College is fun, college is chill, college is “the best four years of your life,” but the actuality is a college campus can be scary sometimes. Being on campus and being safe are two things that don’t always go hand in hand. Campus safety has been a huge concern for years. In 2014, almost 50,000 criminal offenses and 1300 hate crimes were reported across the U.S. There are plenty of things you can do to make sure yourself and your friends more safe on campus, so here’s some tips and tricks that’ll help you out.
Remember all those times your parents told you to pay attention and you just blew it off? Now is a great time to start listening to them. Whether you’re walking to class, to your dorm or apartment or even just sitting on a bench by a river make sure you don’t tune out. Play your music a little softer. Don’t bury your face in your phone. Enjoy the walk and know what is going on around you. Oh, and if you’re riding a bike, watch out for pedestrians.
Lock It Up
Have you heard of the Serial Foot Tickler? Although most news outlets place him in Boston, similar reports come from across the country. I would highly recommend keeping your doors and windows locked at all times, even when you’re in the dorm or apartment. Products like this doorstop alarm and this window alarm are great products that help you nap better knowing someone isn’t going to tickle your feet while you’re…”studying.”
Aside from keep just yourself safe, make sure your stuff is safe, too. Purchasing a file cabinet or lock box to keep your important documents, electronics or anything else you might be worried about a roommate taking in (let’s see someone try and steal your favorite candy from a file cabinet!!).
Party, But Not Too Hard.
Let me get deep for a minute. Did you know 1 in 5 females and 1 in 16 men are victims of sexual assault in college? Or than about 1 in 4 women in college are affected by daterape drugs being put into their drinks? Even if you knew these statistics, what have you done to help make that number smaller? Although it is easier to just turn your back type of situation unfolding, it is important that you at least try to help, in a safe way. When you see someone who is in a sticky situation, walking up to the person and start a conversation. If you are suspicious of a drink you or a friend have you can always test it with these.
And a quick note on alcohol: While you’re out, never take your eyes off your drink, never take a drink from someone you don’t know, and never drink more than you know you can handle. We’re in college, it’s pretty easy to drink, I get it. Just be safe about it.
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Now go have some (safe) fun.