Local News

Virginia Tech Student Returns Home to Chapel Hill

Posted April 18, 2007 11:32 p.m. EDT
Updated April 23, 2007 8:45 a.m. EDT

— 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."