than writing, Amritha loves to swim, shop online, read, and binge watch shows on Netflix. Her heart lies with her family, close friends, and ice cream. You can follow her on twitter and Instagram at amrithanair16!
VCU Contributor Account