Colleges are often fairly safe places, but because college students lead such busy lives and are in and out all of the time, and they often don’t want to be bothered to take their keys, the dorms, other areas on campus, and off campus housing can often be targeted for theft and criminal deviance. Don’t forget these helpful safety reminders to help you have a great, safe year at school:
Consider a simple door alarm. A little extra security won’t hurt, and it may even help you sleep better at night.
Take your keys with you, always. Lock your door, always! Get in that habit early on and keep you and your roommates safe. If not, perpetrators can hide in your room and thieves can wait for you to walk out and help themselves.
Let people know where you are and when you will be home. Let close friends know your routine. This is very important because your friends can alert law enforcement early on, if something out of the ordinary happens.
Just like at home – don’t let strangers in, even or especially adults. If you have a peephole, use it.
If there is a deadbolt, use it at night. This will help you to keep the right people safe inside and the wrong people out.
Pepper spray! Yes, you must carry it! There will always be a time when it seems like the whole campus is deserted and you have to walk back to your room in the pitch dark. Have your pepper spray ready for peace of mind!
Take out/off your earbuds/headphones. Wearing them when you are alone and/or in the dark is a very bad idea. Predators can sneak up with you before you even know what happened. Be vigilant.
If at all possible, don’t go in areas that aren’t well-lit (and almost every campus has a few)! Plan your routes home once you know your schedule. Take a longer well-lit route and avoid shortcuts through potentially dangerous areas.
Know the emergency routes. If there is a fire or other emergency, have a plan. Discuss it with your roommates and know what to do and where to go.
Don’t bring precious valuables to school. Also, insuring your expensive items, like your diamond earrings or your new Macbook, is a good idea.
If you have valuables, a small dorm safe is a really great idea. There are a number of inexpensive options that will keep your belongings out of the hands of thieves.
When using the stairs be hyper aware; they are often secluded and have areas where perpetrators can hide. (Keep those headphones off).
The ultimate reminder is to trust your instincts! You have them for a reason; in fact, they are to help you survive and keep safe. Don’t be afraid of offending someone. If it doesn’t feel right, trust that feeling and get out of the situation. You don’t need a reason or justification. Just get where you feel safe.
College is amazing and sure to be some of the best times in your life. Keep yourself safe, and have a wonderful year.