Go with friends; leave with friends

By Jessica Hagerty
February 21, 2008

The Natalee Holloway case has been a mystery that has crossed my mind repeatedly since her disappearance. The recent re-opening of the case has reminded me of the severity of being under the influence in a place unfamiliar to you with people whom you don’t know.

When Holloway went missing during a high school graduation trip to Aruba in 2005, I was planning my senior week trip. Originally my friends and I wanted to go to Cancun, Mexico. Who didn’t?

White sandy beaches, clear blue water and obviously the drinking age is 18. It’s pretty much a high school graduate’s dream.

All of our parents objected but we were paying with our money so we were planning on going to Cancun either way. Then Holloway went missing in Aruba and our plans changed.

An 18-year-old girl just about to graduate high school goes to a country with the white sandy beaches, clear blue water and the legal drinking age of 18. Although Holloway was known to be a good student who made good decisions, rather than excessive drinking and taking drugs, the tables may be turned under peer pressure and excitement of finishing high school.

How could a dream trip such as this go so wrong?

I obviously don’t know Holloway personally but just from trends that I have witnessed first hand, many 18-year-olds tend to go a little crazy on their senior trip. I’m assuming that this was Holloway’ s case. Or maybe she was too sheltered to consider the dangers of drugs and alcohol. It was said that Holloway was under the influence of alcohol and possibly cocaine. It was also possible that she was drugged.

Whichever the case, this goes to show how you must protect yourself from these types of situations, especially in a place unfamiliar to you. My first tip for Holloway would be to never ever leave your friends and go off with someone you don’t know.

My mom, along with most moms, has always planted in my head never to wander off with someone you don’t know, to always stay with your friends. I would always respond with “I know I know” but do people really know? In Holloway’s situation maybe she had always responded with ‘I know’ to her mom as well but all of her knowledge must have slipped her mind the night she went missing. Leaving with a guy you met 2 hours ago is definitely not ok.

I absolutely believe that Jordan van der Sloot is guilty and meant every word he said in his confession tape. Who would say such things as a joke? It makes perfect sense, and it is what they think had happened to her anyway. If you think you’re off the hook, Van der Sloot, think again. You will be caught. But if not, everyone will read murderer across your forehead for the rest of your life.

Anyway, young adults don’t realize how dangerous a night out on the town can be. You always need to watch your back, or at least have a good friend watch it for you. A situation like Holloway’s could happen to anyone.

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Jessica Hagerty

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