Once students arrive at their college campuses, it is easy to forget the outside world. College campuses can be a bubble for young adults where they can forget about some of the dangers of the world. Unfortunately, there are many dangers associated with navigating campus at night. Universities recognize the dangers and have invested in college safety, including safety staff, security cameras, mobile applications, alert systems, training, safety drills, and more, to keep students safe. During orientation, universities inform students about the safety precautions and measures they should take to ensure their safety while on campus, but oftentimes students forget these precautionary measures and don’t apply them in their daily lives.
While universities try their best to make their campuses a safe space for students, always remember that you are responsible for your own safety.
Here are 5 ways to stay safe on campus!
1. Travel in groups
It is always better to travel in groups of two or more. While walking home in your college town or a late night trip from the library may seem safe, you never want to risk your own personal safety. There is safety in numbers, particularly when walking around campus late at night. So, if you plan on going to the library after dark or staying in the library late at night, you should coordinate with a friend or a classmate who lives near you. You and your friend or classmate can set up a time that’s mutually agreeable, so you have company both to and from the library.
2. Be aware of your surroundings
Today, people have a habit of always walking with headphones in their ears or walking with their phone glued to their fingertips. Rather than blasting music or responding to a newer group chat while walking home late from the library at night, look around you as you are walking. While walking, periodically check behind you as you are walking to ensure no one is following you. Once you are aware of your surroundings, if you feel in danger or are being followed, you can take the proper measures to ensure your safety.
3. Use mobile applications to track locations
Today, technology makes our lives easier than ever. College nightlife often involves friends going to more than one place, resulting in friends being split up from one another or someone ending up lost. By using apps such as Google+ on Android and Find My Friends on the iPhone, you can share your location with specific friends and family members, so they always know exactly where you are. Also, Snapchat’s new Map Feature, which is available on both iPhone and Android, is a great way to let people know where you are. When publicly sharing your location on your mobile device, be cautious who you are sharing this information with.
4. Know Your Campus
Some students may only know the buildings on campus where they live, eat, and attend classes, but that’s a mistake. All students should make an effort to learn alternative routes, so they can navigate the campus with ease. If you ever feel uncomfortable walking on campus, take a well-lit route to your destination. You should know know different paths to your final destination in case of an emergency.
5. Learn the emergency procedures
Different emergencies can occur on campus, so you should make sure that you know what to do in an emergency. To do that, you need to find out beforehand the best way to communicate with those on campus who are looking out for your safety. For instance, since campus police and campus security’s main goal is to ensure the safety of all faculty and students on campus, you should save the number of your campus police/security on your phone, so you can quickly access it from anywhere.
No matter how safe your campus is, you should always be alert and refrain from putting yourself in a dangerous situation. College campuses tend to be open, so certain areas may not be as secure as others. Always be aware of your surroundings, know which routes you should take, and who to contact if you ever feel unsafe.
Vanessa Sewell is studying Economics and Communications at Boston College. She is from Bronx, NY. Vanessa has worked on topics related to lifestyle, fashion, culture, and education during her time at Boston College. During her free time, she can be found playing piano and guitar or jamming to Spotify.