9 Back To School Safety Tips For College Students
Going away for college can be difficult for both students and their parents. In order to make the pressure of being so far away from your family, friends and community feel a lot more comfortable, we’ve put together a list of safety tips for your big step:
1. Don’t let strangers into your building: I’ve got to admit, as someone who loves to hold doors open for people, this tip is a very difficult one for me to enforce 100% of the time. It seems like refusing to open the door for others, especially in bad weather, is the exact opposite of the manners your parents taught you, but trust me; it’s for your own good. Don’t let anyone in you’re building that you don’t personally know or haven’t seen in there frequently enough to believe they live in your building. It might be hard to be the one to turn their back on someone at the door, but it’s nowhere near as hard as being the one who let a dangerous person into an apartment/residence building.
2. Lock your door at all times: Yes, really. Sadly, it’s quite common in residences for students to report their personal items going missing or being damaged. Even if you’re just visiting your friend’s place up the hall, remember that you never quite know people and even the best of us might be tempted by a shiny new Macbook.
3. Use your school’s safety resources: Many schools offer safety resources for students for a variety of reasons. Whether you’d like help in a time of crisis, religious support, or a walk to your car or bus stop at night, your school most likely has a resource for what you need. Make sure you take the time to properly inquire about all that it offers and take advantage of the awesome services it provides you.
4. Gather all the important numbers you’ll need: When you go off to a new city, it’s important to take note of the important local numbers you might need, should various situations arise. Examples include: the non-emergency police line, taxi services, and campus security.
5. Pay attention to your surroundings: Don’t let your cellphone keep you from paying attention to your surroundings. It’s important to know as much as possible about the new city you’ve ventured into. The more you know, the safer you’ll be. You also should avoid using your cellphone as you walk or drive to avoid causing any accidents, and if you absolutely must listen to music while walking, at least keep the volume low so that you can hear if you’re being approached from behind, or are being warned to get out of the way by a driver.
6. Never walk alone at night: This is one of the more obvious ones when you’re new to a city, but unfortunately as people get more familiar with their cities, they tend to ignore this fundamental safety tip. Walking alone at night increases your risk of falling victim to various crimes, and getting lost.
7. Carry at least 1 tool for self-defence: A great way to make sure you’re at least somewhat protected in the event of an emergency is to carry at least one tool you could use for self-defense. The most common ones people use include whistles and pepper spray.
8. Be careful what you post online: I say this in almost every safety blog because this is the most frequent online security mistake I see people make. The world will continue to spin without a play-by-play of your daily life. You don’t have to check-in wherever you go, you don’t have to share live photos with details of your wearabouts, and you definitely don’t need to post your address online. Becareful what you post on the internet because it can never truly be erased, and because billions of people are on the Internet, and it’s safe to say a large amount of users are (unfortunately) dangerous people who can use your data to harm you.
9. Don’t drink & drive: Nearly 30 Americans die everyday in alcohol-related motor vehicle accidents*.
Do not under any circumstances drink and drive, or enter a vehicle where the driver is drunk. In 2009 there were 10,839 fatalities as a result of drunk driving in the United States. You can help keep yourself and your friends safe at school by volunteering to be a designated driver should your friends plan to drink. Doing this will help improve in school safety for the people you care about. At college parties know your limit and drink responsibly. Don’t be a statistic.