So, you’re headed off to college or university. You did your research and made your decision based on multiple factors – class size, campus setting, study programs offered, in or out of state, sport programs…the list goes on and on. There was a lot to consider, and each offered a different variety of options. But the one thing that every institution will share in, is that it is a NEW location to you – even if it’s in your home state or city. With this comes the need to familiarize yourself with many new environmental factors. Some you will instantly think of like where your dorm is in relation to your classes – can I get 15 more minutes of sleep please?? Cafeteria location – ok, how quickly can I eat and make it to class? And many other things you will thing of in what is likely a walking environment.
I know, your loved ones have all given you the talk, the pepper spray, the quick moves for reacting to an attack, but that often isn’t enough, and here is why. The most important thing to do in a dangerous situation is to get to a safe place, and what if you don’t know your way around? And I also know that that pepper spray is likely going to get left behind, and you aren’t going to have a set of car keys to defend yourself, so let’s go over a few things you can do:
Best Safety Tips For Women
- Keep your wits about you – yes, this means to try to control your alcohol intake.
- Where are the safety phones around campus? This might seem unnecessary today with mobile phones, but it’s not. Know where they are.
- Keep your phone charged and don’t go out without a full charge.
- Consider an app that allows friends to find you if necessary.
- Is there any place on campus that is open 24 hours? Know where those locations are. It might be a convenience mart, the library, or a student center.
- Where are the campus police and community police located? Do you have those numbers saved in your phone?
- Don’t walk and text. If you must do this, please stop, sit on a bench, and focus.
- If you use headphones, keep them at a lower volume to hear anything going on around you.
- Travel in pairs, and keep each other updated on any location changes as the night progresses.
- Don’t take your purse or wallet out with you.
- Stand up straight and walk confidently. Continue to be alert to your surroundings.
- Social media. I could write a whole paragraph on this one, but a few quick tips. Don’t post every location you’re at. Don’t share photos while intoxicated. And don’t share intoxicated photos indicating your location.
These are a few things that you can do to protect yourself, or not be a target. Follow these general guidelines and you will be much less likely to become a victim. Confidence in your surroundings as well as your “being” are some of your greatest safety defenses. And don’t overlook the obvious – take the pepper spray, lock your dorm door, learn self-defense moves, don’t leave your drink unattended, and never travel alone – even for short distances.
There is a lot to enjoy in these years, and being prepared is a skill that you can take with you far beyond your collegiate experience.