In an already rigorous high school environment, my concentration has always been tested. However, when calculating in the the mass shooting that occurred at my school one year ago, I find it difficult to make it past five questions on my math test without having my mind override with thoughts of fears and doubts.
My most difficult times are when I am in the presence of the building where the massacre occurred. In my trigonometry class, if I look up for just one second to think of a possible equation, the building stares back at me. It’s a daunting sight, one paired with immediate fear and shaking. I quickly scan the room of places I would hide if the shooter ever came back, where my evacuation site would be and if I would be the student gunned down first based upon my location to the nearest window or door. I question myself: what’s wrong with me? Why can’t I stop looking?
I haven’t been able to pick up and read a novel in months following the shooting and even when I do, my mind dwindles off to the dark and crowded classroom I was hiding in on Feb. 14. It’s as if my mind takes over, and I go into autopilot. I am constantly distracted by my external stimuli, and I can no longer read the words on my paper.