I remember The Eerie Sound That Changed Lives In A Split Second

I remember The Eerie Sound That Changed Lives In A Split Second

A day that will never be forgotten
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On March 19, 2018, shortly after 8:30, the gut-wrenching sound of a tornado siren filled the air of Jacksonville, Alabama. The beautiful city that is nestled in the foothills of the Appalachian trail was ravaged by an EF 3 tornado.

The horrifying sound of a freight train ripped through the streets as many people took shelter for the impending doom that will accompany that haunting sound. It's the sound that makes you fear for your life. It's the sound that causes an overwhelming amount of emotions. It's a sound we never want to hear.

Devastated doesn't begin to describe the pain that many residents and students feel. There are simply no words to describe the emotions that are welling up inside those who have a special connection to Jacksonville. It all feels like a dream. A dream that you just want to go away. To hear first responders say it looks like a "war zone" really makes the hearts of those who love Jacksonville sink.

That eerie sound that swept through the city that night is so hard to think about. It has haunted the dreams and thoughts of the students at JSU and the residents of the city. It's a haunting dream that will continue to plague our minds as we work together to rebuild our beautiful city.

Thinking about the destruction the tornado left behind nauseates me. Many residents are without a home. JSU is damaged. It is all so overwhelming to think about. Fortunately, the students and faculty at JSU are on spring break this week. On March 20th, the mayor reported that there were no fatalities. That is a true blessing. Buildings can be replaced, but not the lives of the residents of Jacksonville are irreplaceable.

March 19 will be a day we will never forget. It was the day that will haunt residents throughout the years. It's hard to see a city with great people go through this.

As meteorologist and city officials said the chilling words "seek shelter now" and "there is a tornado on the ground" many people did not know what would be the outcome. Nobody ever wants to hear those words or hear your city or town mentioned specifically. It is an eye-opening experience and we will overcome it.

We Are Jacksonville Strong

Thank you to the first responders who worked tirelessly throughout the night and next day.

Thank you to the meteorologist for keeping everybody informed.

Thank you to the city officials, JSU, volunteers, and those who have donated.

Each and every one of us appreciates all the thoughts, prayers, and donations.

Cover Image Credit: YouTube

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5 Ways Impulsively Getting A Dog Saved My Mental Health

Those four paws are good for a lot more than just face kisses.

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Shortly before my husband and I officially moved out onto our own, he surprised me with a puppy in hand on the morning of our anniversary. Moving out, tackling college, and everything in between, I thought another huge responsibility was the last thing I needed. However, in reality, Oakley, the lab/Australian shepard/collie mix, was exactly what I needed to get back to "me."


He provides emotional support

One of the most obvious reasons is how much emotional support dogs, (and other respective animals) can provide. His paws have been accidentally stepped on, and he certainly isn't a fan of the forced flea/tick medication doses, but less than 30 seconds later, he is without fail immediately by my side again, tail wagging and ready for more kisses. Although he is not trained or certified as an ESA, it's without a doubt he has effectively (and unconsciously) combated random anxiety attacks or feelings of being alone.

He requires being cared for

You'll heavily judge every crazy fur mama, as did, I until you become one. Getting Oakley immediately got me consistently back on my feet and forced me to ask myself, "What does he need today?"Even simple, easy tasks like taking him out to run/go to the bathroom had me excited and forced me to find a motive in the day to day activities. I loved no longer having even the mere choice to be unproductive. Don't want to start your day? Well, Oakley needs his day started, so let's get moving.

He serves as protection

It's no surprise how far a dog's loyalty will go to protect their owner. For decades, specially trained dogs have had life-saving responsibilities assigned to them. Even being married, my husband and I's schedules vary significantly to where it is not uncommon for me to be alone. The slightest sound or shadow from outside our door immediately initiates barking. In the bathroom taking a shower? He's there. Knowing that Oakley is looking out, even when I get carried away with tasks like cooking dinner, always calms my nerves.

He's become something to look forward to

The nice thing about having Oakley is regardless of how my day goes, I know exactly how it is going to end. Whether I passed an exam with flying colors or got the lowest grade in the class, I know what waits for me when I open the door at home. After a long day, nothing resets my mood like walking into a face that is just as happy and excited to see me!

He encourages bonds with others

If you want your social interaction to sky rocket: get a puppy. No, I'm serious. You'll have people wanting to come over and visit "you" (let's be real… your puppy), like it's your last day on Earth. For me, this was exactly what I needed. Getting Oakley had family members constantly checking in to see how he was growing, learning, etc. Not only did this encourage more interactions with family and friends, but it also "livened" my husband and I's home life. Instead of the "normal" weekend nights consisting of Netflix and MarioKart, (which are enjoyable in their own respective ways), spending our nights playing Monkey in the Middle with our new four-legged friend has proven much more entertaining.

So ideally was it the right time to get a dog? Probably not. However, adding Oakley to my small little family combated anxiety and depression in ways I wouldn't have ever thought possible.

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Rutgers Endangered Thousands Of Students By Not Canceling Classes On February 11th

No matter how one puts it, to still have classes open during a state of emergency with all the potential perils is just ludicrous and abandons all common sense.

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February 11th, 2019: New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy declared a state of emergency due to the pending winter storm that was bound to arrive the next day. Almost all weather channels and websites predicted that there would be anywhere from three to six inches of snow with a rich mixture of ice and sleet.

Also February 11th, 2019: Rutgers University declares a delayed opening for all university classes except Rutgers Newark and RBHS Newark.

No matter how one puts it, to still have classes open during a state of emergency with all the potential perils is just ludicrous and abandons all common sense. Most other New Jersey colleges and universities seem to agree with this basic train of thought, as other New Jersey institutions like Kean University, Seton Hall University, and Montclair State University all wisely closed their respective campus classes to ensure the safety of their students.

This statement is made without even taking into account that Rutgers University has tens of thousands of students who commute to school. From the potential ice hazards to the massive amounts of mud and snow, the number of dangers the weather proposed is more than just a few. More than 17 thousand commuters were left in a lose-lose situation: risk their safety on the road driving to school or the valuable information from classes, which is more critical particularly now since the first wave of exams are approaching for most students. Thankfully, there were a handful of professors who were sane enough to cancel their classes because they actually recognized, unlike Rutgers University, that some students have to travel decent lengths to come to school.

This occurrence is not just a one-time event - Rutgers University opened during another blizzard last year, which caused massive issues towards student employees on campus. Again, most colleges closed during this statement of emergency except for Rutgers.

Simply put, there appears to be a lack of respect and care given towards Rutgers students and especially commuters. No logic can explain why Rutgers wants to put whatever incentive they may receive from opening the university above the safety of its students. The fact that this event happened multiple times bodes poorly for commuters in future situations like these. As such, there needs to be a tangible action to be taken immediately before an occurrence similar to this one happens again. Who knows when a severe accident or injury occurs as a result of sheer poor judgment? Priorities must change so that the well-being of students and commuters are number one compared to everything else.

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