By Jane Hurst
For many first-year college students, this is the first time they will be living away from home. This can be a scary time for many, because there are going to be so many new things to learn, and a whole new home and even a new city to get used to living in. Your college experience can be a great and safe one, as long as you are following these 10 safety tips.
- Know the Campus Emergency System Areas – On most campuses, you will find phones or emergency call buttons that you can use in case of an emergency. Look for them around the campus and familiarize yourself on where they all are.
- Carry Pepper Spray – As long as it is legal in the area you are living, it is a good idea to carry pepper spray. This is a weapon that you can use from a distance. If you are not allowed to carry pepper spray, other options include a small can of hairspray, a personal alarm such as a rape whistle, and insect sprays.
- Carry Emergency Money – Whenever you leave your dorm room or apartment, make sure that you have some emergency money with you. You never know when you may run into a situation when you are stranded and have to pay for transportation home.
- Don’t Drink and Drive – It is of the utmost importance that you never drink and drive. Not only is there the risk that you could injure or kill yourself or someone else, you could also end up with some hefty fines and a criminal record for driving while under the influence. If you do get charged with drinking and driving, you will need legal help. Visit Mace Law to learn more.
- Carry a Cell Phone – Any time you are out, it is a good idea to have a cell phone or other similar type of device with you. That way, if you are in a situation where you need someone to come and get you, it will be easy to contact them. Otherwise, you will have to look for a phone, which isn’t always easy to find.
- No Means No – If you are in a situation where you could end up engaging in sexual activity, remember, no matter how far things go, no always means no. On the other hand, if you don’t say no, then you are giving your consent. Make sure that your partner has a chance to say yes or no, and that they are not so intoxicated that they can’t make a responsible decision about having sex.
- Secure Your Dorm Room – Even if your RA encourages you to leave your door open so people can stop in, don’t do it. Your dorm room needs to be a place where you can feel safe and secure. If you are there, sure, keep the door unlocked so others can visit. If you are out, make sure that the door is locked at all times.
- Leave Parties when Your Friends Leave – If you are at a party where you don’t know a lot of people, always be sure to leave when your friends do. You don’t want to end up in a house filled with strangers and end up in a situation that is out of your control.
- Don’t Drink too Much – Sure, you are going to be drinking at parties. This doesn’t mean that you have to drink so much that you lose control. Make sure that you are always aware of what you are doing, what others are doing, and of your surroundings.
- Never Walk Alone at Night – This is particularly important for women. It is always important to make sure that you have someone to walk with. A person alone is a great target for a robber or rapist. When you have someone with you, a criminal is going to think twice about attacking you.
Jane Hurst has been working in education for over 5 years as a teacher. She loves sharing her knowledge with students, is fascinated about edtech and loves reading, a lot. Follow Jane on Twitter