Whether you’re a freshman just entering college or a returning senior everyone can use some tips on how to stay safe on or off-campus. I know how exciting new experiences in college can be but you still want to practice campus safety. Unfortunately, college students are the perfect target for certain crimes because of how unaware and trusting we can be. This blog post isn’t to alarm anyone but simply to offer some insight, resources, and tips you haven’t really thought about!
This blog post is in partnership with Bond, the personal security app!
Be Smart When Using Car Services
I know I’ve spent lots of nights in Ubers going out to dinner or to a friend’s house so one thing is to always be safe when using any car service. Make sure to check the license plate and match the car to your app. If you ever feel unsafe use the security system within the Uber or Lyft app for assistance. Remember to never release personal information! Some Uber drivers make small talk which is fine but in some instances, I’ve had them ask where I go to school and I never tell them the actual college.
Also, try to avoid using Uber alone late at night in big cities if you can! When I used to work in Boston there were many times I’ve taken an uber home at midnight after my shift and felt so uneasy. At the time the uber pool option was still available so I always used that, not only was it cheaper but it made me feel slightly more at ease knowing I wasn’t alone.
Lock Up Your Expensive Belongings
If you’re living on campus or especially in an apartment make sure to take your expensive belongings with you when you go home during winter and summer break. Trust me, I made the mistake in my sophomore year when I left my DSLR camera, polaroid, and a few other items in my apartment during winter break. When I came back my apartment had been broken into and all our expensive belongings had been stolen. It was so scary since I was the first one to come home out of all my roommates and discovered the front door unlocked. So don’t make the same mistake as I did and secure your windows and doors before leaving for long periods of time!
Utilize Personal Security Apps
I’m very excited to partner with Bond for this blog post so I can introduce you to this app! When I was first introduced to this app I was pleasantly shocked (and happy) that it really does it all. If you’re walking home late after class you can have an agent stay on the phone with you until you feel safe. You can even have their agents check on you or a friend after a certain amount of time has passed. For example, say you’re meeting someone you might not know too well. You can text Bond to ask their agents to check on you in 10 minutes. You can even escalate the situation by activating your siren and it can send the police to your location for backup.
I really wish I had known about this app earlier because there have been many times when I didn’t live in the best neighborhood and I had to walk home alone late at night after work. This is one of the best ways to stay safe on campus as a college student since agents are available 24/7 even for something you might consider “small.” My personal favorite part is the fact that you can check up and track your friends to make sure they’re safe too!
Use The Buddy System
We all learned this from a young age but honestly, the buddy system is relevant even as an adult. If you choose to go to parties in college (post COVID-19 though of course) make sure to never leave alone or let your friends leave alone! My rule is no matter where my friends and I go we all leave together. Say in an instance where you’re out at a bar and can’t find your friends or someone leaves without you (which you should never do to your friends!!) you can utilize the Bond app to call a car to pick you up!
Lookout For Your Friends
You should always be looking out for one another but especially now when dating apps such as Bumble and Tinder are so popular. You want to make sure your friends are being safe and at least talking to the person for a while before meeting up with them. I would also recommend face timing them beforehand just so you know you’re not getting catfished. We’ve all heard horror stories with online dates gone wrong! Ask friends to keep their location on and text you updates every hour just so you know they’re safe.
Ask Campus Safety For Help
Every school has campus safety to help students out so make sure to become familiar with them. Write down their number and where you can find them. At my school, they were always at the main entrance. I went to a pretty small school so I didn’t have an actual campus where campus security would roam around. I have seen that big schools with actual campuses do have safety officers walking around at night. So if you ever need help or feel uneasy reach out to them if they’re nearby! My school also offered a shuttle service where a public safety officer would drive students off-campus to their apartments which was really convenient after long nights at the school library during finals week.
Have Ways To Defend Yourself
Lots of adults that I’ve talked to have advised me to get pepper spray, especially on the streets of Boston. I’ve even contemplated it many times but never ended up getting one. I was always worried I would accidentally use it on someone. However, if you find yourself walking alone at night often I would recommend looking into some safety devices. You can even take self-defense classes which I’ve heard many college kids say they’ve done! Even if you never use them it’s a useful skill to have.
Trust Your Gut
If your in an Uber or walking home or at a party, whatever the case may be and you have a bad feeling… TRUST IT! Your gut is trying to tell you something and even if you might be wrong its better to be safe than sorry. If you’re alone and feel unsafe try to go into a public place or around a group of people. Even if you think you’re overreacting don’t put yourself into an unsafe situation!
Those are my top 8 tips on how to be safe on campus as a college student. Have any other tips? Make sure to comment them down below!
Once again make sure to check out Bond and give it a try. It’s one of the coolest personal security and safety devices and I love the work they do!
If you guys want to check out more college-related blog posts you can check them out here