Upon beginning my graduate career at DePaul University the green line was nothing more than a way to go out in Chicago. My friends and I usually stood out, being loud and behaving like we were the only ones on the train. The thought of ever taking the train by myself didn’t happen. We usually got asked by someone for money or a CTA card. Other times someone would sit by us and babble about something that made no sense. These instances made the train seem like it was not safe.
When my journey at DePaul was approaching the realization that taking the train to class set in. I live a few blocks away from the Ridgeland stop, from there a twenty-minute train ride and I’m at class. I began to think about the things I needed to stay safe. I looked for a messenger bag because that may prevent anyone from trying to steal it. I even asked my dad about getting pepper spray. I switch out things from my wallet before I go to class and sometimes contemplate scenarios in my head what I would do if something horrible happened (I blame this on my scary movie intake). I always sit in the first car and have my bag face towards the windows.
I know it may sound crazy, but you never know. It was a big step for me. Taking the green line multiple times a week has shown me that the open doors allow you to become even more of an adult.