For many young adults, college is the first time they have been independently away from the safety net of their parents and family. The time spent at college is often described as a time to learn, explore, connect with new people and pursue your passions. This free-spirited season of life is one that many look forward to. During these short years, it’s easy to let your guard down as you begin this season of living on your own.
Whether you live on campus and walk to class every morning or you live off-campus and drive to school each day, college should be a safe place for you and your peers. To get the conversation started about college and campus safety, take a look at some of these safety tips crafted specifically for college students.
If there’s a lock, use it
We know, it seems obvious, doesn’t it? Generally, campus buildings are secured 24 hours a day. However, this doesn’t mean that that the wrong people aren’t getting in. For good measure, it’s not a bad idea to keep your door locked at all times. Locking your doors will keep you and your valuables a whole lot safer. In addition to this, don’t prop open doors – especially the ones that lead into dorm buildings. These buildings are secured for a reason and often require a type of key or code to enter.
Get familiar with your campus
Regardless of the area your campus is located in, spend some time getting familiar with it! This is a general safety precaution that anyone should take, in case of an emergency. It’s a good idea to know where each building is located, as well as suggested safe routes to take.
Memorize safety numbers
Memorize the safety numbers that are specific to your school and area. Better yet, upload these numbers into your phone as contacts. That way, should you ever be in a situation where you need to call campus security, you’ll have the number right at your fingertips.
Create a plan of action
If there are certain buildings that you spend a reasonable amount of time in for your classes and studies, determine a plan of action ahead of time if there ever was an emergency. Create your plan of action by finding emergency exits, locating staircases and elevators and where you would go in the event of specific emergencies.
Take extra precautions at night
Sure, the walk from the campus library to your dorm room might only be a five-minute walk. However, take extra precautions at night. Waiting to walk with someone or utilizing campus security for a ride is the smart way to get around campus when it’s dark out. If you can’t avoid walking alone, take advantage of safety apps that have capabilities of notifying police stations should you encounter a dangerous situation.
Practice safety on social media, too
We’re sure you’ve heard this time and time again, but that doesn’t make it any less important. It seems as though everyone is on at least one or two social media platforms these days, if not more. Stay aware of who can see what you post and practice social media safety and review your settings for each platform. Your best bet is to disable location services and make your accounts private.
These tips are a great starting point for a conversation about campus safety with your family and peers. It’s important not to wait until it’s too late to put these tips into practice. For more recommendations on physical security and cybersecurity, the Secure360 blog always has relevant information posted regularly. In addition to this, Student360 is quickly approaching and will be here before we know it. Learn more about this student-focused cybersecurity event and secure your spot while space is still available.