From elementary schools to colleges, classes are starting back up again. As a recent college graduate, it’s days like this when I take a second and think back on my time at school. Mostly I’m just envious that for many, the greatest four (or so) years of their lives are just beginning. Sure, college is the time to further one’s education, choose a career path, and ultimately prepare for the “real world”. But it is also a time to develop passions and interests, meet many new and different kinds of people, and learn important life lessons.
I always see articles online titled something along the lines of “____# of Things I wish I knew in College”, and in your 20s, 30s, and beyond, the more accurate those articles become. I think I speak for all of us when I say there many things we wish we could go back and tell our 18-year-old selves. But there is one thing that stands out to me, especially now being a young woman living in a highly populated urban area… I wish someone had told me about Refuse To Be A Victim (RTBAV).
When you’re young, and it’s your first year of college, you kind of live in your own world; an optimistic world where people will hold doors open and would always return your lost wallet; a world where bad things happen, but couldn’t possibly ever happen to you….
One day, I was with a group of friends when another friend of ours joined us, looking… well, rough, for lack of a better word. His face was covered in bruises and his eye was almost swollen shut. I assumed he got into a fight the weekend before. Turns out, it wasn’t fight at all… it was an attack. He was jumped walking home… alone… late at night. A group of 6 men who did not attend our school tried to rob him. When they realized he didn’t have anything worth stealing, they beat him up and took off. If this 6’4 in-shape guy was attacked just walking around our cozy little college town, what did that mean for me? For my other friends?
It wasn’t until after college I learned more about the RTBAV program. It covers topics and addresses scenarios that one may have never even considered. It teaches you how to proactively strategies to avoid dangerous situation and always being aware of your surroundings. I can’t help but wonder, if my school had offered a RTBAV seminar, how much that could have helped or changed my friend’s situation…
Sure, college is supposed to prepare you for the “real world”… but the fact is, you already are in the real world. No matter who you are or where you go to school, you’re not invincible. It’s about taking the right steps and making the right choices to ensure your own safety.
So what will you do to refuse to be a victim? Visit the RTBAV website for more information about the program, finding seminars near you, and how to bring RTBAV to your college campus.