Heading to school both for new and old students is an exciting time for more than millions of college students worldwide, but exposure to new environments and new experiences present additional safety risks and potentially dangerous situations. Ever increasing on campus violence and harassment is a reality and College-aged students are at the highest risk of being sexually assaulted—often by someone they know.

Thus, the first steps in staying safe are recognizing the risks and being proactive.

No tips can absolutely guarantee 100% safety on campus, as anyone can be a victim it is however important to consider some tips which may reduce your risk to different crimes.

  1. Trust your gut: If something does not feel right, it probably isn’t. If you feel uncomfortable or insecure in a situation, gathering or place, trust your instincts and leave immediately. Do not get pressured into staying, in a bid to appear cool. It is better safe than sorry.
  2. Be mindful of your online presence. May people are careless and lose all sense of safety on in college. Avoid posting your location online, avoid displaying wealth and expensive possession online, and do not give details about what is happening in your life online.
  3. Take security seriously. Ensure you lock your door and windows when you’re asleep and when you leave the room. Do not fix television and other priced items by the door, window or places it is easily accessible to criminals.
  4. Be aware & stay alert at all times. Whether you are at a party, walking across campus, in the library, always pay attention to what is happening in your immediate surroundings. If you are alone, do not use headphones or engage in distracting activities, use well-trafficked routes and avoid being isolated with someone you don’t know or trust. Get to know your surroundings—take notice of safety spots, e.g. security house and do not be hesitant to use them if necessary. Adopt all available public safety tools available whenever the need arise.
  5. Party smart. Guard your drink and meals at get-togethers and parties. Also, avoid getting drinks from strangers. Stick to drink brands you know and are comfortable drinking and if your drink is left unattended to, toss it out, as it is common practice for criminals to slip harmful substances into drinks at such occasions. Avoid getting drunk, as drunkenness places you in a vulnerable and helpless position, thus making it easy to get robbed or taken advantage of in various ways.

Also, ensure concrete plans are made on how to exit when you begin to feel uncomfortable or are too intoxicated.

6. Sometimes, it is necessary to withhold the truth, as a way of getting out of sticky or risky situations. If you unsure of your continued safety in a location, rather than risk it, come, make excuses and get to safety immediately.

7. Be cordial with your accommodation mates. Watch out for each other and Stick together where necessary. If a friend is acting in a way that seems out of character/suspiciously, take notice. If he or she is overly intoxicated or seems to need assistance, get them to a safe place and support them. If you suspect that a friend has been drugged or needs medical attention because of over-intoxication or for any other reason, call a resident assistant or police.