Learn To Look Out For Your Friends

Madelyn Starks, Contributing Writer

Over the last week, the eerie and tragic death of 19-year-old Kenneka Jenkins, in Rosemont, Ill., has occupied my thoughts and so many more on Twitter and in the daily news.

Jenkins had attended a party with a set of school friends, in a room of the Rosemont Crowne Plaza, where later that night she was reported missing by those same friends.

24 hours later, Jenkins was found dead in an industrial freezer.

Now, there are many theories circulating about what happened to Jenkins. Some have questioned her friends’ potential role, however, Rosemont Police Department released footage of Jenkins staggering around the hotel.

They concluded, based on video evidence, that Jenkins had strayed away from her friends and uninentionally locked herself in the industrial freezer, due to her intense levels of intoxication.

Regardless of my own opinions and conspiracies about how Jenkins ended up in that freezer, I believe that this story gives an important life lesson on looking out for your friends and checking up on them when you do go out to a party or when they are intoxicated.

In my group of friends, I am always considered the “mom” of the group, because I always make sure I know where everyone is, what they are doing and who they are with when we do leave campus.

Even when they are out without me, I ask them to share their location and send me a text when they reach their destination, for peace of mind.

Coming into my freshman year at St. John’s, AlcoholEdu and Haven also gave me some really great tips on how I could not only watch out for my friends but also watch out for myself.

It may seem like a lot, but just knowing that everyone is safe and sound gives me so much satisfaction and soothes my conscious. I remember one night when my friend was intoxicated and wanted to go meet up with a guy.

I knew where this could lead her and I strongly advised her not to go.

First, she wasn’t in any state of mind to make any sound decisions or give consent and any guy, who willingly knows this and still pushes to meet up, is dangerous.

This situation has made me conscious to check up on not just my friends, but also other females (and yes, even males), who seem uncomfortable or are putting themselves in dangerous situations when I am out or off campus.

However, in being the “mom,” I also have learned to ensure my own safety.

Your life should never be threatened because of someone else’s stupidity; make sure your own friends aren’t taking advantage of your kindness.

It may seem like a burden now, but your friends have futures, parents, siblings and other family members who love them and who probably gave everything for them to be at this university.

Plus, you never know when you’re going to need good karma from a messy night.

Regardless of the situation and how annoyed you may be in the moment, it’s better for everyone to come home safe than not come back home at all.