What It's Like As A Woman To Walk Alone At Night

What It's Like As A Woman To Walk Alone At Night

There's a fear that comes from a simple walk in the dark.
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You find yourself working late across campus on a project, and before you know it, you are faced with a dark walk alone at night.

Your keys rattle in your hands as you take calm steadying breaths, trying to remind yourself that you are fine. Somewhere off in the distance you hear a car siren go off, and you jump. Again, you take calm and steady breaths. You suddenly hear footsteps behind you coming closer. Your heart stops, but you’re not sure why. As the person passes you, they keep on walking and you calm yourself once more.

You decide to text your friend and see if she’s awake and can talk to you while you continue your walk. Unfortunately, she is not responding, so you decide to call her. When she picks up, you explain you were walking home alone and wanted someone to talk to. There is a mutual understanding between both women that being on the phone with another person feels safer. You continue your talk and eventually make it back to your building.

After hanging up, you hear someone yell, “Hey!” behind you. Feeling fearful once more, you turn to see someone running toward you, realizing they want you to hold the door for them. You do so, then continue your steady incline up the steps to your room, feeling their presence far too close for comfort behind you. When you realize you are both getting off at the same floor, paranoia sets in. Somehow, even when you are supposedly in the protection of your building, you fear for your safety. A wave of relief sets in when you both part ways at the door, and you take a moment to compose yourself. Eventually reaching your door, you quickly go inside, lock it, and slump to the floor.

For many women, this is a very real reality. Fear is instilled in us at an early age, and usually for good reason. Statistically, one in five women will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime. Often you hear of stories of women becoming isolated at a party and taken advantage of, but also many times it is as simple as they were in the wrong place at the wrong time.

PBS’s (Public Broadcasting Station) writer Mary Dickson once asked women what their worst nightmares were. One woman clearly stated:

"I'm most afraid of being attacked by a man, especially if I'm out jogging or riding my bike or walking. I don't go out alone at night. I used to run with headphones on, and I don't do that anymore so that I can be aware of what's going on around me."

There are unfortunately bad people in this world, and because of this, women have to be vigilant and very mindful of their safety. In the blink of an eye your life can be turned upside down, so please be careful. Walk in groups, stick to well-lit streets, keep pepper spray on you, and keep your phone on you at all times. Be careful, ladies, and have a safe walk home.

Cover Image Credit: https://thedissolve.com/reviews/1229-a-girl-walks-home-alone-at-night/

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To The Girl Who Had A Plan

A letter to the girl whose life is not going according to her plan.
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“I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.” - William Ernest Henley

Since we were little girls we have been asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” We responded with astronauts, teachers, presidents, nurses, etc. Then we start growing up, and our plans change.

In middle school, our plans were molded based on our friends and whatever was cool at the time. Eventually, we went to high school and this question became serious, along with some others: “What are your plans for college?” “What are you going to major in?” “When do you think you’ll get married?” “Are you going to stay friends with your friends?” We are bombarded with these questions we are supposed to have answers to, so we start making plans.

Plans, like going to college with our best friends and getting a degree we’ve been dreaming about. Plans, to get married as soon as we can. We make plans for how to lose weight and get healthy. We make plans for our weddings and children.

SEE ALSO: 19 Pieces Of Advice From A Soon-To-Be 20-Year-Old

We fill our Pinterest boards with these dreams and hopes that we have, which are really great things to do, but what happens when you don’t get into that college? What happens when your best friend chooses to go somewhere else? Or, what if you don’t get the scholarship you need or the awards you thought you deserved. Maybe, the guy you thought you would marry breaks your heart. You might gain a few pounds instead of losing them. Your parents get divorced. Someone you love gets cancer. You don’t get the grades you need. You don’t make that collegiate sports team. The sorority you’re a legacy to, drops you. You didn’t get the job or internship you applied for. What happens to you when this plan doesn’t go your way?

I’ve been there.

The answer for that is “I have this hope that is an anchor for my soul.” Soon we all realize we are not the captain of our fate. We don’t have everything under control nor will we ever have control of every situation in our lives. But, there is someone who is working all things together for the good of those who love him, who has a plan and a purpose for the lives of his children. His name is Jesus. When life takes a turn you aren’t expecting, those are the times you have to cling to Him the tightest, trusting that His plan is what is best. That is easier said than done, but keep pursuing Him. I have found in my life that His plans were always better than mine, and slowly He’s revealing that to me.

The end of your plan isn’t the end of your life. There is more out there. You may not be the captain of your fate, but you can be the master of your soul. You can choose to be happy despite your circumstances. You can change directions at any point and go a different way. You can take the bad and make something beautiful out of it, if you allow God to work in your heart.

SEE ALSO: To The Girl Patiently Waiting With An Impatient Heart

So, make the best of that school you did get in to. Own it. Make new friends- you may find they are better than the old ones. Apply for more scholarships, or get a job. Move on from the guy that broke your heart; he does not deserve you. God has a guy lined up for you who will love you completely. Spend all the time you can with the loved one with cancer. Pray, pray hard for healing. Study more. Apply for more jobs, or try to spend your summer serving others instead. Join a different club or get involved in other organizations on campus. Find your delight first in God and then pursue other activities that make you happy; He will give you the desires of your heart.

My friend, it is going to be OK.

Cover Image Credit: Megan Beavers Photography

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20 Ways To Destress This Semester

Do not let the stress get you down.

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Feeling the stress of the school year already? Here are a few ways you can destress.

1. Breathe

2. Chew gum

3. Clean

4. Craft

5. Dance

6. Doodle

7. Exercise

8. Hug a tree

9. Listen to music

10. Nap

11. Netflix

12. Pets

13. Read

14. Say no

15. Smile

16. Socialize

17. Spend time outside

18. Stretch

19. Treat yourself

20. Write

Whatever you can do to momentarily take your mind off of everything else.

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