According to the National Center for Education Statistics, about 20 million students will attend colleges and universities in the fall of 2019. While safety is a priority for most schools, there are still assault, burglaries and invasions. However, there are various ways you can improve your own safety and keep your belongings secure. Before heading off to college, review these five safety tips to make sure you are prepared in a new environment.
1. Learn The Campus
Be familiar with your school’s campus. Know how to get home and where well-lit areas are. Find out if your campus has the following services and how you can take utilize them:
- Blue light emergency phone stations
- Campus escort services
- Safety maps with suggested secure routes
- Know a place to run or go if you are in need of safety. Think ahead and plan!
2. Take Extra Precaution At Night
Statistically, assaults and other crimes are more likely to occur at night. Be sure you are never walking alone at night. Instead use the buddy system or call campus escort services. If you ever feel unsafe while walking alone, download a personal safety app, such as SafeTrek. When you walk alone, open the app and hold your thumb down on the safe button. Once you’re safe, release your thumb and enter your pin. If you need help or are in danger, releasing the button without entering your pin will notify local police of your location.
3. Always lock up
While your dorm might feel like a safe place, it doesn’t mean you can trust everyone inside. Remember to always lock you'r door, whether you'r asleep or awake. If you live on the first floor, close and lock your windows and either shut the blinds or hide your valuables any time you leave. If you want to take an extra step of precaution, purchase a small safe that you can keep in your dorm.
4. Maintain privacy on social media.
Social media is a great platform for connecting with friends and family in different places and sharing moments in your life. But, make sure you stay aware of who else could be viewing your profile. Avoid geotagging your photos, as it reveals your location to unwanted strangers, and never publicly announce when you’re home alone or are leaving your home unattended.If you really want to post your whereabouts, do it after you have left so you do not tell your location to people who should not have it.
5. Have safety and security supplies readily accessible.
Keeping a few safety supplies on hand can help you feel more protected. Prepare for unexpected incidents with self-defense products such as pepper spray, bullet-proof backpacks and whistles. Make sure you always know where your defense items are so, when you’re in a panic, you know what to do.
College is one of the most exciting times of your life, and you shouldn’t let the fear of the unknown taint your experience. But safety measures must always be taken in any environment. These 5 essential safety tips will keep your prepared and confident for college.
6. Don't walk with your eyes down on your phone:
The number 1 mistake is not being aware of your surroundings and other people. We can not stress this enough. Seeing what is out of place or feels wrong is impossible if you are stuck reading your phone when walking. You may easily spot danger and change directions if you can see and feel what is going on.
7. Use your voice don' shy away:
Attackers do not want to be confronted. If you feel something is not right look them in the eyes and say " hi "or "what's up !" in a firm loud voice. Their reaction will also give you more feedback as to their intent. This will also tell them you are aware taking away advantage of surprise they may have.
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