Starting a new semester of college is a busy and exciting time. Students are worried about how much work they will have for their classes, ordering the books and supplies they need and making a good impression on their professors and peers. There are so many things to deal with and worry about that sometimes one of the most essential aspects of campus life is neglected: personal safety.

College Safety

When you are returning to school you will be preoccupied with many details and responsibilities, but be sure to take some time to consider your personal security. Start off by getting to know a new campus, or re-familiarizing yourself with a location you’ve been away from for a while. Map out the safest route to and from your classes, and pick a path that is clear and secure. This is especially important at night when a predator could be hiding behind tall trees or lurking in a dark, secluded area.

Criminals often look for hiding spots where they can be concealed by tall trees, bushes or other obstacles. It gives them a great advantage over potential victims, because they can see you long before you see them. Sometimes the best self defense tip is to simply stay away from areas where danger could be hiding. Stick to routes that are well lit and highly trafficked, because law breakers do not want to be noticed by other people. A potential assailant looks for victims who are alone in areas where no one else can see or hear them, because an onlooker can contact campus security, call the police and identify the perpetrator later on.

While you are getting to know the campus, take some time to learn the locations of the security offices. If you ever are in danger, the campus security officers will be your fastest and best option for assistance. Many universities also have phones available that have a direct line to security personnel. Be sure to know where you can find help, just in case you ever need it.

Safety In Numbers

As you start back to school, remember that the old saying about safety in numbers is true. Try to coordinate your schedule with fellow students so that you walk to and from classes together. This will help to reduce the risk of being targeted by a potential assailant. You won’t always be able to walk in a group, but even if you are with one other person it will make you a less likely target.

Of course there is more to college life than going to classes. You will also socialize with your fellow students, attend school functions and maybe even hold a part time job. The same security tip holds true – when you have other people with you, a criminal will always be hesitant to choose you as their next victim.

Personal Alarms

Many college students choose to carry personal alarms with them everywhere they go. These are small, hand-held devices that make a tremendous noise when they are activated. As soon as you turn an alarm on, everyone around will hear it blaring and know that you are in need of help. Since criminals do not want to be seen by others, the moment the alarm sounds their instinct will be to run away. Carrying a personal alarm can give you the extra element you need to stay safe on campus.

When you go back to school, it is essential to consider the best ways to protect yourself. Getting to know the campus, learning where the security offices are and making sure you aren’t walking through potentially dangerous areas alone is a great start, but there are many more things you can do to keep yourself safe…

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