an open letter to college girls with love, from a mom

Note: this originally appeared on my Facebook page, and at the urging of friends, I am putting it on my blog too.

College girls: you gotta step up. You have to take care of yourselves. You have to take care of one another. Your mothers would love to be there and come to college with you and keep you safe, but we know that we need to let you go out into the World on your own. Since we can’t be there, you are going to have to be each other’s mother some of the time. Please be each other’s mothers. And please…

1. Don’t walk alone at night, even if it is just a walk home from the library. Just because you feel safe doesn’t mean you are safe.

2. Don’t go to or leave a party alone. Use a buddy system. Better yet, have a designated sober friend who watches out for your group. And if a friend doesn’t want to leave, it’s going to be tough but you are going to have to make her come with you.

3. Take texts or calls seriously. If your friend says she is lost or hurt or scared or in trouble, when you read that text, go find her. Pick up the phone and call her. Don’t wait. Do it the second you read it.

4. Get your own drink at a party. And if you put it down, forget about that one and go get another one. Always get your own drink!

5. Look out for one another. Make sure you all get home safely. And once you are home, lock your doors.

6. Don’t let your cell phone give you a false sense of security. Your cell phone does not make you safe.   You may drop it, it may not work, etc.  However, there are some apps out there such as “Live Safe”  that can alert you to what is going on on your campus, help you find safe walk home, and give you a direct line to first responders.

7. And don’t be afraid to call your parents when you are scared or need help. We love you. Whatever it is, we will do everything we can to help you. But if for some reason, you feel you can’t call home, your school has a lot of resources to help you. Find them and use them.

And I’m adding this guy advice, by a guy for the guys, so it doesn’t get lost in the comments:
“Guys, you should step up too. Be aware of the dangers the ladies face. Help them when they ask, without hassles or expectations. Be wary of suspicious dudes on your turf. Investigate every scream you hear in the night. And above all, don’t be the guy that the ladies cannot trust when they need help.”

Bring Hannah home. Love, peace and prayers to the Grahams, Loves, and Harringtons.

One thought on “an open letter to college girls with love, from a mom

  1. You are a lovely mom, Kara. How beautiful are your thoughts. I am a guy, but I have cherished and respected women all through my life. I sometimes get angry at them for not being responsible with themselves but did not know how to say such stuff without sounding too prescriptive or bossy, but you have put that out so eloquently! And love the way you have put it out there that it is ok to have fun, party and drink, but know how to handle yourself during such times. Your kids are blessed to have you in their lives.

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