On the way to campus we saw absolutely no one; pretty normal for 3am. Once we made it there, still a little ways away from the apartment, Justin and I split off from the main group. Four of them were going to move their car and another four lived right there. We figured that since we were going through the residential parts of campus, we'd be pretty safe. Naturally, every sketchy/creepy person we saw that night was while we were alone. It was actually the highest concentration of menacing-looking people I've seen in a long time.
Nothing happened, besides a middle-aged drunk man yelling at us from across the street for directions, but there were a couple groups of people that seriously creeped me out. They were staring us down, watching us as we passed. One of them even commented, "there's only two of them," as we walked by. I don't know about you all, but I immediately perceive comments like that as a threat. It could have been harmless, but I'd rather be on high alert and prepared for someone to come at me than assume the best and be caught off guard.
I've never been in a seriously dangerous situation, but I do take precautions to try to stay safe. Most of these are pretty common sense, but they're still important.
- Don't walk alone, especially at night. Other people, or sometimes even big dogs, are deterrents. It's impractical to always be with someone, though, so also...
- Don't look like a target. Be as menacing as you can. Square your shoulders, look forward, and walk briskly, but with purpose. OWN the space you're in. Don't look scared, don't play with your phone, and don't look at the ground.
- Make eye contact if you see someone suspicious. You don't want them to think they can sneak up on you and you want them to know that you could identify them if need be. I generally look deliberately in their direction once, then watch them out of the corner of my eye. I try not to stare people down, because I don't want to look like I'm trying to start something.
- Let someone know where you're going. Again, this isn't always practical, but it's still a nice precaution to take if you can.
- Be armed. I'm fairly strong for my size, but I'm still a smallish lady. I'm ALWAYS armed, generally with pepper spray, but also sometimes with a pocket knife. If I'm walking alone, in a bad area, or out late, it's always in my hand, ready to be used (obviously if it's a knife the blade's not out, but if it's my pepper spray, my finger is on the button).
- Trust your instincts. Seriously, if you get a bad feeling about something, do not reason your way into it. This applies to people, places, actions, etc.
When was the last time you were creeped out by someone while out and about?