College Is Different for the School-Shooting Generation

College used to be a wonderful experience in pre-adulthood. The only things you really needed to concentrate on were what to wear or not to wear, getting to class on time, making good grades, and hanging out with your friends. Those days are long gone.

Today, college doesn’t carry the nostalgia that it once did, the earthy innocence, the no-nonsense reliability one had of school. College shootings are a grim reality today. As such, it causes mixed feelings of being all you can be and achieving your scholastic goals. Because while you’re working so hard to make those dreams come true, you also need to watch your front, back and sideways, and really be aware of your surroundings at all times.

Before college shootings, there were fire drills. Now there are ‘active shooter’ drills. The carefree college experience has been replaced by tweets, Facebook posts, and auto text messages that announce incidents of violence while transmitting instructions on what you should do to be as safe as possible to stay alive.

Classroom learning now takes on a whole new meaning if you suddenly hear pops going off in mid-air because you instinctively know they’re probably not balloons. For the school-shooting generation, college probably isn’t as fun, festive, or glamorous as it used to be. For today’s college-bound student, safety is just as important, if not more so, than earning an A on an exam. In addition to studying for that exam, you also need to be aware of ALICE (Alert-Lockdown-Inform-Counter-Evacuate).