College Safety Game Plan: Smart Plays to Increase Campus Safety
College is an exciting experience, but it can also be overwhelming and scary. While many schools have stepped up their security game in recent years, crimes like burglaries and sexual assault remain a reality on college campuses.
Whether you’re a freshman or returning for another year, safety matters just as much as your grades and social life. Use these smart steps to make sure you’re taking the right precautions.
- Study your surroundings. Especially if you’re a freshman, take time to get familiar with streets and campus landmarks (the student union, library, dorms, academic buildings, etc.) so you feel comfortable navigating. Ask your parents or other students to help you find the safest and most crowded ways to get around, so you don’t get lost – or end up somewhere scary.
- Locate emergency systems. Many campuses have installed emergency call buttons or phones around campus for added security. Find out exactly where they are, so you always know how and where to call for help if you need it.
- Lock up. Did you know that 12,000 burglaries happen on campuses every year? It’s easy to let your guard down, but don’t put yourself or your valuable possessions at risk. Keep your dorm or apartment locked at all times – even when you walk to that shared bathroom or laundry room down the hall.
- Avoid distractions. When you’re zeroed into your smartphone, you’re zoned out of everything else around you. You won’t notice people, cars zooming toward you or even a tree blocking your path. Keep yourself safe and upright by putting the phone aside and staying focused on what’s ahead of you.
- Never walk alone at night. Whether you’re heading home from a late-night at the library or a party, it’s always a good idea to travel with a friend or group. If you find yourself alone, don’t be shy about contacting campus security for an escort back to your place.
- Stay with friends. The buddy system isn’t just for young kiddos. Keep a trusted friend with you when you attend different social activities and events. Being alone at a party isn’t a smart move, especially when there’s alcohol involved and you don’t know other people. If your friends leave, it’s a good idea to head home with them.
- Watch your alcohol consumption. It’s far too easy for intoxicated party goers or sexual predators to take advantage when there’s alcohol involved. If you’re drinking, don’t accept alcohol from strangers and keep your drink with you at all times. Know your limit and don’t overdo it.
- Protect your privacy. Sexy selfies and location sharing should never compromise your security. Plus, do you really want strangers trolling your social media accounts? Be mindful of who you’re connecting with online and keep your personal information and whereabouts private.
- Carry personal protection. Whether it’s a personal alarm or pepper spray, a personal defense tool can help you feel more prepared and confident as you move from day to nighttime activities.
- Leave politeness at the door. If someone is making you feel uncomfortable, get away as quickly as possible. Report the incident, if necessary. You’re not being rude – you’re protecting your well-being.
As you adjust to your new classes, friends and activities, don’t forget to prioritize your safety. Check out our personal defense products, so you’re prepared and ready for a great college experience.