For most students, college is their first time being away from home. While this is an exciting time, it can also be dangerous if you’re not careful. There are a lot of things to think about when it comes to campus safety, from staying safe on campus, to being aware of your surroundings when you’re off-campus. In this blog, we will talk about some important tips that will help keep you safe while you’re at college!
Safety Tips for College Students
College is a time for students to have fun and enjoy their independence, but it is important to stay safe while doing so. The safety tips below will help to keep you and your property safe while on-campus or off-campus:
Lock your doors
It is important to make sure your dorm room is locked at all times, even when you’re home. Many thefts on college campuses happen because someone left their door unlocked. If you have a deadbolt, use it! If not, invest in a security bar that you can put across your door at night.
Be aware of your surroundings
Being aware of your surroundings when walking around campus or traveling off-campus is crucial. If you are walking alone at night, make sure to keep to well-lit areas and avoid shortcuts through dark alleys or parking lots. It is also a good idea to travel in groups when possible.
Keep your valuables safe
When you’re on campus, don’t carry around all of your valuables with you. If you have to carry your laptop with you, invest in a good backpack that you can keep it in. When you’re not using it, keep it locked up in your dorm room or office. If you have a bike or scooter, make sure to lock it up even if you’re just going to be gone for a few minutes.
Don’t accept rides from strangers
If you’re ever in a situation where you need a ride home, don’t accept one from a stranger. There are plenty of safe ride services that you can use, like Uber or Lyft. If you don’t have your phone with you, find a campus security guard or police officer and they will be able to help you.
Avoid dangerous situations
One of the most important things you can do to keep yourself safe while in college is to avoid situations that could become dangerous. This means not putting yourself in situations where you could be taken advantage of. If you feel like something might not be right, it’s always better to err on the side of caution and get out of there.
Turn off your phone’s location
Having the location turned on on your phone can be a great way for someone to track your whereabouts. If you’re not comfortable with someone knowing where you are at all times, it’s best to turn off your location services.
Only give out your information to people you trust
In the age of social media, it’s easy to share too much information with people you don’t really know. Be careful about what you put online and only give out your personal information to people you trust.
Don’t leave drinks unattended
Whether you are with a small group of friends or at a large party, it is important to never leave your drink unattended. If you aren’t paying attention there is a chance that someone could slip something into your drink. If you feel like you’ve someone has put something in your drink, it’s important to tell someone right away and get medical help.
Carry pepper spray
Carrying pepper spray or mace is a great way to protect yourself. If you feel like you’re being followed or someone is making you feel uncomfortable, having pepper spray can provide you with a sense of security and help deter the person.
Take a self-defense class
Knowing self defense can be a great way for students, especially female students, to feel more confident and safe while on campus. There are usually classes offered at the college level or you can look into taking a class at a local gym.
Be aware of where safe zones are on campus
Every college campus has safe zones set up for students in case of an emergency. Familiarize yourself with the locations of the safe zones on campus and know how to get there if you ever need to.
Pay attention in parking lots
Being alert of your surroundings when walking to your car is important. If you can, try to park in a well-lit area and avoid walking alone at night. Always have your keys ready before making it to your car and when you’re getting into your car, make sure to check the backseat and around your vehicle.
Have emergency cash
Always try to have some emergency cash on hand in case you find yourself in a situation where your credit cards get lost or stolen and you need to buy something.
Keep someone informed
Letting someone know where you will be, whether it is a friend or family member, is always a good idea. If something were to happen and no one knows where you are, it will be harder for people to find you and help you.
Avoid drinking too much
When you drink too much, you let your guard down and become more vulnerable to potentially dangerous situations. It’s important you know your limits and stick to them. If you’re ever feeling too intoxicated, find a friend or campus security to help you get home safely.
Have emergency contacts in your phone
Programming emergency contacts in your cell phone can be important in the event that you lose your phone or are in an accident. Make sure to include the numbers for campus security and local police, as well as any close friends or family members who can come to you in case of an emergency.
Stay informed about campus security updates
Staying informed about campus security updates is a great way to be proactive about your safety. Make sure to sign up for any text or email alerts that your school offers so you can stay in the loop about what’s going on around campus.
Trust your instincts
If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. It’s important to trust your instincts and go with your gut feeling. If you feel like you’re in danger, don’t hesitate to call for help or get out of the situation.
Don’t hesitate to call for help
If you feel like you are in an uncomfortable situation, don’t hesitate to call campus security for help. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.
Hopefully, these tips will help you feel more confident and safe while on campus. Remember, if something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t so trust your instincts and call for help if you need it. Stay safe!