Your safety and security are important priorities for your college. Even so, you need to take responsibility for your personal safety as well. Unfortunately, not all students are as honest as you. Things do go missing at college. Assaults on college students are also becoming more common. That’s not to say that college campuses are dangerous places. They are not. It would be wise, though, to keep in mind these 12 college safety precautions when you are at college.
1. College Safety Starts With Keep Your Dorm Apartment Door Locked
Always lock your dorm apartment door when you go out. Even if you are only going out for a minute or two. Lock the door when you are sleeping too. It’s a simple precaution to take, but it will prevent theft and keep you safe.
2. Get to Know the Campus
Explore the campus during daylight hours and get to know where everything is. Find the fastest and the best-lit route home so that you can use the safest route when it gets dark. Most campuses have emergency phones or call buttons. Find out where they are on your route home as well.
3. Never Leave Valuable Items Unattended
Never leave valuable items like your laptop, phone or tablet unattended. Not even for a few seconds. If you are in a public space and you need to use the bathroom, pack up your belongings and take them with you. It’s a nuisance, but it’s better than having something stolen.
4. Carry a Self-Defense Tool
Buy a self-defense product to carry with you when you go out. Personal alarms and safety whistles will attract attention in an emergency. Pepper sprays are good self-defense weapons, but they are not allowed on all campuses. Check with your college what you can carry on campus before you buy a self-defense product.
5. Load Emergency Contacts into Your phone
Add the local police department and campus security numbers to your phone. Make sure you have your home emergency contact numbers in your phone too. Never be afraid to call for help if you need it. That’s what the police and the campus security staff are there for.
6. Use the Buddy System at Night
Always use the buddy system when you go out at night. Whether you are going out for the evening, going for a run, or going to the library, don’t go out alone when it’s dark. Wherever you are going at night, you will always be safer going with a friend. If you go with a friend to a party, always come home with them.
7. Buy a Flashlight
Buy a good quality flashlight to take to college. It will come in useful in an emergency if the lights go out in your dorm. You can also carry your flashlight with you when you go out at night. The best types of flashlights are tactical flashlights. They are small, tough, and very bright.
8. Tell Your Friends Your Plans
Tell your friends where you are going and what time you expect to be back. If someone knows what your plans are, they can alert the authorities if they think you may need help. Keep your family informed of your whereabouts as well. You don’t need to report in daily, but they will worry if they don’t hear from you when they were expecting to.
9. Stay Alert for College Safety
When you are walking around campus, stay alert and be aware of your surroundings. This is especially important at night. Don’t plug in and zone out! If you are staring at your phone, you will have no idea of what you might be walking into. If you listen to music while walking at night, you won’t hear someone approaching you.
10. Be Careful What You Post on Social Media
Don’t post anything on your social media accounts that you wouldn’t show your mom, and don’t post any personal details. Be especially careful about posting your whereabouts on social media. Posting a picture of you having a great time at a late-night party is not a smart move. Nor is telling the world that you are home alone in your dorm.
11. Don’t Drink Too Much Alcohol
When you go to parties, don’t drink so much alcohol that you lose control. Alcohol affects your judgment. That could land you into a lot of trouble. Know your limits and stick to them. Even though they shouldn’t, some people will take advantage of you if you get drunk.
12. Always Put Your Safety First
Always make your safety a priority. Avoid dark, deserted places and keep your eyes open for trouble. Most bad situations are avoidable if you see them coming. If something doesn’t feel right, trust your instincts and get yourself out of harm’s way.
College Safety Conclusion
When you are in college, surrounded by your friends, it’s easy to let your guard down. Unfortunately, not all the people you meet in college will be as honest and trustworthy as you would hope. Taking these simple steps to protect yourself and your belongings will take no time at all. It will, though, give you peace of mind and let you get on with enjoying the college experience.
Suggested books to help you with college safety:
College Safety 101: Miss Independent’s Guide to Empowerment, Confidence, and Staying Safe
The Her Campus Guide to College Life: How to Manage Relationships, Stay Safe and Healthy, Handle Stress, and Have the Best Years of Your Life