A college campus can be a dangerous place. Campuses are a mix of people from all ends of the spectrum. Toss in some naiveté, impaired judgement and a cast of characters with bad intentions and you have the perfect storm for trouble.
Investing in self-defense training, developing the proper mindset, and learning about the campus will go a long way in keeping you safe. Here are 10 college campus safety tips:
- Familiarize Yourself with Campus Safety: Most campuses have their own security police department. Consult with campus security about the location of emergency phones, security escorts, and other services. See what type of self-defense education is provided.
- Carry Pepper Spray: It is always wise to have pepper spray with you. In order for it to be effective, it must be in your hand and ready to go. Get in the habit of having it in your hand when you are in parking lots, traveling at night, or in isolated areas.
- Learn Self-Defense: Self-defense training doesn’t have be in the form of a physical class. Most confrontations are avoided through informed decisions and good situational awareness. Taking a personal safety class is beneficial.
- Minimize Activity at Night: Campus crimes often take place at night and in isolated areas such as stairwells and parking lots. If you must be on campus at night, plan to be with others or at least have an escort when going to your vehicle at night.
- Safety in Numbers: Stay in populated areas and avoid isolation. Plan your time on campus so that you are not alone.
- Use Caution Around Your Car & Parking Lots: Park in well-lit areas that are close to where you’re going. Know the locations of emergency phones. Arrange for an escort to your vehicle well before it’s time to leave.
- Understand the Environment: Again, utilize the campus police or security. Find out what areas are problematic. Learn the safest routes and methods of travel to and from campus. Know where exits are, no matter where you are. Make sure you have cell phone coverage in buildings and places you frequent.
- Maintain Privacy on Social Media: Keep your social media footprint private. Do not post your location. You can’t control who has access to your friends’ devices and who can really see your social media. Assume that everything you post will become public knowledge.
- Do Not Impair Your Judgement with Drugs and/or Alcohol: Consuming excessive amounts of alcohol is always a bad idea. Do nothing that will impair your judgement or lower you inhibitions.
- Have a Support Network at Home: Let your roommates and family know your schedule and whereabouts. If something makes you uncomfortable, get ahold of a friend or family member and discuss the situation.
Going to college can be the experience of a lifetime. College campuses can also present the dangers of a lifetime. With a little planning, good decisions and education, the risks of a college campus can be minimized.