For many people, college is the first time living away from home. Yes, there are summer camps and other stay-away programs that students participate in before college, but even in those instances children and teens are taken care of by counselors and supervisors. Most high-schoolers are used to someone double-checking behind them for their safety. Parents have a watchful eye to check for suspicious activity and make their children take preventative measures that may seem silly. However, these preventative measures are often necessary. College is one of the best times of a person’s life but can be quickly tainted by an unfortunate experience. With many new areas and faces on the horizon for RMA’s future college students, here are some important tips on how to stay safe in college.
Program Campus Safety Office Number and Emergency Contacts
College students should be familiar with the location of their campus safety office and should have their specific college’s emergency number programmed into their phone along with other emergency services. Students should also have family and friends’ numbers labeled in their phone for emergency use in case someone else needs to call for them. Having these numbers programmed allows students to act faster in the case of emergency and notify the correct authorities depending on the situation.
Walk With a Friend
During the day-time, it is more than likely perfectly safe for a student to walk by himself or herself on a college campus. However, at night, students should never walk by themselves. Nighttime is when students are most vulnerable because of the lack of light and few bystanders out and about. Always walking with a friend is a good rule to live by in college.
Carry Safety Supplies
Small safety supplies like mace or a whistle can be very helpful in emergencies. If a student happens to be caught alone in an emergency, he or she can use mace to stun an offender or can notify others with a whistle. Loud noises attract bystanders that can scare away the offender or provide help for a student in duress.
Don’t Let Technology be a Distraction
Many students think its annoying when their parents chastise them for being on their phones while walking, but this is actually a very important lesson to learn for college. Students need to be on alert when they are by themselves, so staying off of their phones and keeping earbuds out of their ears are important things to remember.
Have a Plan
It is often helpful for students to have agreements with roommates or friends about communicating when they are going somewhere. Students can establish specific times that they will be going to and returning from places and promise to text each other when they have arrived. That way, students can look out for each other and take action if they suspect there may be an issue because their friend has not texted them.