You’re at your friend’s apartment, having a blast playing Mafia and pigging out on cookies. You look at the clock. Oh no, it’s 2:30 a.m. and you’re in a shady part of Berkeley! Who you gonna call? BearWALK!

There are those of us too cool to call the campus security escorts, perhaps not wanting to be seen walking near a uniform and walkie talkie clad student, even if it is absurdly late at night. But for those of us without a buddy to latch onto when things go bump in the night — or without someone to push in front of us and bolt — BearWALK’s not a bad choice. What do you do when your hired human shield shows up, though?

An Oski Shuttle

Two interesting categories of students seem to arise from this ‘please-walk-me-home’ and ‘I’m-paid-to-be-here’ relationship. First you have your typical, awkward freshman (or upperclassman?), staring at the ground and trying to reach home as fast as they can to avoid conversation. Then there’s your Chatty Kathy, talking the night away and supposedly easing tension. Hey, they’re just being friendly, right?

It’s a tough balance to try and strike, treating your walking buddy as someone who doesn’t bite while also letting them do their own thing. We advise you to try and make enough conversation to relieve the bubble of tense silence that can form during your 15 minute walk, but know that a bit of quiet here and there isn’t a bad thing. Maybe wait and see if they ask any questions in return to yours, otherwise you’re not really obligated to continue. Talk a bit and once you’ve reached your place, thank them and wish them good night. Before you know it, you’re home free!

If you’re still not convinced, just hop on a safety shuttle. Avoid conversation, walking, and calling all at once! Take advantages of the resources we have here. No matter what you choose, just remember to be safe.

Image source: CarbonNYC under Creative Commons


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