College is back in session and college campuses can be dangerous. Use some good common sense and follow these tips to be as safe as possible while on campus.
Don’t allow technology to make you unaware of your surroundings. We all have the tendency to tune out to our surroundings when we are wearing headphones. This, in essence, is exactly what you should be avoiding.
When you start to find yourself becoming unaware of what’s going on around you is the time you need to consider turning the music down, putting your phone away and opening your eyes to what’s happening.
The key to getting out of a potentially dangerous situation is to recognize it as such. This is nearly impossible if you aren’t even aware of the situations you’re walking into.
Never walk alone at night. Look, we all know that I feel a person should be able to walk down the street at night, alone, without inviting trouble, but that’s not the world we live in. There are times that you need to get from point A to point B which may occur at night, but take a friend or roommate with you. At the very least make sure someone knows that you are leaving and when to expect you back.
Carry some emergency cash. It’s good to have some cash on you at all times, just in case. If you lose your credit/debit card you want to make sure you have some back up. You never want to be stuck in a scary situation because you don’t have the necessary funds to get out of it as quickly as possible.
Never stay at a party when your friend leaves. No, you don’t need to call it an early night just because one of your friends does. But, what you should do is ensure you always have a minimum of one person with you that you know (and know you can trust).
Being alone in a party setting isn’t smart – go home if you’re going to be alone because it is not worth the risk to stay – no matter how nice everyone there seems.
Avoid becoming inebriated and losing control. If you’re getting to the point that you don’t have control of yourself or your surroundings, you need to stop and think about the types of situations you’re putting yourself in. It’s far too easy for others to take advantage of you or a situation if you can’t think or act rationally. Again, we all know how I feel about the whole ‘she was drunk/asking for it’ bit, but again we don’t live in a perfect world. We live in a dangerous one where you have to be able to think, make decisions and take care of yourself.
Always have emergency contacts on you or in your device. Program emergency numbers into your phone. It’s one of the first spots hospitals check if you’re admitted alone because they are able to bypass your pass code in order to access your contacts. I actually have a listing in my phone under ICE (In Case of Emergency). You can also download apps that are for keeping emergency contact information and any medical info a hospital would need in an emergency.
Consider carrying pepper spray, a whistle or taking a self-defense course. The hope is certainly that you’d never need to make use of these defense mechanisms, however, having them with you can make a life-saving difference in harmful situations you otherwise might not be able to get out of.