It’s the time of year when many young adults are preparing for their first semester of college. In most cases, this is the first time they have lived without the supervision and guidance of their parents. One of the things collegebound students should already be reviewing is how they can make sure that they have fun and manage to stay safe during their freshman year.
Always Be Mindful of Your Safety
The great thing about living in a dorm is that the close living quarters means forming a tight bond with many of the people living on your floor. The downside to living in a dorm is that the sense of family and friendship can cause you to become lax when it comes to your safety. The biggest problem many students encounter while living in the dorm is that they become so comfortable that they start neglecting to lock their doors.
From day one, get into the habit of locking your door and double-checking the lock each time you enter and leave your dorm room.
Establish the Buddy System
While staying in your dorm and only going to classes will keep you safe, it’s not much fun. Rather than locking yourself away, get into the habit of creating a buddy program when you go out. Make a deal with a few different friends that no one goes home without the others and to keep an eye on one another the entire time you’re out and having a good time.
Keep Your Phone Charged
Each time you leave your dorm room make sure your phone is fully charged and that it’s easily accessible. It’s your first line of defense if you get into trouble while you’re out.
Pay Attention to Your Surroundings
When you’re out and about, pay attention to your surroundings. Stay in brightly lit areas. Stick to areas that are populated and heavily patrolled by campus security. Keep your eyes on the environment rather than on your phone.
Get Your Own Drinks
It doesn’t matter if you’re at a party, relaxing in your own room, or at a local pizza place, always get your own drinks. You should also never leave your drink unattended. If for some reason you do have to walk away from your drink, discard the unfinished portion and get yourself a new one.
Don’t be Afraid to Contact Campus Security
If your friends leave without you, it’s better to contact campus security and have them give you a ride back to your dorm than to try to walk home alone. Remember, that they’re paid to protect you.
Following these safety tips and using common sense provides you with the tools needed to stay safe while also enjoying your first year of college life.
Establish Patterns for Contacting Loved Ones
While you don’t necessarily want to always use the same route for going to classes and parties, you do want to establish good patterns when it comes to checking in with friends and family. Checking in on a specific day of the week and close to the same time each time is a good warning system if something goes wrong. If you don’t check in, they know that they should contact the authorities and have someone do a physical check on you.