Night classes are great for finishing your degree without having to compromise your work schedule. However, for some students, especially those who take public transportation, this means travelling late at night which increases your chances of becoming a victim of crime. For women and men alike, this presents some possible dangers that can be easily avoided.
If at all possible, travel in a group. There is nothing wrong with pairing up with you classmates who are going in a similar route. You are much less likely to be the victim of crime if you are with one or more people. If this is not feasible, at least keep a cell phone in handy reach.
Have someone who knows the route and mode of transportation you are taking, and when
you will return. It is great if there is someone you can check in with to see if you made it home okay. This can be as simple as texting a friend when you arrive home. I also do not recommend switching up your walk or ride unless someone knows.
Keep a train or bus map with you and know where you are going. You will only make yourself look more vulnerable if you are standing there reading a map. Plus, if you are not sure where you are going, you might not be paying attention to your surroundings.
Avoid listening to your Ipod. This might be a bummer, but I think it is one of the most important things you can do. If you have your music blaring in your ears, you are not going to be able to hear what’s going on around you. It is best to listen for possible danger and this way you will not risk missing your stop.
Purchase some type of defense guard. This can be as simple as a whistle, pepper spray, or a key chain alarm. There are many options out there for you and you must remember to check your state and municipal laws regarding legal protection. Find something that makes you feel comfortable and you understand how to use effectively.
Don’t talk to strangers! As obvious as this might seem, I myself have done it and I have seen
dozens of people fall into this trap. They might ask to use your cell phone or ask for money; they want you to reach into your purse or wallet so they know where your valuables are kept. Most importantly, often times the offender simply wants you to put down your guard and to gain your trust.
Most importantly, use common sense and just listen to your gut! Our hairs stick up for a reason, so don’t ignore it. If something feels wrong, it is better to be safe than sorry.