How Best to be Safe in College

As a woman in college, I have been in many different settings, and some of them were kinda scary. Settings that you need to watch out for are walking around campus alone at night, going to a club or being by yourself with a guy. I would never blame women for the things that happen to them because of someone else. A woman can be as cautious as possible, but anything can still happen. I have walked around campus at night many times trying to get food, walking to see someone or leaving the library late. The best way to stay safe is to make sure to look at your surroundings every few minutes, keep your music on low so you can hear people and have pepper spray on hand or maybe even a taser. You don't have to look like this when you're walking down the street, but you should kinda be like this on the sly. The best way to put it is to make sure your awareness looks kinda normal. One thing I love to do is let someone know I am on my way to my room or talk to someone on the phone while I'm walking.  Letting someone know where you're going is telling them that if you don't make it back within 10 minutes, something is wrong and someone is coming. I walk from the library at night all the time, and I always call my mom just to talk to her. I know she doesn't like it, but if she wants good grades out of me, she is going to have to be okay with it. 

When I go to the club, I always have friends with me. It is usually a really big group of 8 or 10, but I understand if you want to go alone. I want to have fun and not have to wait for others to have it.  Most clubs will not allow you to bring pepper spray or a taser in the club with you, but they may be okay with keeping it at the door so you will have it for when you are leaving. I recommend you stay vigilant. I say let someone know where you are and do not get too drunk. Do not put your drink down and walk away because it can get drugged. Have fun, but if someone gets grabby, move away. Be polite and direct with them at first, then move away while pushing them away. You can always call for help to the people around you. You have to make sure you look at your surroundings as you leave and make sure not to drink and drive.

Now it can be some tricky business if you ask a dude to come to your room. I say that because there is usually not someone there you can call for help. Now I did this once, and it didn't go as planned. It was 4-20, and he came over to celebrate. Now he expected to have sex when that wasn't even on my mind. He started kissing me, and I was like "What is happening?" I told him I did not want to have sex, but it seemed he was still trying. It felt kinda good at one point; but too much was happening, and I didn't know him like that. It kept going and something happened where I had to tell him that he had to go. I was nervous as I was walking him to the door because I was contemplating what to say to him. But I was brave and told him, "Next time, ask a girl if she wants to have sex." He was asking if I was okay with what happened, and I kinda wasn't. I didn't have anyone to talk to right after it happened. I was scared during this whole occasion, and I wish I wouldn't have been so naive. I have learned from my mistakes, and I hope after reading this, you will not make the same or will do better than me. It is bad that I see it as me being in the wrong when I do know that he should have asked if any of it was okay beforehand. I know that many girls and women might think like this, and you should know it is NEVER YOUR FAULT. I tell this story to say that it can be hard to tell a guy "No" once he is already in your room, and you said it was okay to get on your bed; but please tell him to stop when you are not feeling right. I do wish I would have handled it better and faster. I recommend asking a question from the beginning, recognizing what type of guy you have come over, let someone know that he is coming over and have your pepper spray or taser on hand. You can never be too cautious when it comes to your safety.

I do believe this world is fucked-up for the fact that women have to protect themselves instead of boys and men being taught to keep to themselves. I see the irony, but that doesn't mean we can't try. I have parents that tell me to be safe every time I go out and every time I get off the phone with them. I have friends that won't let anything happen to me when I'm with them. Things have happened to me when I was alone, and I know I have to do whatever I can to prevent them from happening again. But if anything does happen, I know I can always call the police, and I will always get support from my friends and family. The best thing you can do is never go out alone at night or put yourself in certain situations, but that isn't realistic. So always be careful but don't let it stop you from having fun. I still go out with friends and do as I please and I want you to do the same.