As you’re getting ready for college, you’ll be planning out your classes, going back-to-school shopping and relishing the excitement of the new semester. Even with all the positive energy, it’s important to take a few precautions to ensure your safety on campus.
Fortunately, crimes on college campuses have declined in recent years, and students are far more knowledgeable on safety protocol. So what should you keep in mind? Here are a few tips to ensure you have a fun, memorable year without any issues or complications.
1. Save Any Safety Numbers
Before you step foot on campus, you should prep your phone with all the back-up numbers you’ll need in case of an emergency. If you’re attending a university in another state or region, look up the local police station’s phone number. It’s also a good idea to have your campus safety team’s number readily available.
2. Trust in the Buddy System
You may be in college now, but that doesn’t mean that the buddy system no longer applies. Whether you’re walking to the library at night or planning to explore the city, having a friend with you can ensure your safety. If you can’t find someone to tag along, be sure to make use of your campus security team.
3. Party With Caution
Parties are often a big part of the college experience. If you’re going out with friends, remember to stay alert and be smart about the decisions you make. Never leave your drinks unattended, remain mindful of your limits with alcohol and plan your route back to your dorm.
4. Trust Your Intuition
You might receive unwanted attention on a college campus that makes you feel uncomfortable. Whether a classmate is eyeing you up or says something inappropriate, it’s important to stand your ground and not laugh it off. If someone makes you uneasy and your gut reaction is to avoid them, it’s best to trust your intuition.
5. Stay On Guard at Night
It’s easy enough to pop your earbuds in while you’re walking around campus. But your safety is far more important than your favorite playlist, especially when you’re trekking across campus late at night. Make sure you’re constantly aware of your surroundings — who’s walking behind you, ahead of you or anywhere in your vicinity.
6. Think Before You Post
You should engage in safe social media practices to limit the amount of personal information that strangers can potentially access. Always think twice before you tag your location on Instagram or give frequent updates about your whereabouts through Twitter.
7. Take a Self-Defense Class
Did you know that most universities offer self-defense classes to their students? Unleash your inner warrior and have some fun as you train with your friends. You’ll get your heart pumping as you increase your physical strength and learn techniques to protect yourself and others.
8. Don’t Be Too Trusting
It’s common to feel excited at the prospect of meeting new people on campus. While you may be quick to trust everyone you come across, it’s important to remember that not everyone has your best interest at heart. Strangers need to gradually earn your trust over time.
9. Lock Up Your Possessions
You wouldn’t leave your house unlocked when going out for the evening. The same rule should apply to your dorm room as well. Lock your room before you leave, lock your car after you park and lock your valuable possessions in a safe.
10. Always Have a Backup Plan
Socializing is a fundamental part of the college experience. That said, you’ll need to think about a backup plan if you’re going out to your first party. If you’re carpooling with friends, for instance, make sure you have access to another ride if you need to remove yourself from the situation quickly.
Move Forward With Confidence
College is an exciting time — but you still need to make your safety a priority. With these 10 tips in mind, you can make the most of your time on campus.