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3 Tips on Staying Safe in the City as a Northeastern Student

Who doesn’t love the city? There’s nothing freer than exploring a new place and taking in the beauty of it all. From late-night adventures to Saturday mornings at coffee shops to an incredible thrifting scene, cities are the place to be. As us women walk around with our heads held high, there’s always that lingering reminder that we have to be on guard. I know this first hand as I walk around the city of Boston every weekend enjoying the shops, restaurants, and nightlife. From one college woman to another, we should all be able to feel safe and comfortable in our environment.  Over my time living in the city, I have learned different ways to ensure my personal safety. Here are three tips I have found most helpful for staying safe. 

  1. Carry Pepper Spray

I carry pepper spray to give me peace of mind, since it is highly effective in ensuring personal safety when walking around the city. With simple instructions, it can easily be used for self defense. While you cannot order pepper spray online to be delivered directly to Massachusetts, there are shops where you can buy it, or order it online to another state if possible. I personally haven’t had to use my pepper spray, but I have had to hold it up and let it’s bright pink exterior deter creepy men. Having pepper spray has allowed me to feel safer and protect myself. Tasers and rape whistles can also be helpful to carry around with you.

2. Download Noonlight & Sekura

Noonlight and Sekura are apps that summon help to your exact location with a click of a button. Noonlight allows you to add friends to your safety network, and it will track your location for them to ensure your safety. If you feel unsafe, you can open the Noonlight app and hold down the button that says “hold until safe.” If you start to feel safe, release the button and enter the 4-digit PIN you created. If you continue to feel unsafe and do not enter your pin, the police will be notified of your exact location. If you feel more comfortable alerting emergency contacts in addition to or instead of notifying the police when in danger, Sekura allows for that. This app has four main buttons with extremely important functions. The green button makes a loud siren sound if you are in danger on the street and are trying to call for help. The purple button fakes an incoming call. The orange button sends a pre-set message with your location to up to three contacts. Lastly, the red button calls an emergency number. These are two of my favorite apps that help me feel safe and empowered as a woman on the streets of Boston.

3. Take the Redeye

At Northeastern, we have RedEye, which transports students from campus to anywhere off-campus within a 2-mile radius. This wonderful resource is free of charge for students and can be ordered through the RedEye app during the hours of 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. If you are not at Northeastern, you can call for a safety escort from NUPD if you need a safe ride. If you do decide to walk home at night, I recommend finding people to walk home with. In addition, do not be afraid to ask a guy friend to walk you back if you know and trust them.

College is a transformative experience that is filled with unique opportunities to learn and grow. Throughout this journey, feeling safe and empowered is essential to thrive. Remember to prioritize protecting and taking care of yourself so that you can comfortably explore all that college has to offer.

Alexa Grayson

Northeastern '24

Hi! I'm Alexa and I'm a first year human services major. I love writing poetry, articles, narratives. Furthermore, you will never not see me without my kindle app or a book on hand. And with that it's guaranteed Taylor Swift will be blasting in my ears as well!3>
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