I’m from Boston. I was born there. I grew up there. The majority of people I know are there. The events of Monday were startling, and I didn’t intend to discuss it here. I wanted to leave this blog a happy place. However, with the events that have occurred in the past 24 hours, I think it would show a meaningful point-of-view.

I woke up this morning at 7 am to my alarm. I hit snooze, and checked the email on my phone. Scanning my flooded inbox, I realized that snooze wasn’t necessary. As MIT is my home university, this became even more personal than the events that occurred earlier this week. I spent the next half hour in slow mode, trying to take in the severity of what had happened and what exactly happened. At this point, there was no clear connection between the events Monday and Thursday evening.

It was an extremely busy day, and I didn’t have a chance to contact my family for another 12 hours. Literally non-stop, I was in transit, running errands, running experiments, attending meetings, and attending class until 8 pm. When I had 2 seconds to spare, I followed the news. I had a lot of trouble focusing in class, more interested in the developments back home. Exhausted, I went home and immediately called my parents and sister back in Boston. I knew that they were safe, but I wanted to check anyways. This entire evening, I haven’t been able to do anything, but listen and read the news. Seeing Boston in lockdown, with armed officials and other machinery roaming the streets, is surreal. Actually, all of this is.

I’m still shocked, and I’m not sure what I am supposed to say. I feel incredibly fortunate to be safe so far away from the incident. It is one of those rare occasions where I feel as though some higher power kept me far from harm’s way. However, I still hold a burden for the safety and sanity of the majority of my friends who are in the Boston area. Thus, I’m not sure if I am any better off being so far away. I also feel somewhat selfish in saying that, and although I do not personally know any of the people physically injured or hurt, they are friends of friends and friends of my community. I extend my condolences. There is nothing I can do in person, but I hope to contribute whatever I can financially (even as a college student) or in any other way possible.

The ways that the community I have grown up in have responded gives me so much faith in humanity. The list of community members opening their homes to marathon runners on Monday was incredible. Within my university, one student organized to deliver breakfast to the campus police Friday morning. Many students agreed to wear black to mourn the loss of the officer who died to protect all of us. Of course, there are so many other examples.

I want to talk to others about what is happening, but they seem to live in a different world. Talking to my family has definitely helped. Plus, I have gotten asked if I am okay by several people here. It is a strange feeling to be living within another community which does not feel the impact of these events as much as I do.

Originally posted on halfwayaroundtheworld.studentsgoneglobal.com.