January 26th, 2009 Jamie
Every now and then my mom will call to check up on me–she wants to make sure I’m not walking around alone in the dark or otherwise putting myself in some kind of danger. As unnecessary as it may be (I’ve lived on my own for a few years now), it is a good reminder to keep myself out of potentially threatening situations.
So in tribute to worried moms everywhere, I thought I’d write up a little list of tips for keeping yourself safe when you’re out and about. These are all about preventing bad situations.
- The Buddy System. Yep, all these years later the tried-and-true field trip rule of having a “buddy” is still a good idea. You don’t have to hold hands and walk in line formation anymore, but it is a good idea to have a friend with you when you’re going out at night.
- Checking In. When you’re at home, you have parents and siblings to worry about you if you don’t get home at a normal time, but away at school you have to ask people to worry. So if you’re going out–especially alone–let your roommate know when you’ll be back and ask him/her to text & check in if you’re not back by then. It’s a good “just in case” practice (AND your roommate won’t care if you text back that you’re going to stay out for a few more hours like your parents might!).
- Plan Ahead. As much as possible, plan to be in populated, well-lit areas.
Safety Alone & at Night
I took a self defense class with my mom before I went away to school, and in addition to teaching me some handy moves to pull in a dire situation, the instructor also told a few tips about staying safe if you are out alone, especially at night. So here are your night/alone safety tips, courtesy of my instructor:
- Stay OFF Your Cell Phone. Talking on the phone is distracting and can leave you unaware of your surroundings.
- No Ponytails. Ponytails are easy for attackers to grab, and they often target people with ponytails for this reason. (Who’d have thought your hair made a difference?)
- Walk Tall. Stand tall and walk confidently–this is supposed to deter potential attackers who usually go for someone who looks timid and less likely to fight back.
- Prepare BEFORE You Get to Your Car. Have your keys out and ready before you get to your car, and be sure to check beneath the car and in the back seat before you get in. Lock the doors as soon as possible.
Take a Self Defense Class!
I loved taking a self defense class (they taught me how to flip a full grown man onto his back to protect myself!) and it only took a few hours on a Saturday morning. You can often find one at local community centers or on campus.
Entry Filed under: life 101