Attending a college is a great place to really start living independently.
You’re no longer bound by the rules of your mom and dad’s homes, and you can do what you want… when you want! However, you will now be responsible for your own safety.
Here are 8 simple, yet effective tips for keeping yourself safe on a college campus:
Keep Your Battery Charged.
This is such a basic tip, but it’s amazing how often people forget to do this. The last thing you want is to be on a night out and need to make an emergency call, but find that the battery is dead. Before you head out, plug your phone in as you get ready to ensure your phone is charged. As well as this, invest in a portable USB charger. They only cost a few dollars, but they can be a lifesaver.
Use the Buddy System.
You’ll have heard of this before, but make sure that you’re using it. When out together with friends, you don’t have to stick to them all night, but do keep an eye on them. Make a plan to meet up if you get separated, and don’t go home unless you have everyone together. It’s easy to keep each other safe.
Always Lock Up.
“You wouldn’t leave the house without locking up, so why would you leave your dorm room that way?” asks educational expert Valerie Grant from Essayroo and Boom Essays. “Every time you leave, even if you’re just going to get the mail, make sure that you lock up. You can even buy dorm alarm kits that secure your room while you’re away. Don’t forget to secure your valuables too before you leave for the day.”
Know Where You’re Going.
As a new person in town, you’re an easy target. If you look confused when you’re out and about, it’s easier for predators to single you out. This sounds frightening, but it’s easy to avoid. Before you head out anywhere new, check out maps online and work out where you’re going. GPS apps can also help, but don’t walk while glued to your phone, as awareness is key.
Carry a Personal Safety Kit.
This can be a good way of helping you feel safer, even if you never have to use it. Put together a kit with items such as whistles, pepper spray or gel, and personal alarms. Secure them via key-ring to your bag or purse so you can access them easily. Look up the rules for your state for pepper spray, as the laws differ slightly depending on where you live.
Don’t Be Afraid To Speak Up.
“Many criminals, especially on campus, rely on others not saying anything,” says college counselor Graham King from UKWritings. “If you see anything happen, don’t be afraid to speak up. Just yelling “no!” can be enough to scare a criminal off, as they don’t want the attention. Causing a commotion is the best defense against criminals, as they will often run off if you do so.”
Lock Your Car.
This is similar to the tip about locking your dorm room. People often feel safe in their cars, but an unlocked vehicle can be the perfect place for someone unsavory to get in and hide. Check your car before you get in, just in case. It’s good practice to lock the doors and roll up the windows before you leave it anywhere too, if only for a few minutes. Unlocked cars are a prime target for thieves.
Know What Resources Are Available.
When you get to college, go and find the college safety office. Your college will have one, so head along and see what they can offer you. They often can provide safe rides when needed, and security if you’re feeling unsafe. They may also know where you can get the best safety equipment, so it’s worth talking with the officers here so you can pick their brains. If you know where they are now, it’ll be easier to find them if you ever need them.
These tips are designed to keep you safe while you’re on campus. They may take a little more time and effort, but if you follow them you can enjoy college life safely.