When I first left for college I never thought about possible emergencies that may happen back at home. This year after being away at college for almost four years, I experienced that feeling twice. During the fall semester I found out my grandmother had passed away and it felt like my world came crashing down on me. My parents tried to wait until I got home to tell me the news and just paid for my ticket, however, my cousin who was unaware of my parents plan, told me.
The second time it happened was just last week April 2. I received a news alert on my phone that there was a shooting at the Fort Hood base in Texas, which is the same base my sister in the Army is stationed at. Once again, it felt like my world came crashing down. I eventually found out my sister was okay and the situation ended soon afterwards but the feeling was indescribable.
After experiencing both situations, I think I can say that I have an idea of how to handle unexpected bad news while away at school. During both of these times, I felt alone, but I was not really alone. My professors and the staff I work with here at school were very comforting. They let me take time for myself when I needed it and they even gave encouraging words. When my grandmother passed away, the Office of Student Development and Counseling reached out to me just to let me know they were there for me, if I needed to talk to them. It made me feel so much better. There was also an explosion in Harlem, N.Y. this semester, and because the school knew there are several students from that area, they sent an email sending their prayers and letting us know the Office of Development was available for anyone who was impacted by the incident.
With all this being said, below are two suggestions on handling bad news back at home, while away at school.
- If you are feeling lonely, talk to someone. Talk to a friend or roommate about the situation to let your emotions out. It is always good to have a listening ear or they may even say something very helpful.
- Let your professor know. When the situation at my sister’s base happened it was right before my night class. I told my professor and he was very understanding. He allowed me to stay on my phone during class so I could stay in contact with my family and look at the Internet for updates.