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People I Worry About on the VCU Campus

As a self-proclaimed worry wart and someone who “moms” the people in my life, I have to get a few things off of my chest. I am concerned about you, certain fellow VCU students. Not because you are particularly reckless or make poor decisions, though. It’s because I care. If you fall into any of the following categories, don’t be surprised if a random girl comes up to you and tells you to PLEASE BE CAREFUL. And then hugs you.


I understand you. You want to be speedy in getting to your destination, yet you don’t want to go through the trouble of lugging around and locking a bike for every class. To be honest, I’m jealous of you. I wish that I was coordinated enough to maneuver the streets of Richmond on nothing but a narrow block of wood on wheels, but my unavoidable clumsiness and tendency to be off balance even when I’m simply walking prevents it. So, as you pass me riding your mighty rolling steed while I’m walking down the sidewalk, I’m going to think a couple of things: First of all, go you. Proud of you. Second of all, and this is where my worries come in; please, please, please, do not try to be impressive and do any fancy tricks in my general vicinity, especially on one of the many uneven sidewalks. I’m all about you achieving that level of coolness, but if you fall, I’m going to panic and I will not know how to save your life. Don’t get me wrong, I will try, but I will also cry a lot, and I would love you forever if you could spare me that emotional turmoil.

People who eat their Chick-fil-A nuggets at the counter while they wait for their milkshake.

Especially those who open a packet of Chick-fil-A sauce and proceed to dip their nuggets into it while they wait. I understand that you’re hungry and I know those nugs are to die for, but the counter is not a table. Also, quite honestly, you are physically standing and snacking between a wild horde of other hungry college students and their chicken, so that just does not seem like a smart idea. Your safety is my number one concern.

Those who don’t wear appropriate clothing when it’s cold outside.

VCU family, please bundle up. You are smart, wonderful, kind, talented, yet incredibly fragile college students, not blubber-lined polar bears. I practically get sympathy hypothermia from seeing your limbs on chilly days, and it scares me when I hear people say “Oh, I’m not cold”. Honestly (but not really), I am one cold person sighting away from knitting hundreds of sweaters and giving them away Oprah-style as I (very warmly) walk to class.

People who cause the mysterious splatters that adorn the walkways most mornings.

Honestly, if it’s any color other than clear or very obviously water, I’m deeply concerned. I don’t want to know the story behind any of it, but if you have ever caused this curious phenomenon in the past or plan to in the future, please do whatever you need to do to take care of yourself.

Those who eat at Bleecker Street every day.

The first few weeks of school, I was just like you and I did not want to believe that I had an addiction. But, with the help of a few friends who suggested that I instead try Cary Street Market and Deli some days, I overcame my struggle. Although Bleecker is basically a mere mortal’s ambrosia, I promise you that there are other options out there, and there are several condiments just as delicious as pesto mayo.

Those who eat at Shafer for every meal.

Go literally anywhere else. Please. Your stomach will thank you for it. (Also, this is the perfect opportunity to recommend Bleecker Street. But, remember to pace yourself).

People who do not carry pepper spray.

Kids, I have lived in Richmond all of my life. While it is a lovely, diverse, fun and typically safe place to be, like with every city, it has its dangers. If it is ever necessary for you to walk around campus after dark, especially in the wee hours of the morning, pepper spray is a must. You will probably never have to use it, but why walk around unprotected when a situation could potentially arise where you would need to defend yourself? They are sold at many sporting goods stores and come in oodles of different colors. And no one is stopping you from bedazzling it, if that’s what you’re into.

Stay safe, friends!

Emily Gerber is a Creative Advertising and English double major at Virginia Commonwealth University. She likes to refer to herself as “Tom Hanks’ adopted daughter,” and is a self-proclaimed succulent mom who takes care of the numerous small cacti living on the windowsill in her apartment. Emily appreciates people who *attempt* to beat her at Disney trivia and wants to dedicate all of her articles to her dog, Daisy.
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