News update via story: Everyday is a day to thank God for every breath you take. Yesterday was a greater reminder of just how blessed we are to be taking each breath.
Although the evacuation was ruled a false alarm, the signs were there, those who called the police did the right thing, and the evacuation process was no less scary than it would have been if it were real.
Not only was the school insufficiently prepared for a possible gunman on campus, but with the current construction, campus seems a little more dense in student population, and exits are not sufficient for taking on that magnitude of evacuees at once. Let me not forget to mention that I was informed we had to leave by a friend sitting beside me in the library who had overheard we were being evacuated... that's it.
We were trampled, we were pushed, and though we were lead away from the premise, I did not feel comfortable that it was far enough, so my friend and I slowly kept backing further away.
Then again, you can practice being calm and exiting in a fashionable manner as often as you want. But I do believe when an emergency evacuation that, at the time, is deemed true and absolutely necessary occurs, some training is bound to be forgotten.
I personally instantly thought of my parents, immediately picking up the phone and calling my mom. I couldn't help but choke up hearing her voice and telling her of the school's possible fate. My next immediate reaction was to locate friends that were still on campus, and Richie, who I knew would keep me calm and help get us out of there.
Whether I did the right thing or not is debatable, but this event, my decisions, and the aftermath emotions - I still find myself silenced by the fear and emotionally drained - reinforced how much I love my circle, how much I take life for granted, and how important it is to be in constant contact with those you love, because you never know when it'll be your last reach-out.
While many of the students laughed, brushed it over their shoulders, or remained unbothered (whether this is a coping mechanism is unknown), I personally have not been the same. God is too good and life is too unpredictable to not be phased.