As I ran from Lied Library to the Cottage Grove lot, hoping to catch a ride from a friend’s car back to my own apartment, I thought I was going to die.
As I sat in her car, wishing I hadn’t lost my asthma inhaler while running, I thought my friends were going to die.
As I paced around my apartment living room, listening to a police scanner link someone sent in one of the UNLV Discord servers, I hoped that no one was going to die.
It has felt like an eternity since that day, and I have not slept properly ever since.
I grew up in Las Vegas for most of my life, spending a little over 14 years here. I have called various places within the valley my home, with UNLV being one of them. That was taken from me in an instant.
“RUN-HIDE-FIGHT.” These are three words that I will never forget. They shouldn’t be words that we need to keep in mind while in an educational institution. They shouldn’t be words that I imagine whenever I end up back on campus. Even now, my breathing hasn’t returned to normal. As I type this, I find myself shaking as I remember the fear from that day.
And now, three of our community members are gone. Three wonderful professors who lost their lives for no good reason.
I get angry going on social media, seeing those that went out-of-state after high school going on with their lives as if nothing happened. I get angry going outside, seeing people in the city working and smiling and laughing as if nothing happened. As selfish as it is, my entire world has utterly changed and shifted while, for so many others, this is another byline. Another number. Another Wikipedia article. We’re so desensitized to such incidents that when another happens, we go, “Not again,” while skipping right past it.
I don’t really know how to “move forward” knowing that some of us will never be able to.
I don’t really know how any of us are expected to be able to have classes in Beam Hall again or how any of us are expected to be able to eat food or host clubs in the SU again with such knowledge.
I’m very lucky to be alive, and I know this. But no one really tells you how to deal with the traumatic aftermath of something that happens so often. I don’t think any of us really truly know.