Because of recent events at a local college, I feel compelled to write a bit about safety for college students. College campuses are usually very safe places, even those in very urban areas, which may have a reputation for not being the safest places. Regardless of the location of your campus, being safe is a good thing to keep in the back of your mind, just to be sure.
College campuses, like most places, are almost completely safe during the day. While classes are going on, people are all over the place, walking to class, heading to the cafeteria, throwing a Frisbee, studying outside, and doing any other number of things in public. After dark, there are usually a few less people about. It’s almost impossible to be completely alone outside, even if it is dark (especially if your campus has night classes, or it’s a weekend). During the day, however, safety is one of the last things you’ll need to think about.
One of the foremost safety rules on campuses, as with anywhere else, is to always travel with a friend. Whether you’re walking home from a really late class, heading to your car to make it to a party, or just getting out to stretch your legs before a long study session, don’t go alone. Invite someone to go with you, or meet someone and go together. It’s just a good practice to get into. In a similar vein, make sure that when you go to a party, both you and a friend are accountable for each other. Make a deal before you get to the party—if one leaves, so does the other. Stay together and watch out for each other (especially if one or the other gets especially intoxicated).
In addition to practicing good safety habits, it’s important to know your college’s campus safety practices. Does your public safety department offer off-campus escorts? This may be really useful if you’re a long way from home and you need a ride—just call public safety, and they’ll often come pick you up. The same goes for leaving campus; if you parked a few blocks away, you can usually get a ride out to your car. Many campuses also have emergency stations in some form or another—they often look like light poles with large blue lights on top of them. In case of an emergency, you can set off an alarm and call for help from one of these stations.
Safety on college campuses is rarely a major concern, but it’s important to keep it in mind. Bad things can happen anywhere, and it’s a good practice to start picking up good habits early. You shouldn’t be afraid of travelling in the dark, or nervous that you might be a victim of a crime if you leave a party, but you should be aware of your surroundings and what’s going on around you.
As always, if you have any questions, comments or funny stories you'd like me to share about college or the blog, email me at email@example.com