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 Boy Who Will Love Me Next

If you can't understand these few things, leave before things get too involved
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To the boy that will love me next, I need you to know and understand things about me and my past. The things I have been though not only have shaped the person I’ve become, but also sometimes controls my life. In the past I’ve been used, abused, and taken for granted, and I want something real this time. The guys before you were just boys; they didn’t know how to treat me until it was too late. They didn’t understand how to love me, until I broke my own heart. Before you truly decide to love me I want you to understand these things.

When I tell you something, please listen.

I’m my own person, I want to be loved a certain way. If I ask you to come over and watch movies with me please do it, if I ask for you to leave me alone for a few hours because it’s a girl’s night please do it. I don’t just say things to hear my own voice, I say things to you because it’s important to my life and the way I want to be loved. I’m not a needy person when it comes to being loved and cared for, but I do ask for you to do the small things that I am say.

Forgive my past.

My past is not a pretty brick road, it is a highway that has a bunch of potholes and cracks in it. I have a lot of baggage, and most of it you won’t understand. But don’t let my past decided whether you want to love me or not. My past has helped form who I am today, but it does not define who I am. My past experiences might try and make an appearance every once in a while, but I will not go back to that person I once was, I will not return to all that hurt I once went though. When I say those things, I’m telling the complete and honest truth. I relive my past every day, somethings haunt me and somethings are good reminds. But for you to love me, I need you to accept my past, present and future.

I’m just another bro to the other guys.

I have always hung out with boys, I don’t fit in with the girl groups. I have 10 close girlfriends, but the majority of my friends are guy, but don’t let this scare you. If I wanted to be with one of my guy friends I would already be with him, and if you haven’t noticed I don’t want them because I’m with you. I will not lose my friendships with all my guy friends to be able to stay with you. I will not cut off ties because you don’t like my guy friends. I have lost too many buddies because of my ex-boyfriends and I promised myself I wouldn’t do that again. If you don’t like how many guy friends I have you can leave now. Don’t bother trying to date me if you can accept the fact I’m just another bro.

I might be a badass, but I actually have a big heart.

To a lot of people I come off to be a very crazy and wild girl. I will agree I can be crazy and wild, but I’m more than that. I’m independent, caring, responsible, understanding, forgiving, and so such more type of woman. Many people think that I’m a badass because I don’t take any negatively from anyone. Just like we learned when we were younger, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all.” Most people can’t do that in today’s world, so I stick up for myself and my friends. I don’t care what anyone thinks about me, or their option on how I live my life. The only thing I care about is being able to make myself happy. Even though I’m an independent woman, understand that I do have a big heart. Honesty when I truly care for someone I will do just about anything they ask, but don’t take advantage of this. Once you take advantage of this part of me, all respect will be lost for you.

I’m hard to love.

Sometimes I want to be cuddle and get attention, and sometimes I don’t want you to talk to me for a couple hours. Sometimes I want you to take me out for a nice meal, but sometimes I want a home cooked meal. Every day is different for me, sometimes I change my mind every hour. My mood swings are terrible on certain days, and on those days you should probably just ignore me. I’m not easy to love, so you’ll either be willing to find a way to love me, or you’ll walk out like so many others have.

I’m scared.

I’m scared to love someone again. I’ve been hurt, heartbroken, and beat to the ground in my past relationships. I want to believe you are different, I want to hope things will truly work out, but every relationship has always ended up the same way. I’m scared to trust someone, put my whole heart into them, just to be left and heartbroken again. I sick and tired of putting my whole body and soul into someone for them to just leave when it is convenient for them. If you want to love me, understand it won’t be easy for me to love you back.

When “I’m done.”

When I say “I’m done” I honestly don’t mean that I’m done. When I say that it means I need and want you to fight for me, show me why you want to be with me. I need you to prove that I’m worth it and there’s no one else but me. If I was truly done, I would just walk away, and not come back. So if I ever tell you, “I’m done,” tell me all the reasons why I’m truly not done.

For the boy who will love me next, the work is cut out for you, you just have to be willing to do it. I’m not like other girls, I am my own person, and I will need to be treated as such. For the boy that will love me next, don’t bother with me unless you really want to be with me. I don’t have time to waste on you if you aren’t going to try and make something out of us. To the boy who will love me next, the last thing I would like to say is good luck, I have faith in you.

Cover Image Credit: Danielle Balint

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Young Adults Aren't Lazy, They Actually Suffer From Being Burnt Out

I promise this isn't an excuse for "laziness"

Jenn
Jenn
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If you're like me, or like any other student that attends a competitive and rigorous university, you know leisure time doesn't exist. I just finished my first year of college and am interning two places, and have two other part-time jobs for the summer. I average about 50-60 hours of work a week, this excludes the extra functions I am obligated to attend for my internships such as fundraisers and rallies. I also manage to workout four to five times a week and maintain a pretty active social life. So how do I balance all these components of my life? I don't.

Well at least not effectively. Did anyone notice I don't mention sleeping or participating in leisure activities because I don't. My existence is wrapped around my future career and any time left I focus on other aspects like friendships/relationships or trying to get ahead, by the time I have free time to do anything I just want to collapse and sleep for hours on end, knowing my alarm is gonna go off in five hours. Do I think I suffer from being burnt out? Yes. But what exactly is burnout? Burnout is when a person is mentally, physically, and emotionally exhausted due to excessive and long running stress, which can ultimately lead to hopelessness, feeling nothing you achieve matters and can physically deteriorate one's body. People tend to find simple chores or tasks unimaginably hard, such as going to the post office or grocery shopping because they are just so exhausted from their more important responsibilities. Many older generations find this to be laziness, but in actuality, it is the opposite. This generation is so hellbent on being successful we overwork, overbook, and over criticize ourselves to the point where we can't properly function.

Is there a solution?

Honestly, I think we as Gen Z'ers and millennials are products of our environment, and society needs to change in order for us to change our habits. From comparing ourselves on social media to pushing ourselves academically we never truly get a break from trying to be the "best" version of ourselves. Personally, I am going to take a break from social media that I feel is only toxic to my life. I deleted my finsta, which just became a place to rant, deleted most of my twitter content because it depicted me as someone I'm not, and I am ending snap streaks because they are actually the dumbest thing I've ever encountered. Everyone is different but I challenge you to find out what is weighing you down in ways you never realized and may be contributing to your burnout.

Jenn
Jenn

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