When you go to college, you want to feel safe. For the most part, you are, but campus safety can only do so much.
No matter how secure the campus, there will always be dangers when you’re away from home for the first time and completely responsible for your own safety.
It’s important to be prepared so you don’t find yourself in an accident or a scary situation. Here are some tips that will keep you safe when you head to college:
1. Be Mindful When Walking Around on Campus
Personal injuries aren’t all that uncommon on college campuses. If you’re injured, you can try hiring a personal injury attorney, but it’s pointless if you experienced an accident while texting on your phone.
It’s easy to trip, fall, or walk into oncoming traffic if you’ve got your head glued to your phone’s screen.
Instead, focus on being mindful when walking around campus. That means not texting and walking, but it also means not talking on the phone or browsing the internet on your device.
Be aware of your surroundings to avoid potential danger and only cross the street when the crosswalk signal is lit.
Simply being aware and present in the moment really is the best way to protect your personal safety.
2. Try Not to Walk Around at Night Alone
If it can be helped, you shouldn’t walk around at night, especially if you are walking alone. It’s easy for people with bad intentions to attack both women and men who are walking late at night by themselves.
Meet up with a friend to walk back to your apartment after class and make sure you always leave parties with a friend so you can help each other get home.
If you do have to walk around at night alone because you have a late class or you get off work after the sun goes down, there are some things you can do to stay safe. They include:
- Carrying a deterrent, like pepper spray
- Taking a well-lit, direct route to your destination
- Never talking on your phone or listening to headphones
- Telling someone your schedule so they can help if there’s trouble
3. Learn How to Defend Yourself
If you walk around by yourself a lot, and especially if you find yourself walking around at night, you might want to consider taking a self-defense class.
Not only can it teach you techniques to defend yourself if you’re ever attacked, it also comes with other benefits.
Taking a self-defense class can help keep you fit, and if you look fit, you’re less likely to be hassled by criminals with bad intentions.
It can boost your confidence, making you feel better when you do have to walk around by yourself. It’s also a great way to make friends!
4. Be Careful on Social Media
It can be a lot of fun to stay in touch with friends and family on social media. There’s nothing wrong with staying connected, but some of the things you do on social media could be more dangerous than you think.
Never announce when you’re home alone or leaving unattended. Make sure your settings are private, don’t geotag your photos, and make sure you disable location services.
When you follow these tips, you can ensure that people with unsavory intentions don’t know where you are or when you aren’t at home.
5. Know Who to Call
If you’re attacked on campus, do you know who to call? In many cases, calling 911 is appropriate, but it’s not appropriate if you want to report suspicious behavior.
Or, what if there’s a loose animal, or you have a medical question?
There is a surprising number of emergency phone numbers you should have programmed into your phone so that you can always call the right person quickly and easily.
A few emergency phone numbers you should have programmed into your phone include:
- Local police department
- Campus safety
- Family doctor
- Poison control
- Animal control
It’s also a good idea to be friendly with the people who live around you and add their numbers to your phone. That way they can check-in when you aren’t at home.
They are also often the first to notice if you don’t come home on time, and having each other’s number means you can always check-in.
Going to college is exciting!
Make sure it stays that way by following these tips to increase your personal safety when you’re out and about on campus.