5 Tips for Staying Safe at College

Self Defense for Women

It doesn’t matter if you’re attending college online or on campus, your safety is paramount. You may be walking from your dorm to class, or from your car to the library; staying aware of your surroundings and following proven safety tips will help keep you from becoming a victim. If you’re a college student, here’s how to stay safe:

1.Don’t Walk Alone

According to Thomas Kane, president of The College Safety Zone, it’s important that you never walk alone, especially at night. It’s a well known fact that there is safety in numbers. Criminals will target people walking by themselves long before they go after a group. If you have to walk anywhere, make sure that you take along a buddy. If you must walk by yourself across a parking lot, make sure that you park under a light and as close to the entrance as possible.


Keeping your hands-free doesn’t only apply to driving. No matter where you are going, be sure that your hands are empty. This means that if you have a ton of books to carry, put them in a messenger bag or a backpack, and sling the bag over your shoulder. You’re less likely to become a victim if your hands are swinging by your sides instead of carrying ten pounds of books and supplies.


If you don’t have the option to use a drive-up ATM, make sure that you are taking your money out during the day. Use ATMs in well-lit areas and always look around the machine before you approach it. If you see anyone hanging around the area, skip that particular ATM and find another. After you’ve gotten your money, resist the urge to count it. Instead, stick it in your pocket and walk away. You can count your money and organize yourself once you are somewhere more secure.

4.Personal Defense Items

Whether you carry a taser, a bottle of mace or an ear-piercing whistle, you should have something with you to draw attention to and protect yourself. If you do choose to carry one of these items, make sure that it’s easily accessible and that you know how to use it. A can of mace will do you no good if it’s at the bottom of your bag and you have no idea how to use it properly. A self-defense expert can teach you how to use your tools safely and correctly.

5.Share Your Schedule

One of the best ways to ensure your safety is to make sure that at least one person always knows where you are. If you go to work, class or even to the library on a regular basis, let someone have your schedule. Get into the habit of at least texting that person when you get home. If you are assaulted or in an accident, you’ll stand a better chance of making it through your ordeal if a loved one is always aware of your whereabouts.

Your safety should be your primary concern. If you follow the five tips above, you’ll be sure to stay safe no matter if you attend a traditional college or are a distance learner. If you need more safety tips, talk to your college’s security office or your local police department; either of these agencies will be happy to offer you advice.

Chantel Leck is an avid blogger. If you’re interested in ensuring the safety of others, consider the various careers possible with a criminal justice degree. Several schools offer online criminal justice degrees, including University of Cincinnati and Boston University.

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