Local News

Virginia Tech Student Returns Home to Chapel Hill

Posted April 18, 2007
Updated April 23, 2007

— For some Virginia Tech students, the only way to start healing was to get away from campus and get back home to the families they love.

That’s exactly what junior Sara Estes did. The Chapel Hill native decided to head home after Seung-Hui Cho went on a killing spree at Virginia Tech.

“I’m still holding up pretty well compared to some people,” she said.

Like so many of her friends, Estes wanted to get away from the campus and return home to regain her strength. The serenity of her back yard has been a good remedy. The scene at her school was too tough to deal with.

“We were all in shambles. We were all crying. And with all of us crying, it’s hard to help somebody else when you’re in tears,” she said.

Estes says she was two buildings down from Norris Hall where Cho's killing rampage ended. She said she was locked down for more than three hours but is grateful to be alive and well.

“We’re a campus that prides ourselves on not having much violence,” she said.

Now, more than ever, Estes wants to sport her school pride in honor of her fellow Hokies now in a better place.

“We’re all Hokies together,” she said. “And they’re up there together, all 32 of them are all up there together.”

Estes is planning to head back to campus this weekend. Part of the reason she decided to speak out was to reach Triangle high school students who have already received their Virginia Tech acceptance letter that went out April 1.

She wants to reassure them that Virginia Tech is still a safe place to get an education.

Estes initially chose Virginia Tech for its Cadet Corp, because she comes from a military family. An injury, though, forced her to change her focus and major. She wasn’t about to leave the school then and the recent massacre won’t keep her from going back.

“I got my class ring a couple of weeks ago,” she said. “It means more to me now than it did when I first ordered it in October."


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  • AFLOWERS Apr 19, 2007

    Welcome home Sara. I am so glad that you made it out safe.
    This is so sad. Things will never be the same for you or for the students and faculty that witnessed this. The families and friends of the ones lost during this, have a long road ahead. My thoughts and prayers go out to all.

  • Arkansas Razorback Apr 19, 2007

    You are a brave girl Sara. Glad you are safe.

  • satt Apr 19, 2007

    bless you sara and all affected by this terrible ordel....one day at a time.....peace and love..

  • spiritwarriorwoman Apr 19, 2007

    Praying for all.

    God bless.

    Rev. RB

  • packandcanesfan Apr 19, 2007

    So sad. Things will never be the same in Blacksburg or for any of the students, faculty and staff that witnessed all this. The families and friends of the lost have a long battle ahead. Continued thoughts and prayers to all.

  • mythoughts22 Apr 19, 2007

    i hope all of the friends, family and victims can find some type of relief...my heart goes out to all of u

  • Sundaysailor Apr 19, 2007

    Toto, go give her a great, big kiss.

  • momofthreeinFV Apr 19, 2007

    There is no place like home....

  • will_w202 Apr 18, 2007

    Welcome home Sara, from a UNC alum. I can assure you this hit Taheels and Chapel Hill natives very hard, and for what it's worth, we're with you and your friends in our hearts.

  • rainy39 Apr 18, 2007

    Welcome home Sara