Tips For Staying Safe On And Off Campus

Although safety on college campuses is a topic that’s widely talked about, many students fail to realize that some seemingly harmless behaviors may be putting them at risk.

There are the obvious safety rules such as: “don’t leave your drink unattended” or “don’t carry large amounts of cash with you;” however, there are several lesser known precautions you should take to ensure your safety.

  • Avoid ATM’s at night

You may not have much money in your bank account, but a potential mugger doesn’t know that. To them, you’re an easy mark: it’s night time, you’re in a deserted bank parking lot and you’re taking out cash. It’s better if you save the trip for the next morning, but if you absolutely must go to the ATM after dark, bring someone with you.

  • Put down your phone

This is probably the hardest thing to do because we’re all basically fused to our phones, but it’s important that when you’re walking in a parking lot or an empty street, you put the phone away. You have to pay attention to your surroundings, especially if there aren’t many people around you, and texting makes you lose your focus in the worst way.

  • Leave your cash where it belongs

I stopped carrying cash with me years ago for many reasons, most of which are safety related. If you lose your debit card, you can call the bank and they’ll deactivate it instantly and send you a replacement; if you lose your cash, that’s it, you lost it forever. Because of this, it’s also less appealing to steal a credit or debit card; people know as soon as the theft is discovered, the card will stop working.You can carry a couple of dollars around for tips or for the few places left that don’t accept plastic, but the bulk of your money should stay in the bank, where only you can have access to it.

  • The buddy system

Whether you go to a party, school function or any other place where there are large crowds, it’s easy to lose your friends in all the chaos. You should try to stay with at least one other person at all times, but you should also have a plan in case you don’t. When you first arrive somewhere, designate a place where you’ll all meet up if you get separated and make sure you have everyone’s phone numbers so you can call or text each other in case you end up alone.

Going away to college means having to take care of yourself and it requires you to become a million times more responsible than you’ve ever been before.

The most important thing to remember is that while college campuses are relatively safe places, you should always look out for yourself, and this is especially true any time you go off campus.

This doesn’t mean you have to be paranoid and live in fear, just be alert and aware of your surroundings at all times.

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Mercedes Espinoza

Mercedes Espinoza

Mercedes Espinoza is a senior at Florida Atlantic University pursuing a degree in Multimedia Journalism. Although reading is her first love, writing is a close second and she can usually be found with her nose in a book or hunched over a laptop typing away. Outside of school and work, she’s interested in all things fitness as well as continuing to grow an already massive nail polish collection.