It’s not easy to tell your parents that you want to move to Chicago. Mine, at least, were extremely freaked out by the fact that I was moving from my safe little town of Lincoln, Nebraska to the vast city life of Chicago. It’s scary and unknown, and parents realize that they cannot completely protect you all the time, and give that responsibility to you. Upon visiting Loyola and hearing about all of the precautions (like the blue light emergency system, and the employment of actual Chicago cops to keep the campus safe) that Loyola takes to ensure its students safety, my parents were a little less freaked out.

However, there are times that you’ll be in Chicago without Loyola’s safety measures. As students we are encouraged to explore the city, but always with our safety in mind. However, teenagers don’t always listen and that can sometimes lead them to great situations. To take proper precautions, I took to the internet to do some research.

I stumbled upon an app called SafeTrek. Upon reading the reviews, I decided I should actually look into it. It proved to be extremely valuable and has become something that I use whenever I feel like I could be in a sticky situation.

The app is essentially a tracker. When you first download it, it asks you to enter a personal pin number along with some of your personal information. After your information is entered, it asks you if you want to allow it to use your location, and you select yes. The next time you open the app, it will prompt you with a button. If you feel a sticky situation coming on (or you’re just walking alone and it’s dark out, which is often what I use it for as a teenage girl walking around late at night) you press the button until you feel safe. Once you are back home and safe, you release the button. Remember that pin number? You have ten seconds to type it in.

If you do type it in, nothing happens and you go on with your life.

If you don’t type it in, the company (who has your location) is notified, and they send you a text message. If you don’t respond right away, they notify your local police.

Although I have never had to use this in a dangerous situation, it’s good to know that I can. I trust this app, and although it won’t guarantee nothing bad will happen, it might help if something does. I’ve shared it with my parents and they’ve encouraged all of my other siblings to download it.

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