After graduating from high school it’s time for most students to go away to college. You will have to take care of yourself, be independent, and further discover who you are. It can be an exciting yet potentially dangerous time if you do not learn to or know how to protect yourself. One important guideline everyone should follow is to travel in groups, especially at night. Whether it is at a party or just a night on the town, it is important to have a buddy system with friends. One good idea is to make a plan with your friends before the event, and be sure not to leave anyone behind when you leave.
Although you will be with friends, your phone should always be charged whenever you are out. In case you get separated from your friends or someone else, always keep your phone on you, especially to use for emergency phone calls.
Also, having cash with you is key. Sometimes credit cards can be declined or you can lose your card, so you should always bring some spare cash. Twenty dollars is a good amount.
Some attacks can happen on school campus, especially when you are alone. Never stop walking outside to a building. Try to get inside a building as quick as possible. You can also call or even pretend to call a friend or family member, but try not to get too engrossed in the conversation. Keep an eye out and be cautious of your surroundings. If there is someone dangerous behind you, keep your head up and do not be distracted. Also, carrying a weapon like pepper spray or mace can be handy. Using a pocket knife to defend yourself from an attacker is not advised, unless you know how to use it properly. Know that the attacker can use your weapon against you.
Make a habit of locking the doors and closing the windows after using them. Sometimes a potential threat can be in your own dorm or apartment building. You can prevent someone from intruding by locking your doors at all times.
In general, you should be cautious at all times, especially if it is your first year in college. It is good to be aware of your surroundings and keeping communication with others is key. Before you leave, tell your friends where you are going and expect to be back, so they can be prepared to tell someone in case of an emergency. Be careful when you get into your car and make sure there is no one hiding underneath or inside the car, and quickly lock the car doors as soon as you get in. As you are walking to the car, keep your phone in one hand. If you follow these safety precautions, you can make your time at school safer.