While colleges do their very best to ensure the safety of their students, they can’t protect you from everything that could occur the first years you’re out on your own. Every girl needs a few tips and tricks in her pocket, because by staying safe on campus, you can have the most fun!
When Walking At Night:
- If possible, don’t walk alone.
- Park in well-lit areas.
- Make eye contact with strangers. A potential attacker is less likely to bother you if he knows you’ve seen him.
- Walk with an umbrella or your keys out. Having something that could be used as a weapon makes you a less-likely target.
- Do not talk on your phone. By talking and texting, you’re distracted, making yourself an easy target. Instead, text someone before you leave that you’ll text them when you get to your car and how long that should take you.
- Be observant of your surroundings.
- If someone does bother you, make a scene.
When Getting a Ride Home
- Don’t get into a car with someone who has been drinking. Even if it seems like they’ve only had a few drinks, they may have been drinking beforehand, or are more intoxicated than they seem.
- If the driver is texting while driving, ask them to stop.
- Consider using college-implemented bus services or public transportation.
- Have a number for a cab saved into your phone.
- Have a designated driver you could call if necessary.
- Don’t get into a car with anyone you’re uncomfortable with.
- Don’t get into a car with anyone who races and drives recklessly.
- Don’t get into a car with anyone you don’t know.
When at a Social Event:
- Keep track of your personal possessions. If you’re afraid of losing something, leave it home or in the car.
- Refrain from binge drinking.
- Keep an eye on your drinks. Never leave a drink alone, or drink something that’s just been handed to you.
- Stay with a group.
- Have a plan set up with your friends for getting away from someone who’s bothering you.
- If someone appears sick or hurt, always call for help, even if underage drinking or drug use is involved. When it comes to someone’s life, you can worry about consequences later.
When You’re With a Guy
- Remember you don’t have to do anything you don’t want to.
- If he isn’t respecting you, leave, or ask him to leave.
When Living on Your Own
- Lock your doors at night, and behind you when you come home.
- Don’t let anyone in you’re not comfortable with.
- Don’t let anyone in before you know who they are.
- Establish a code you could use on the phone with your friends to let them know if you’re really in trouble.
General Safety Tips
- Follow the rules set by your college. If you’re required to only use certain doors after a particular time, or if you’re required to sign guests in, do it. These rules are for everyone’s safety.
- Take notice of the emergency systems already set up on campus. These might include buttons you can press scattered around campus if you’re in trouble, or busses that can take you from an academic building to a parking lot at night.
- Sign up for email and text alert systems.
- If something seems shady, it probably is. Always go with your gut.
Top 5 Numbers to Have In Your Phone
- Counseling Center
- Cab Service
- Your resident assistant (RA)
- A friend you can call at any hour
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