College can be one of the most memorable times in a person’s life. Learning new subjects often helps a student to see the world differently. Making new friends, gaining independence, and for some living away from home for the first time are all unmatched experiences.
However, in the wake of sexual abuse scandals, hazing deaths, college shootings, and student abductions, it is important that you do all that you can to ensure that you are safe.
Here are a few things you can do to keep your safety first:
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1. See Something, Say Something:
If you see anything or anyone that looks strange or suspicious while on campus or elsewhere, report it. A lot of people assume that someone else will call the police so they don’t need to get involved. Other’s think that perhaps they are overreacting and the suspicious bag, or box, or person is really not a threat. Report it anyway. It is better to be safe than sorry. Report what you see to campus security, or call the police. You may end up saving not only your life, but many others.
2. Use the Buddy System:
Whether you are walking home late from a study session at the library, taking an early morning jog, or going on a blind date, it is important to travel with a friend. Research shows that a student is less likely to be assaulted if they are with a group.
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3. Drive Safely:
The saying “Don’t drink and drive” may seem clichéd to some students, but it is a slogan that saves lives. But drunk driving isn’t the only kind of bad driving to avoid. According to the SADD
(Students Against Destructive Decisions) website any kind of distracted driving is dangerous. Drinking and driving, texting and driving, or driving when a person is too sleepy or emotionally distraught all lead to terrible accidents. Some students think that a fatal accident caused by distracted driving can’t happen to them, but it can. So please drive safely.
4. Party Responsibly:
This may seem like an oxymoron since the whole idea of partying, to some, is to lose control and go wild. It is vitally important to stay safe while having a good time.
• Watch your drink at all times. Never leave it unattended or allow someone to go and get a drink for you.
• Refrain from binge drinking. Drinking games and “chugging” may seem like a lot of fun at the time, but alcohol poisoning is very serious. Some students “chug” themselves to death.
• When leaving a party (see number 3 above).
5. Stay Informed:
Most schools set up text and email alerts that give them an immediate way to contact students during an emergency. Be sure your school has your correct cell phone number and email address.
College should be a time for learning, growth, and fun. Let’s follow these tips and keep it that way.