Ah, college. Frankly, the thought of going off to school is incredibly exciting. You’re completely on your own! You can go out without having to ask permission! You can eat cereal and cake for dinner every night! You can be on Tumblr all day long!
Yes, but along with that freedom comes responsibility, and responsibility is how you’re going to keep yourself safe. Here are a few things you can do to ensure your college experience will be an enjoyable one.
1.) Take a self-defense class. Knowing how to defend yourself is incredibly useful! Not only will you learn valuable information, like crucial pressure points (eyes, groin) and what parts of your body are most effective when defending yourself (elbows), but you’ll also learn how to keep yourself calm and next steps to take after you’ve been attacked.
2.) Strength in numbers. If you’re going to go anywhere, try to do so in a group. The chances of being attacked in a group are extremely low, as there are witnesses everywhere! If you can’t get a group together and you absolutely have to get to the library, call campus security and have an escort (who are always pre-screened) walk with you, and when all else fails, make sure to carry a self defense product of some kind (mace, an alarm). Or, you know, you could just wait until morning.
3.) Keep your dorm safe. This means locking your doors and not letting in people you don’t know. It can be tempting to let someone in who’s loitering (“I just forgot my key…”) but if you don’t know them don’t let them in. Offer to get the RA or Campus Security instead.
Same with your car; keep your doors locked and if you don’t know someone don’t give them a ride, no matter how nice they seem. They can always call Campus Security…or you can for them if you feel bad for leaving them stranded.
4.) Keep others updated. Letting your roommates know where you’re going or coming home from is essential. When it comes down to it, if anything does happen to you (God forbid), people will be tracing your steps. Even just a quick text (“off to the library to do some homework”) is sufficient enough.
5.) Keep your emergency numbers and contacts updated. Numbers like Campus Security, Poison Control and even the cab service may come in handy when you least expect it. Other important numbers, such as the phone number to call if your credit card gets stolen are also good to have on hand.
Oh and call your parents, they worry because they care.
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