The scariest night of my life

March 3, 2020 was a night like I’d never experienced before.

The day was very tiring, I was doing homework and went to go shopping, but I felt a pretty good sense of fulfillment for the day.

I was sleeping as usual with my stuffed shark, which my boyfriend gave me as a Christmas present. That day I put a full-length mirror next to my bed.

I am a clean person because I don’t like to see insects and rodents. Also, I live with another family and a roommate so we needed to keep our house clean every day.

At 4 a.m., I was awoken by sound, as if someone was shaking a plastic bag. Normally I don’t wake up until 10 a.m., but the noise was loud.

I said to myself, “Oh my gosh, there is a mouse.” He was watching me and he was about as big as my iPhone. I was so surprised that I was just completely frozen with terror, but I needed to do something.

After we saw each other, he suddenly went somewhere. He was very fast and I heard the sound of his nails. My room was still dark and I didn’t know where he went.

Although I wanted to find him, it was just too scary to look. I hugged the stuffed animal and tried to text and call my roommate, host mother and father, but it was 4 a.m. so of course, no one woke up at this time.

There were only two choices, try to fall back asleep or get out of my room. Since I only slept three hours and have three classes that day, I wanted to go back to sleep, but I didn’t know where the mouse would go in the exploration of my room. If he went to my bed or touch me, there is no telling what I would do.

After lying awake for three hours, my host mother woke up, saw my messages and came to my room. However, she couldn’t find the pest and I ran into the living room. I could’ve gotten an hour of sleep, but I already felt clearheaded.

That day, my host mother was cleaning my room and found the animal while I went to school. But, this suspect turned out to be a baby possum trying to play dead, so we captured him and let him go.

I was lucky that I lived with someone and that the suspect was a small animal, but if lived alone, I would’ve had to do it all on my own.

I had my phone next to my pillow. A cell phone is an essential item in our world and should be carried at all times, if you own one. The phone is the fastest way to call for help, and it can track your location.

Although cities surrounding ECC like Torrance and Gardena are mostly safe for students, crime still occurs there. According to the Neighborhood Scout website, the total amount of crime that occurs annually in Torrance is 3,236 times and 1,542 times in Gardena, with a majority of them being property crimes in each city.

Since some students live near the school, they’re able to walk home, but they should pay attention to their surroundings even if it’s the morning or afternoon.

According to a past article in The Union, events such as petty theft and robberies at gunpoint have occurred on campus.

With a cellphone, people have the ability to report anything that seems out of the ordinary, which can be used as evidence if law enforcement ever gets involved.

The El Camino College Police Department has tips and methods that individuals can do in order to be safe while on campus, as well as at home, exercising in public and if you are attacked.

No one knows what will happen tomorrow, but we can take measures, like carrying a cellphone, to protect ourselves at all times.