Writing my article for this issue was a lot harder than usual. This wasn’t due to the fact that I haven’t written an article since last spring or the extremely fast turnaround I had to write the piece in, though I wish I could attribute it to one of these. It was because I had to write about a tragedy that had an impact on the whole SHU community last week. And because I had to write it as a journalist, not as an emotional and anxiety-filled student who was also affected by what happened.
Throughout my time in newswriting, which includes both high school, and the past few years here at SHU, I have never had to report on an incident like this, let alone one that’s so close to home. Let me tell you, it was not easy to stay objective.
As I’ve been telling my friends since Friday, I’ve never handled things like this well, regardless of whether they directly affect me or not. When tragedies like this occur, I always find myself extra reflective and appreciate of what I have, and a little more anxious than usual.
The thought I keep circling back to is: “This could’ve happened to anyone.”
I know plenty of people who weren’t home yet in the late hours of Thursday night and the early hours of Friday morning, myself and some of my closest friends included. It could’ve been any of us.
I am lucky enough to be surrounded by people who were continuously checking on each other throughout the night to make sure everyone made it home safe as the incident unfolded. I am also lucky enough to be surrounded by people who offered each other comfort and support as they grappled with this horrific event, both on Friday and throughout the weekend. I cannot thank them enough for this and I can only hope that everyone has people like this in such a tough emotional time.
The prayer service on Friday was one of the most bittersweet events I have ever attended. When Dr. P started off by ensuring students and faculty that no fatalities had occurred, you could feel a wave of relief wash over the crowd. However, as the service continued and myself and others began to more fully process what had happened, it became harder and harder to find a dry eye in the chapel. The fact that students were standing out in the rain because they couldn’t fit, or were in locations where they couldn’t hear but stayed anyway shows the strength and support that exists within our community. Even after the service had ended, many people stuck around to comfort each other in any way possible – most being in the form of hugs and/or shoulders to cry on.
The sense of community that was shown at the service continued throughout the weekend, as organizations across campus posted on social media in support of the victims, and students began to share the GoFundMe pages that were being created by the families of the injured students.
I have never been so proud to call myself a SHU student.
Though this tragedy has affected all of us in one way or another, we are a community and we are going to get through this together, which we have already proved.
Moments like these always remind me to appreciate and be grateful for what I have, so I encourage you all to do the same.
If you need additional mental health resources at this time, please reach out to someone, whether it be a friend, family member, faculty member, or a professional. Sacred Heart, as always, is offering counseling services to those who may need it and those resources are listed below.
Open 9-5 on Weekdays
Make an Appointment: 203-371-7955
Follow the s.w.e.e.t. Peers on Instagram @shu_sweetpeered and stay updated on the programs run by their team
Routine Calls: 203-371-7995
Emergency Calls: 203-371-7911 or 203-374-9352