Heading back to school is an exciting time for college students. It’s a chance to see friends again, start new classes, and regain independence after a summer at home. But with new environments and new experiences, come additional risks and potentially dangerous situations.
The harsh reality is violence is increasing on campus. But parents, don’t worry, this doesn’t mean you have to keep your college student locked at home. With a few college campus safety tips and precautionary habits, students can be safe on campus.
Here are 6 helpful college campus safety guidelines:
- Stay Alert
Whether you are walking to night class, hanging outside the dorms, or at a party with friends, always pay attention to what is going on around you.
Don’t walk off the beaten path, and avoid being isolated with someone you don’t know. Get to know the people in your dorm, and residential assistants. If your campus public safety has escorts that will walk you home at night, never feel shy to take advantage of them. Remember to always travel in groups- it’s more fun that way, anyway.
- Speak Up
If you see something, say something. If a situation seems off, alert others you trust and those around you. It can be difficult to know how to handle a suspicious situation, but stop and take a deep breath and treat it how you would want if you were in that situation.
- Be a Friend
Take the phrase, “I’ll watch your back” seriously. Stick together in groups, especially at parties or late at night. If a friend is acting in a way that seems out of character, take action. If he or she is overly intoxicated or seems to need assistance, get them to a safe place and support them. If you suspect that someone needs medical attention because of over-intoxication or for any other reason, call 911 even before you alert an RA.
- Be Careful Online
Always think twice before you share personal information. Constantly posting social media updates about where you are, your apartment number for parties or even class schedules is not safe. Use your best judgment when “checking-in” on Facebook or Instagram. Remember this motto: If you would not share the information with a stranger, then don’t share it online- because many strangers do see this information.
- Party Wisely
You shouldn’t have to avoid every campus party to be safe in college. But, when you do go out, be smart. Guard your drink and don’t spend time isolated with someone suspicious. If you happen to walk away from your drink, get a new one. Always keep track of what you’ve consumed so that you can stay in control.
- Trust Your Gut
If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. You may feel uneasy about something, and it’s probably not just all in your head.Your gut is usually right, so if someone is pressuring you, it’s better to lie and make up an excuse to leave than to stay and be uncomfortable. Your safety comes first before social status.
Teach your students, kids, and friends these important tips about campus safety. You never know whom you could save by teaching these important precautions. Do you have any other campus safety tips? Share with us in the comments below!