I have three night classes at uoft psych, women and gender and anthropology… I’m a little worried walking from the buildings to the subway when it gets dark being a tiny female… Is there any tips to stay safe? And is it pretty busy at night?
i’m no overenthusiastic women’s self-defense coach from a 90s sitcom, but as a veteran commuter, i do have a few tips that have worked out well for me:
1. when you’re walking, be present.
be aware of your surroundings when you walk. if you’re staring down at the ground and shuffling along, you’ll be less aware, which is unsafe. walk like you could eat a bear at the slightest provocation. walk like you’ve killed a man with your thumb. walk like a murderess.
2. walk with a friend.
if you’re leaving an evening class, chances are there will be other people heading to the subway station like you. meet a couple of them and walk together. it may even blossom into a friendship – even if it doesn’t, you won’t have to walk with them for more than ten minutes.
3. if you have to walk alone but you feel very uncomfortable with it, consider using walksmart. this is campus police’s service which allows students to request patrollers to walk with you wherever you need to go on campus.
4. try and stay in well-lit areas.
Queen’s Park tends to get a bit dodgy at night, but ever since they put up lights, it’s been a lot less daunting to cross. most other places on campus are well-lit, but if you can avoid going into an unlit field or back alley, then do that.
5. familiarize yourself with the emergency phones and where they are located on campus.
6. put campus police’s emergency and non-emergency numbers into your phone, so you can call them quickly should you ever need to.
7. get to know the campus.
as well as generally needing to know where you’re going so you can get to class and lunch and your casual origami club meetings, being confident in where you’re going will help you look and feel more confident when you’re walking around campus at night, too.
8. don’t do stupid s#!t.
this may seem obvious to you, but bad things tend to happen when you do bad things. not doing bad things will keep you a lot safer in most situations.
firstly, and above all, you should NOT DRINK UNDERAGE. I DON’T CARE IF YOUR FRIENDS ARE DOING IT. DON’T DO IT. you think you can handle the alcohol – you can’t. you’re not going to look cool. you’re going to look very, very dumb. trust me.
however, if you must drink (which you shouldn’t):
DO go dancing/drinking/partying with friends you trust not to abandon you, vomiting, on the side of the road.
DO have emergency numbers in your phone, as per #6.
DO NOT get blackout drunk in an anonymous location in the city. know where you are at all times. don’t drink past your limit.
DO NOT mix drinks – it’s dangerous because you could underestimate how much alcohol you’ve ingested, since different drinks have different alcohol content.
finally: i know it might seem a little counterproductive to say this after giving all those tips, but don’t be super worried. the campus is safe. as long as you exercise reasonable caution, and especially if you do everything i listed, you can consider yourself safe and secure on campus.
P.S. i know the title doesn’t rhyme. shut up. art doesn’t have to rhyme.