Senior Dallas Jessup released her first film, Just Yell Fire, while still in high school. The film, which aimed to teach girls ways to stay safe and defend themselves, garnered attention and awards from across the country. Now, drawing on her experience at Vanderbilt, Jessup has released a new film, "Just Yell Fire: Campus Life." In the light of the new film’s release, The Vanderbilt Hustler sat down with Jessup to get her advice for Vanderbilt students.
Dallas Jessup’s tips for being an entrepreneur in college:
Get help from other people
“So far 'Just Yell Fire' has been so successful because I’ve reached out to people who know what they’re doing, and I’ve been able to collaborate and share resources.”
“Read everything out there. I try to always be reading five books about things like how to do presentations. As trivial as they might be, there will always be one tiny bit of information that completely changes how you do something.”
Know that everything you do becomes part of your image
“Branding yourself is so important that you have to realize everything you do is a reflection of yourself. Do you have to be perfect? No. But you do have to realize that what you do is a part of who you are."
Present yourself well
“Have a nice put-together package for when you apply to jobs, making sure you have the right image of yourself. It shouldn’t just be something that was taken on a Saturday morning when you were writing your resume, it has to be the right presentation of who you want to be.”
“It really is about finding what makes you unique and presenting that to the fullest. If an application asks for a one page essay, sometimes try adding a supplemented package to help you stand out.”
Be true to yourself
“I think there’s this huge push for ‘this is how my resume has to be, this is what classes I have to take, this is how I have to package myself,’ but at the end of the day if everyone’s doing it that way then you’re not special anymore.”
Dallas Jessup’s tips for staying safe at Vanderbilt:
Be aware of your safety in a variety of situations
“Vanderbilt is that very strange combination of social and academic that creates an interesting situation for girls to be in. They need to keep awareness everywhere from when they’re walking back from the library at two in the morning to when they’re on frat row.”
Don’t be distracted
“The biggest red flag I see on campus is girls running with both iPod headphones in. If you’re at the gym, that’s totally fine, but if you’re running out in public you need to be aware of if someone is coming up from behind you.”
Use the Vanderbilt resources
“Girls tend to be embarrassed to use resources even if they feel uncomfortable. Vandy Vans are a great resource if you don’t want to do the police escort, but girls shouldn’t be afraid to get the escort if they’re uncomfortable.”
Watch out for your friends
“The major thing for me adjusting to college was finding the fine line between being an overprotective friend and still being there for them. But as you get to know people, you know their habits and what’s in their best interest for them.”
Watch out for yourself
“You need to be aware that if you are going to drink you need to at the end of the day be responsible for yourself. I love my friends, and I would trust then with my life, but if your friends are drinking they may not be able to help you if you get into a situation. That absolutely doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have fun, but you need to be smart about it."
Learn self-defense techniques
“In the sense that people put insurance on their house or car, self-defense is insurance for your body. I encourage people who have time to go learn a martial art. But Just Yell Fire is a great beginning resource for you to know what to do in a situation."