Starting college can be an exciting time in your life, with many networking and career growth opportunities. However, college safety is an important aspect that students, especially women, must not neglect.
Here are a few college safety tips you can use on campus.
Make Use Of Your Campus Security Services
Every college has a campus security office, which is partially funded by your tuition. Your college probably offers contact details, important numbers, office hours, and other security resources on its official website.
Ask for details on the programs offered by your campus safety office by calling or emailing them. Find out about emergency numbers, safety maps, campus security guards, or if the college has its own security app. Additionally, you can also install one of the women's safety apps available online. Note all the important numbers and details on your phone and a small notebook to keep in your bag.
Vet Your Friends and Keep Them Close
If you’re going out, make sure you travel with your friends. Don't travel alone, especially at night or in more remote areas of campus. This is especially important during the first few weeks of college when you’re unaware of routes and passages. No matter how exhausted you are from a long day of studying, stay away from isolated shortcuts. Additionally, if a campus shuttle is offered, be sure to use it.
Among undergraduate college students, women are approximately 20% more likely to experience sexual assault than men. Taking extra security measures, even ones that your friends may not be, is just one other way you can protect yourself.
Stay Safe On Social Media and Your Devices
Use social media smartly. Yes, uploading photos and videos is a great way to socialize with people. However, don’t disclose too much personal information. Don’t geotag your dorm room pictures, as it reveals your location. Never publicly announce that you’ll go out alone or leave your room unattended. Keep your location services disabled while you’re using social media.
Don’t send or upload any explicit images or photos of yourself that you wouldn't want public. According to a study from the University of Rhode Island, around 60% of college students have sent sexually explicit images of themselves to others, 78% have received such images, and 17% have forwarded such images without the senders’ consent. Even with disappearing apps, a quick screenshot can save your photo without consent.
Share Your Schedule With Your Parents or Friends
Share your daily schedule with your parents and close friends. You can also share your academic schedule, a list of your extracurricular activities, and contact information for your RA, counselor, roommate, and any other key people in cases of emergency.
Be sure to let your close ones know where you’re going and with whom so that they know where and how to reach you if need be. As an extra safety measure, with some devices, you can also share your location with your parents or those in your network.
Don’t Share Your ID or Loan Your Dorm Room Key
Your student ID has all sorts of information, including your personal data, meal plans, and more. Never share your ID with anyone, not even your friends, as this can lead to identity theft or information misuse. You should never lend your dorm room keys to anyone, as this increases the chances of break-ins and theft.
Know Your Local Resources for an Unplanned Pregnancy
Although we hope that you or your friends never need us, we’re here for you or a friend if you find yourself facing an unexpected or unsupported pregnancy. We understand the unique challenges a student can face. We are here to help you navigate your choices and share the many resources available to you.
Our confidential, cost-free services can include pregnancy confirmation, options consultations, resources for students, abortion recovery, community and medical referrals, and more. If you need support, make an appointment today.
A Final Word
Starting college can be very exciting. However, while you’re building a career and making memories, make sure that you prioritize your safety. The college safety tips mentioned in this article will help you stay safe on campus and have a secure campus life.
And if things don’t go as planned, we’re here.