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Student Opinion: Annabelle Smallwood

By Annabelle Smallwood, Staff Reporter

It did not take long for the news to spread that yet another senseless shooting had taken place. I woke up to hundreds of posts on every social media platform talking about the recent shooting in Commerce. However, this shooting hit me differently.

I grew up in a little town in northeast Texas called Paris. This town is about 30 minutes from Commerce, but it does not even seem that far. Before touring Hardin-Simmons University, I had planned on attending A&M Commerce because it was so close to home that I could just drive to school every day.

That is why my heart sank a little deeper when I heard the news about this shooting. This was not just another shooting. I knew of people who were planning on attending or were at that party. These were not just people. These were my neighbors and some of my friends. This could have been me.

Since this type of shooting has become so common, I have always had the mindset that it could never happen to me, and I feel like I am not the only person who feels this way. Many of us go throughout our day-to-day lives thinking that even though these terrible things happen in this world, it could never happen to us.

After hearing about this shooting, my first reaction was fear. If a shooting could happen that close to home, it could happen anywhere. I was scared to walk around campus alone or really go anywhere. I have now realized that I responded to this in the wrong way.

Since then, I have learned a few things. First, I have learned that the way I am feeling about this shooting is how many people feel about every shooting, and that is something that needs more consideration. Secondly, I have learned that this could happen to anyone, even us. Even though that should make us become more prepared and aware, it should not scare us from living our everyday lives.

We all need to have a better understanding of the fact that we are not promised tomorrow. Not a single person on this earth knows that they will live past the moment that they are living now. Because of that, we need to live every moment as if it is our last. Instead of dreading waking up for that 8 a.m. class, fill your day with purpose and joy that you are alive. We all need to be a little bit more appreciative of the time that we do have, especially me.


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