Here are 5 things you should know.
1. This is what you should do if you think you are being followed.
Here is a little guide which goes into further detail about being followed:
Why would someone follow you?
Don’t bother trying to understand the other person’s reasoning. They could be a Private Investigator, a kidnapper, a family or a best friend’s crazy ex. you just don’t know. In the here and now, assume they are going to do you harm.
How do you know if someone is following you?
You should maintain situational awareness of your surroundings at all time. Whether it is something monotonous like daily driving to and from work or loading groceries in your car at a parking lot, always pay attention to your environment and keep an eye out on anomalies (like being followed by the same person for 20m). And don’t forget to listen to your gut! A simple intuitive feeling can be an ounce of prevention that is worth a pound of cure.
Here are the Moscow Rules which I found helpful distinguishing someone following me by accident vs. someone with deliberate intentions.
One time = an accident
Two times = a coincidence
Three times = enemy action
Are you being paranoid?
You can try to take the following actions if you want to be 100% sure you are being followed:
Light up your turn signal and see if they do it too. But do not take your required turn and keep driving straight. Did they go straight to?
Continue driving around in a circle. Most people don’t drive around in circles. Are they still behind you?
Make a safe maneuver which you normally would not take, like a U-turn or drive in/out of a fast-food parking lot. Are they still behind you?
Go onto a freeway and immediately get off. Did they do the same?
Someone is following me…now what?
Again, do not go home if you suspect you are being followed. Gather as much information as possible as you call the police: license plate, vehicle make, vehicle color, sex, race, hair and eye color, build, age, distinguished markings on the car, etc.
Here is a link to UC Berkeley Police Department which breaks down a description of a suspect: https://ucpd.berkeley.edu/campus-safety/report-crime/describe-suspect
Here is a link to UC Berkeley Police Department which breaks down a description of a suspect vehicle: https://ucpd.berkeley.edu/describe-suspect-vehicle
Do not attempt to stop the vehicle or attempt to leave the vehicle. You are much safer inside the car than on the outside. And do not attempt to confront the other person. You should drive yourself to a police station or a fire department. If you do not know these locations, continue driving in a well-lit/public area until the police operator gives you further instructions.
If the person behind you starts to get aggressive, you may have to use Startrek + 2F2F maneuvers. And if necessary, use evasive maneuvers to distance yourself from the potential threat; i.e. they get out of their car and begin to approach your vehicle at a stop sign/red light.
Remember, as the rules of boxing, “defend yourself at all times.” You should be vigilant, calm, and stay in control of your thoughts. Do not panic if you are being followed. And do not think it could never happen to you!
2. A layover of less than an hour and a half is not sufficient for an international flight passing through the USA.
Transiting through the USA, even in your origin and/or destination is not in the United States, will require you to pick up and re-check your luggage and go through TSA.
3. This is what happens to those groceries you end up not buying at the register.
Any and all groceries from any cold or frozen isle you chose not to get at the checkout is thrown away. Doesn’t matter if you only had it out of the freezer for five minutes, they are not supposed to put it back in the freezer. Sometimes, when we are 100% sure it is good (i.e. you literally just walked in and grabbed only that, then changed your mind, so it could have only been out for a moment,) an employee will put it back, but 98% of the time it ends up in a damaged goods cart to be thrown out.
This food isn’t donated. It isn’t put back on shelves. It’s thrown in the trash. By the time it’s even thrown away it’s far past the time where someone could salvage it by dumpster diving because it’s been sitting in a cart for an hour or more.
Hall-cart does donate food, but they donate the food that is getting close to expiration. This means if people didn’t grab what they didn’t need, or simply returned food to it’s a shelf, that’s potentially one more thing that will get to families who are in need.
4. You can file your taxes for free through a program called VITA. VITA is a Nationwide program staffed by local individuals that will prepare and file your state and federal taxes for free.
Some of the VITA sites are staffed by high school and college students, giving them the experience they need for their career field while providing you with a free service.
5. The syllabus is likely the most important reading in your college classes.
It has an overview of the objectives, methods of teaching and assessment, important dates, and other details about how to succeed in the class. It has info. for who to talk to if you are struggling in class, if you need special accommodation, or if you are threatened on campus. Office hours and contact information for the Prof. and TAs. It’s your survival guide.