There has been a lot of attention in the news recently about safety on college campuses. Students and parents have to be aware of many things which include feeling comfortable on campus, and the security of the college, not to mention the party scene which has its own list of problems. Luckily, staying safe and being prepared is something a student can take into their own hands.
Here are a few tips of how to take control of your own safety and well-being while in college:
Be aware of your surroundings
Knowing your way around campus and nearby campus is important. This will help you get to where you are going faster as well as be able to locate a safe place if you need to.
Always trust your gut
If something feels off, it probably is. Always go with your gut feeling and if you are feeling unsafe, leave, make a call or get somewhere secure.
Have a buddy
Having a buddy is a must in college. Find someone you can rely on a trust and stick with them.
Keep your friends in the loop
If you are going to the library for a late night study sesh, or meeting up with someone across campus, just let your roommate or a friend know what your plan is. This way if something does happen they can help authorities locate you as quickly as possible.
Keep the doors locked
Always lock your dorm room door, your windows, and your car. It is always better to prevent anything from happening rather than dealing with something after the fact.
Keep your online life private
The internet is scary place. Make sure to only accept people that you actually know. Posting your whereabouts on social media can attract online predators.
Keep emergency numbers in your phone
Setting up your emergency contacts in your phone is a quick and easy way to help yourself out, just in case. Having these numbers ready to go can help police or medics in contacting your family and friends as soon as possible.
Know the campus safety phone number
If you are ever alone on campus and need assistance, or maybe even just want someone to walk home with, call campus safety. They are there to keep you feeling secure, so take advantage of them.
Don’t trust a stranger
While people can be nice and go out of their way to help a stranger, that isn’t always the case. Don’t accept rides from people you don’t know, don’t plan a meet up with a stranger, and don’t let a stranger into your dorm building.
Always report a crime or incident
If you see something happening you need to report it. Not only will it keep things safer immediately, but it could prevent something from happening in the future as well.
Keep track of your belongings
Losing your keys or your phone can potentially put you in a dangerous situation if they wind up in the wrong hands. Keep an eye on your stuff and always report anything stolen or missing.
If you need to carry around some pepper spray, do it. Always fight back and always defend yourself in a violent attack. It is better to be prepared even if nothing ever happens, rather than something happening and not having the resources to defend yourself.
Never leave your drink unattended, don’t stay at a party alone or after your friends leave, speak up if you are uncomfortable, and always go with your gut. Smart partying will lead to a safer college experience.
Looking for a safe campus? According to Niche, Brigham Young University was ranked the safest university in the nation in 2016. They said that students at Mormon-based BYU hold themselves to a high standard of honesty and trust, according to one senior, creating a safe and comfortable campus. Similarly, students accept a moral code of conduct forbidding the use of drugs or alcohol.
If safety is a major factor for you when choosing a college, do your research. There is plenty of information out there to help you navigate through the college search and find the perfect fit for you.