The first year of college is always an exciting and, at the same time, scary experience. You’re making that transition from an educational environment like, say, high school to one where a little more is demanded of you. You’re thrust into an educational world where, among other things, you are solely responsible for your own safety and security.
Did you know that 80 percent of the crimes committed on students are perpetrated by other students? It doesn’t matter if you are living on-campus or off-campus; if you aren’t careful then trouble could find you during some of the most important years of your life.
That’s why, today, we’re going to go over a few tips to help keep you safe. Tips like:
- Familiarizing Yourself with Campus Security
- Establishing a Trustworthy Contact
- Developing Good Judgment
Familiarizing Yourself with Campus Security
For those of you living on campus, a good thing to do on day one is to familiarize yourself with your college’s security detail. Most colleges have these and it’s good to not only learn where their base of operations is but where the emergency – or panic – phones are, as well.
Panic phones come in many different but recognizable forms. The most common is a metal, yellow box with a big red button on it labeled “HELP” both in English and braille. Some come with keypads so you can actually make a call as well. They usually dot the campus and can be found in front of major educational structures.
Let’s just say, for example, you are taking a photo class. You spent all night developing photos in the lab and now it’s 1 AM. Time to walk home, right? In an ideal world, you might feel safe enough to make that walk to your dorm but, unfortunately, that’s not always the case. Understanding where the panic phones are could put you in touch with security if something went wrong. You could also explain your situation and have them give you a ride.
Establishing a Trustworthy Contact
Having someone you can trust is extremely important both on and off the campus. This person could be your roommate, someone you spend time getting to know through courses or even an old friend attending the same school as you – it doesn’t matter where you find them, just make sure you can trust them.
A trustworthy contact can be your designated driver when things get a little out of hand at the bar, pick you up from a party if you don’t have a ride and just be there to talk to about situations or problems in your life.
Resident Advisors – or RAs – are peer leaders who you can also go to regarding any of the aforementioned situations as well as anything else that might come up. It’s their job and responsibility to help make your time in the college community a safe and nurturing experience.
Developing Good Judgment
This doesn’t necessarily mean you need to be so wary of your peers and situations that you become paranoid, but you should recognize the signs when something is amiss. If someone has invited you to an off-campus party, chances are good that there will be drinking so have a plan. “How will you get home?” That sort of thing.
Also, recognize that danger can come in many different forms. Never let someone buy you a drink without seeing for yourself that everything is as it seems. And if someone wants to give you a ride but is clearly under the influence of something, don’t get in the car with them.
For those of you living on your own, off-campus, if you are really concerned about your particular neck of the woods, you could visit the possibility of a home security system. The market for monitored home security systems is saturated with different sites and providers who can all help give you what you want most – peace of mind. Sites like www.securitychoice.com are a great place to start looking.
You Are Responsible for You
College is thought, by most, to be the most important and exciting time of your life. It’s the time of your life where you really start to figure out what kind of person you want to be. Make sure, among other things, you’re the sort of person who will make safe and sensible decisions both on and off the campus.