It’s so funny how we move day to day, make plans to meet our friends, plan trips to destinations that we may never see and take for granted the comfort of having somewhere to sleep and have a little peace of mind.
Just a few days ago, all of these things were blown away. Just as Hurricane Katrina destroyed thousands of houses and businesses, more importantly people’s dreams and aspirations were carried away with the devastating storm.
I was a part of the fortunate few who left the city before the storm was ravaged, but I still felt like I witnessed the event first hand due to my plans being uprooted- or so I thought at the time.
From Texas, I was glued to the T.V. watching CNN, MSNBC, and local news outlets for all the breaking news on the storm. I viewed the aftermath from a secure place hundreds of miles from the away, yet I still felt vulnerable. I had friends and peers trapped in dormitories on Xavier University’s campus, friends from the city unaccounted for and an apartment that, although not filled with much, housed things that made that space mine. I watched and watched and you couldn’t help but feel connected to these people whom you don’t know, but are so connected to. Immediately, I felt lost and it hits me that I have so much work ahead of me. I had to get back to my plans and move on from this situation.
In the aftermath of Katrina, days are looking a lot brighter. I arrived on campus with the few things I could salvage from my apartment in New Orleans and two of the best friends anyone could ask for already being apart of the FAMU curriculum and my future have come back into focus. Concerned faculty has openly ushered me in and has opened many doors for endless opportunity to excel at this university. Countless people have offered their support without even knowing my name. I’ve only been a Rattler for a few days, but I feel as if I’ve known these people for a lifetime.
New Orleans has a long and hard renovation in its near future but a strong foundation has been set for me at this university. It’s so strange how God works things out and how his lessons have a significant effect on us. With this, my confidence has been restored, and I feel apart of the FAMU family.
Kelley Campbell is a third year newspaper journalism student from Milwaukee. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org