What should college freshmen know about staying safe?

College can be a great experience. For many young adults, moving to the dorms provides a first opportunity for living on your own and for striking out as your own person. There are opportunities at college to engage in deep discussions, learn more about yourself, and your world, as well as live on your own. It’s also important to take steps to remain safe. Here are some tips that can help you avoid unnecessary trouble and keep you safe as you explore the new world you live in.

Avoid illegal drugs and alcohol

There are certain chemical substances that can be injected, ingested or smoked that are illegal under just about any circumstances. Also, most traditional college freshmen are in the 18 to 19-year-old range. This makes alcoholic beverages illegal, as well. If you find yourself at a party, it’s likely there will be drugs and/or alcoholic beverages available. Getting involved in these adult activities can lead to debilitating injuries or legal troubles should the police show up. Drinking and driving are another common problems on college campuses and most lawyers recommend you find a taxi or have a designated driver in order to stay safe.

Know who you’re with

When going to a party, it’s important to know who you’re partying with. Some college campuses will have people looking to take advantage of others. It’s possible that you could have a date/rape drug slipped into a drink without your knowledge. This becomes more likely if you do not know who you are hanging out with, and it makes caution imperative. Be sure you stay vigilant and hang out with good friends. Don’t make yourself an easy target.

Drive safely

Some college students will be tempted to drive fast or engage in risky behaviour on the road. This is not a good idea, especially if you’re commuting to and from school. More hours on the road are making it more likely that an accident can take place. Be sure to wear your seat belt while driving and riding to avoid many of the common injuries that arise from car crashes. Don’t get distracted as you drive with studying, homework, or other distractions.

Don’t go alone

Walking alone on a dark sidewalk in a less-traveled area of campus can lead to a dangerous situation. Assaults are not terribly common, but they do happen. Those who walk with a friend are less likely to run into trouble. Additionally, those who are aware of their surroundings are more likely to avoid assaults, so you’ll want to know where call boxes and busy open buildings are.

College is a time for experiencing the world on a new level. It can also be a time fraught with danger if you do not pay attention to your surroundings and take the proper precautions to avoid risky situations. On the other hand, if you’re careful, your college experience could be one that you remember fondly for the rest of your life.

Author: Eileen O’Shanassy

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