Going away to college for the first time can be so exciting. You’ve spent years in high school working hard to ensure you have education options once you graduate. The last couple of years have been some of the happiest in your life. Now you are going to see the fruits of your labor.
Financially, you are prepared and applied for all scholarships you could, such as Nancy Etz and her empowering scholarships. As a result, you have some money saved and plan to find a part-time job once you start school.
Now what? The college will be your first time away from home, and you need to remain safe. So let’s discuss some ways for you to stay safe while away at college. These safety tips are to keep yourself safe as well as your possessions. Keeping your possessions safe in a dorm is not the same as keeping them safe in your bedroom at home.
The good news is we live in an age when everyone has a cell phone, and this can be a valuable tool for your safety. Apps available can have panic button features, GPS, family and friend circles, and more. Life360 is a free app with additional paid features. bSafe has a free trial period then charges a fee. Still, it is impressive with features such as voice-activated SOS, fake phone calls if you find yourself in an uncomfortable situation, live streaming, a voice recorder, and a siren.
Protecting Your Possessions
Your more pricey possessions are those most likely to be stolen, such as bikes, tablets, laptops, and more. Even if you trust your roommate, you don’t know who your roommate will allow in while you are away from your room. Or if you have multiple roommates, how can you tell? Invest in things such as bike locks and a small safe. The safe should be large enough to hold your medications and technology.
Protect Yourself From Crime General Tips
Crime can occur anywhere and even on campus. The criminal doesn’t necessarily mean it will involve a fellow student. A criminal can easily be someone from off-campus, even if you are on campus. These are general tips that women should consider all the time, not just while away at college.
- Stay in well-lit areas and preferably populated areas.
- Always be aware of your surroundings.
- Take a self-defense course before going away to college.
- Do not travel alone if you can help it.
- Avoid being under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Keep a clear head.
- Keep an eye on your drinks – do not walk away from them.
- Always lock your dorm door.
- If wearing headphones or earbuds, turn the volume down or remove one ear so you can still be fully aware of your surroundings.
- If your college offers shuttles or buddy walkers, use them when you need to walk at night.
- Do not prop open doors.
- Make sure someone knows where you are.
- Be careful what you share on social media.
General Safety Tips
These are things you should know before going out on your own. Dorm life is likely your first time living away from home.
- Does your room have a working smoke alarm?
- Do you have a fire extinguisher and know how to use it?
- Ensure you know which types of fires your fire extinguisher can put out and which require water.
- If hosting a party, be sure not to serve alcohol to anyone underage.
- Where do you shelter in an emergency such as a tornado or hurricane?
- Did you know you can get renter’s insurance while you are in a dorm? Yes, you can and should.
Are You Ready?
Now you have the safety basics, and both you and your family can feel confident you are armed with the information you need. College can be an exciting time in your life, and there is so much to experience. So create some lasting memories and be safe.