How To Stay Safe On Campus

Campus safety is such an important topic.  It’s likely that this is the first time you’ve moved away from home and been solely responsible for taking care of yourself and your belongings.  Below I’ll discuss 15 things that can be done to ensure that you stay safe on campus.

#1 Keep Your Residence Hall Locked – Your parents always kept the front door of your house locked, right?  The same thing goes for the front door of your residence hall.  Depending on the type of door it is, sometimes it may not lock all the way if you don’t make sure that it is completely closed.  This will ensure that outsiders are unable to enter your building without a key.

#2 Don’t Let Anyone Into Your Hall That You Don’t Know – Watch out for those people who are lurking around the front entrance of your hall waiting for someone to go inside so that they can sneak in after.  Force those individuals that you don’t know to use their keys or ID cards to get into your building.  If they’re truly supposed to be in your dorm, then they’ll have the means to get in.

#3 Keep Your Dorm Room Locked – Even if you’re just running down the hall to grab a calculator from one of your classmates or just taking a quick shower, make sure your dorm room is locked at all times.  It only takes a couple of seconds for an unwanted visitor to come through your door.

#4 Keep Track of Your Keys – Try to put your keys in a place where you won’t lose them – maybe a separate key ring or attached to your ID card.  If you happen to misplace your keys, alert the appropriate parties immediately; don’t just assume that your keys will just “pop up” somewhere.  It’s likely that you’re not sure if you simply lost them or if they were stolen.  To keep yourself and your roommate safe, just pay the fine and get a new set of keys.

#5 Keep Your Car Locked – If you brought a car with you to campus, remember to keep it locked.  I know…seems so easy to remember, yet it can be so easy to forget.  Keep in mind, you’re not parked in your parents driveway anymore so you can’t be as trusting of your surroundings.

#6 Check On Your Car – Most college students only use their car for miscellaneous errands, like grocery shopping, so it’s important that if you’re not driving your car frequently that you check on it every couple days or so.  Just because you haven’t been using your car lately, doesn’t mean that someone else hasn’t thought about it!

#7 Keep Your Laptop Locked – If you’re bringing your personal laptop to campus, make sure you buy a locking device for it.  The good thing about laptops is that they are portable, which allow flexibility; however, the flip side of this is that they can be an easy target for thieves.

#8 Be Careful In The Library – Do not leave your stuff unattended in the library.  It may be tempting to leave your laptop or iPod on the table while you run to the bathroom, but don’t do it!  Either take your belongings with you or bring a friend with you to the library so that you can watch each other’s stuff.

#9 Keep Your Windows Locked – In addition to making sure your door is locked, you’ll want to check your windows too!  If someone is truly trying to break in, it’s likely that they’ll try the windows.

#10 Keep Emergency Numbers In Your Cell Phone – You have emergency number in your cell phone.  In addition to having an emergency contact (like your mom or dad and roommate) listed in your cell phone, you’ll also want to keep your credit card and bank phone numbers in you cell phone.  This way, if your wallet is stolen, you can cancel the credit cards immediately.

#11 Use Campus Escort Service – I know this may not be the “cool” thing to do, but it’s definitely the smart thing to do, especially at night if you need to get from one side of the campus to the other.  Besides, who wouldn’t want a free ride!?!

#12 Never Travel Alone – Whenever you go somewhere at night, always travel with a friend.  This is always a good idea.  Attackers are more prone to target students who are alone.

#13 Let People Know Where You Are – Heading to the frat party across campus?  Going on a hot date?  You don’t need to give all of the intimate details of where you’re headed, but always let someone (i.e. your friend or a roommate) know where you and when you expect to be back.

#14 Call When You Get Home – This is a great way to keep yourself and your friends safe.  If you’re out late with friends, make a deal with each other to call someone when you get back to let them know you made it home safely.

#15 Memorize Campus Safety’s Number – If you don’t have the number memorized, at least have the number saved in your phone.  You never know when you’ll need it for yourself or someone else.

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Lauren Anderson is a certified school counselor who's passionate about helping students all over the world successfully transition from high school to college! After spending 6 years as a business professional, she obtained her Master’s degree in School Counseling and now spends her spare time helping students.

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