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Mitchell: Uniting Colleges through Tragedy

Staff writer Sam Mitchell is a Florida State alumni and currently a graduate student at Ole Miss.
Samantha Mitchell is a Florida State alumni and graduate student at Ole Miss.

Sometimes it takes travesties to unite universities across the country, and even across the world.
I’m sure everyone by now has heard of the scarring event that occurred on Florida State’s campus. It has taken me some time and thought to ponder on the actual occurrence and the after effects it would have on the campus as well as other colleges across the country, and perhaps even the world.
When anyone gets hurt by the carelessness of another, it hurts. Physically and emotionally. When any shooter decides to open fire on a college campus or elsewhere, it has an effect on even those far away from the incident.
When I found out what happened, I stopped dead in my tracks. Thankfully, I was with local friends and colleagues from my program. However, at that very moment, my heart was in Tallahassee. After all, just a semester ago, you would have found me in that very library gearing up for finals.
The thought alone of anyone entering that “safe zone” that I held so near and dear to my heart and piercing through it with bullets of insanity and violence, felt so surreal. I didn’t need to turn to CNN to envision myself in the situation. In my mind, I was there experiencing it firsthand. Scrolling through the terrifying tweets and mind-numbing videos posted on Facebook, I was experiencing this traumatic event through the eyes of my very own friends.
At the end of the day, we have a lot to be thankful for, and I am more than grateful for the brave men and women of the FSUPD and the Tallahassee Police Department. They responded in a fast and thorough fashion and were there within four very speedy minutes.
However, there are always lessons to be learned.
To start, you can never let the violent acts of others keep you from going out and living your life. You should embrace life for what it is and enjoy it. If you let the hurtful acts of others dictate the way you feel and live your life, the wrongdoers have already won.
The second lesson that could be garnered is when a tragedy like this occurs, it should unite the country and bring us all together as one. This means putting aside our differences, our college rivalries, and embracing other colleges as though it were our own. The outpouring of love and support from other colleges to Florida State could not be any more endearing and is just what the students needed right before their finals.
There is also a lesson to be learned for awareness and reaching out. I believe that being constantly aware of situations around you is a very important aspect of today’s society. While knowing what goes around you in every scenario might sound overdone and a bit hypersensitive, it might just save a life or a few hundred around you. Unfortunately, this can happen anywhere and to anyone, so it is always a good thing to remember to be aware, as my Ltc. of a grandfather has always reminded me.
As far as reaching out goes, I feel as though it is important to be aware of what those around you may be going through. Not only does this help in staying connected with others, it also may save lives. Talking through issues may be the strongest link to recovery.

Samantha Mitchell is a HottyToddy.com staff writer and can be reached at smitche3@go.olemiss.edu.

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