Heading to college is an exciting time for first year freshmen, and marks a major transition towards independence.
However, new students can easily develop a false sense of security when surrounded by the illusion of a safe college campus and their trusted friends. While no one wants to be paranoid, it is important to remember that college campuses are public spaces, where anything can happen. Every freshman should keep these safety secrets in mind so you can avoid risky situations, and protect yourself in any event.
Pay attention to your surroundings
Technology can be a tremendous asset when living on a college campus. Cell phones, laptops, and music players make your day easier and schoolwork a cinch, yet they also serve as a major distraction. Avoid wearing headphones when walking out, since you may not hear signs of danger, and look up from your cell phone from time to time so you can notice anyone who approaches.
Secure your home’s entry points
Remembering to lock your doors sounds simple, but thieves enter homes near colleges every day with a simple twist of the doorknob. Distracted students often forget to secure their home or dorm as they rush to attend an early morning class, and roommates can falsely assume the other person will lock the doors when they leave. Those who know they may forget, can take advantage of a home security app that can let them double check and lock the doors from any location. NorthStar alarm reviews say these new apps are great for anyone constantly on the go.
Use the buddy system
College students should avoid walking alone whenever possible, but this is especially important at night when dark areas may leave a person vulnerable. If you know you will be walking home from an evening class or late social event, just ask a friend to come along. If no one is available, most campuses have security guards who don’t mind walking students through the parking lot to their car. Don’t be afraid to take advantage of the systems like these on campus that can keep you safe.
Store emergency contacts on your phone
When you live on campus, your roommates and friends may not know your family, but make sure they know how to contact your loved ones should the worst happen. Store your emergency contact info in your phone in an easy to access place. If you share an apartment with friends, exchange information with each other and leave it in an accessible place everyone knows how to find.
Know your campus
It may seem silly, but studying that campus map they give out at freshman orientation can pay off in terms of safety. Spend some time familiarising yourself with the campus emergency system, and identify the areas where you can go for help. Many campuses have emergency call phones scattered throughout that can provide help fast in a sketchy situation.
Social events are a huge part of college life, and all freshmen are bound to be invited to some type of party within the first week of school. While you want to have fun, it is important to party safely. Go with a group of friends, and talk about how you can keep each other safe beforehand. It is best to never stay at a party after your group leaves, because those staying behind may not have your best interests in mind. Avoid becoming so inebriated that you lose control of your ability to protect yourself.
As a college freshman, it is easy to get caught up in the excitement of living on your own for the first time. Knowing your campus well and working with your friends and roommates to protect your property will ensure you are able to get the most out of your freshmen year while still safeguarding your security.
Author: Brooke Chaplan