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5 Safety Tips All College Students Should Know

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In 2015, there were over 25,000 reported crimes against people and property on college campuses. Those incidents included burglaries, sex offenses, theft, and aggravated assault. With the rate of crime ever-changing, it is important for universities to stress safety, and crucial for you to take personal precautions. Adhering to these safety tips can help keep you out of harm's way as you work to secure your education and future.
 

1. Get Familiar 


 

If you've decided to further your education by attending college, it's a good idea to familiarize yourself with the campus. This includes knowing the location of the campus police department, as well as knowing where any emergency call stations are located. Many schools are improving security by placing the stations throughout campus for easy access. Whether in a group or alone, whenever you are walking on or off university grounds always be aware of your surroundings. 

 

2. Go Out in Groups

 

It's easier to see what's going on around you in the daytime, however, at night, the darkness can hinder your vision and your awareness of your surroundings. You can combat this challenge by walking with a group of people if it's late. While the buddy system might have been annoying in elementary school, it provides a certain level of security as there's safety in numbers.

 

3. Secure Your Space

While locking your doors, cars, and windows might seem like an obvious tip, it is severely underrated. Many college students forget or neglect to secure their spaces because it’s easy to leave your door unlocked when you're only heading down the hall to a friend’s room. While it may be an easy step to skip, it is never smart. Always secure your room and your belongings to prevent theft or any other criminal activity. 
 

4. Defend Yourself

Knowing you can defend yourself immediately makes you feel more confident and safer. Your first resort isn’t someone else, and you can fully depend on yourself. This doesn't mean you must take expensive classes to enhance your self-defense skills. Learning from professionals is always a good idea, so be on the lookout for organizations or students groups (like ours) to host free classes on your campus. You can also defend yourself by recognizing an escape route wherever you go. Given the situation, running can be just as effective as attacking. 
 

5. Invest in Protection



 

You can also stay safe by investing in protection like stun guns or pepper spray. Some states prohibit stun guns, so make sure you know the law in your state before you buy one, as well as your university's stance. When it comes to pepper spray, every state allows the possession, but some have restrictions. Certain schools even provide students with whistles, which may seem corny, but they can alert others to your distress. Purchasing safety items to protect yourself isn’t completely necessary, but they can have a significantly positive impact on a negative situation. 
 

Have any other tips for staying safe on campus? Share them with us in the comments below!
SOUL REPORTER | Shelby Wingate is a rising senior at Whitefield Academy in Mableton, Georgia. The extremely competitive athlete plays basketball and runs track for her school. While she does love sports, Shelby uses her competitive nature to excel in academics and will apply that same drive when she attends college to major in Journalism or Communications and minor in French.