As a Portsmouth resident, I can report Olde Towne is perfectly safe for a 22 yr. old female. My wife had a 24 yr. old female intern who lived there for a year, with no worries. There are several excellent apartment complexes with reasonable rents. The issue about Olde Towne vs. Ghent is, do you live where you party, or do you life where you work. Given the tunnel traffic in the mornings, I would live in Portsmouth, and party, when I feel like it, in Ghent. First, you don't party every night. Second, you can find plenty to do on High Street, then go over to Norfolk less frequently. Third, the Granby Street scene in Norfolk is pretty appealing to that age group, and it is an easy ferry ride over to Norfolk from Olde Towne.