Campus life is a great experience for most students. For many, it is the first time away from home and living on their own. School should be a safe place where students can study and make friends without fear for their safety. However, safety measures must always be taken even in the most secure of environments. Here are some tips to discuss with your student to help keep them as safe as possible.
1. Lock All Doors
The dorm may feel like a safe place because students are surrounded by friends. However, that does not mean you or your valuables are ever completely secure. Do not prop open dormitory doors because this gives access to outsiders. If there is a communal bathroom down the hall, lock your room door as you come and go so there are no surprises awaiting you when you get back. Doors should be locked when awake and when sleeping. If someone wants to steal or intrude on your privacy, an unlocked door makes it that much easier.
2. Call Campus Security
Most campuses have patrol cars driving around campus. If you are at a party and your friends have left, do not be shy about calling campus security for a secure ride back to the dorm even if its just a five minute walk.
3. Learn The Campus
Some schools are in urban neighborhoods with high crime. Other schools are in more rural areas with secluded areas that are not well-lit. Go over with your student where they should not go before they go to school so they do not get lost or end up somewhere they should not be.
4. Stay Sober
Bad things can happen to anyone at any time. But, those who are under the influence of drugs an alcohol can be more vulnerable to would-be thieves, sexual predators, and the antics of drunk friends.
5. Have A Plan
Its always good to let someone know your plans so if you do not come home when expected, someone can call for help. If you have a close friend or sibling, you can put the find your friends app on both your phones to track each other should you need to.
6. Avoid Being Distracted
When you are texting, you are not paying attention to what is going on around you. You may not notice the people around you, a car coming in your direction, or even a tree right in your path.
7. Stop The Sexy Selfies
While sexy selfies are the norm these days, they could be compromising your security. Those pictures are best shared with someone you really like rather than creeps who could be trolling you online.
8. Be Cautious With Trust
Its easy to feel "safe" amongst friends. But, you do not really know your fellow classmates, their past, or what they are really like. Do not trust people simply because you go to school with them. Like with any new relationship, those around you must earn your trust.
9. Be Social Media Savvy
Its common for students to post where they are and where they are going on social media. However, this information is all a stalker needs to show up everywhere you are or will be. If you want to post your whereabouts, do it after you have left so you do not tell your location to people who should not have it.
10. Protect Your Privacy
If you want to be intimate with someone, choose the privacy of your room over theirs. In your room, there are no hidden cameras or classmates peeping in to see what is going on. You also have more control in your room because you know who is around and who would hear you should you get into a bad situation.