SANTA FE, Texas (Fox) - Monday, August 20, was the first day back for students at Santa Fe High School. This comes roughly three months after the deadly mass shooting that killed 10 people and injured 13 others. For many students, like shooting survivor Sarah Salazar, they're trying to make this year as normal as possible.
Sarah was one of dozens in the art room May 18, when a gunman opened fire. Since then, the 16-year-old has had multiple surgeries on her shoulder and her jaw.
Sarah said she was mostly worried about how she was going to make it through those long hours without being in physical pain, but Monday went better than she thought it would.
"I made it through the day without my shoulder hurting that bad. And I didn't have to call my mom to come pick me up that early," Sarah said.
Sarah's arm remains in a sling but the road to full recovery still lies ahead.
"I need another surgery to take these wires out from my jaw and then possibly another one for my shoulder if my nerve starts to work. It's the nerve you use to lift your arm. Mine's not responding at the moment," Sarah said.
From metal detectors to a remodeled front entrance and additional officers, Sarah's sister, Suzannah Salazar, said it was strange seeing their high school so different.
Although Suzannah said those new security measures do make students feel safer, she's still worried about Sarah making it through the crowds.
"Lunch is so packed. They're constantly bumping shoulders and some people don't know whats going on. They'll poke her and that hurts her," Suzannah said.
Additional security measures for the 2018-2019 school year include requiring everyone on campus to wear ID badges at all times and "Parents on Patrol"-- a volunteer organization for parents like Sarah's mom, Sonia Lopez, who want to help keep an eye on the kids at school.
"Just knowing that I'm there and I can see what's going on makes me feel good," Lopez said.
Lopez said she's proud of her daughters, and especially of Sarah, who's proven through time that she's a fighter.
"What I always tell my kids is to get their education because no one can take that away from them. And I encourage them to be strong, independent women," Lopez said.
Despite the circumstances, Lopez said Sarah has big dreams to go to college and continue living out her life as best as she can.