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Natural Awakenings Healthy Living Magazine

Too Close to Home

Feb 27, 2023 09:32AM ● By Kelsey Nestuck

Ever since I could remember, whenever anyone would ask me what college I wanted to go to, I always said Michigan State University. The beautiful campus, the closeness from home and the location in Lansing were all such amazing things that drew me to it. When I was a senior in high school, it felt like I was counting down the days until I could move into my dorm and begin studying political science.

            On November 30, 2021, Oxford High School dealt with a tragic shooting. This school neighbored mine, and I had very close friends inside, making this feel like one of the scariest moments of my life. It was too close to home. The rest of my senior year was lived in fear, just waiting to go to college.

            The moment I arrived at MSU, I knew this was home for me. The beginning was spent making new friends, attending my classes and truly living out my dream college experience. That was until Monday, February 13, when all of that fear I felt my senior year became a reality. “Shots fired.” My roommates and I spent the next four hours hiding in our dorm, listening to the police scanner, texting our loved ones, barricading our door and experiencing fear that we never expected to be dealing with.

            I was lucky enough to be able to go home that night. While the police may have declared it over, this was not over for the students and their loved ones. At first I felt guilty for being as upset as I was since I wasn’t in the buildings where the shootings had taken place. I was terrified every time the police scanner said the name of my dorm, especially as I watched people evacuate my dining hall. I know that I am the kind of person who needs to talk about their feelings, and I am so fortunate to have had so many friends and family members reach out to me and let me talk to them about how this impacted me. The support I received and still am receiving is what has kept me going. Being at home with my family, attending the vigil, and seeing the support from the community has truly helped me heal.

            I won’t say I feel good right now, but knowing how many people care has made things easier. Returning to classes will be difficult, but I am so blessed that I’m able to. My thoughts are with the victims and their loved ones during this time, and I am so thankful for the resources that have been provided to us from MSU and the community. For many people, this was too close to home. For the students at MSU, this was home.

Kelsey Nestuck is an 18-year-old freshman at Michigan State University studying political science. She lives in Oakland County.