Walking alone at night can be a frightening experience – and for students with night courses or jobs, commuter students, and students with extracurricular commitments that take place after class and off-campus, it’s a daily reality. Keeping these 7 tips in mind could be a lifesaver in the worst-case scenario.
Be Aware Of Your Surroundings
Instead of getting lost in Tweet storms and Snap stories, keep your eyes peeled and monitor what’s going on around you. Some criminals specifically seek out people who look distracted and won’t see them coming, so remaining observant really can stop an incident before it starts.
Take Your Headphones Off
It can be tempting to listen to your favorite playlist or podcast, but headphones isolate you from the world around you. While that can be great when you’re on the bus, it’s dangerous when you’re walking alone at night. If someone is following you, you’ll want to hear their footsteps… right?
It goes without saying, but it’s easier to stay vigilant if you’re clear-headed. If you’re already intoxicated, we suggest you use a ridesharing service rather than trying to find your way on foot.
Carry a Deterrent
In the worst-case scenario, you may need to defend yourself from an attacker. One burst of pepper spray can sufficiently incapacitate an assailant long enough for you to escape and seek help. You could also go the old-fashioned route with a whistle, which can startle an assaulter and grab the attention of everyone around you in one breath.
Walk With Confidence
Body language can act as a deterrent in itself as, unfortunately, criminals tend to target those who look vulnerable. Your posture, speed, and even the way you move your arms can make you an easy target. Experts recommend you keep the STAAR acronym in mind: Stride (take forceful, confident steps), Tall (keep your shoulders back and your chin up), Arms (bend them naturally at the elbow and swing them as you walk), Awareness (look around as you walk), and Relax (stay chill).
Stick To Well-Populated Areas
You know that old adage about safety in numbers? Well, it’s true. Even if you’re not walking with a friend by your side, you can rely on those around you if you pick busier paths to travel over shortcuts through secluded areas.
Whether you’re planning on taking an unfamiliar route or feeling unsafe on your way home, FaceTiming someone you trust while you walk can do wonders for your sense of security. Not only can your friend be your virtual escort, they can act as your second set of eyes and see what’s going on behind your back. Remember to ditch the headphones, though!
How do you stay safe when making your way around at night? Let us know in the comments section below or on Twitter!