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I remember distinctly when I was trying to decide on where to go for my undergraduate education my mother saying, “Well at least you won’t be in New York.” I was set on a career in International Affairs and ended up in D.C. for four years. It is strange to think that my mother was less worried about me in the Nation’s capitol city than in NYC. My mother and father are forever reminding me to take a cab if I feel unsafe and not to stay out too late. “Don’t listen to music when you walk home at night.” “Avoid Times Square and the Empire State Building.” “Be alert.” “Be safe.”

When my parents were in town, helping me look for a place to live, which is another story entirely, the shooting at the Empire State Building occurred. I don’t think that helped ease their minds. The reality is that with big cities come bigger problems and this causes parents to worry. Just remind them you’re following your dreams and give them a call once a week, if not more. Be alert, be safe, and be smart. Then you’ll be okay.