Book Smart. College Smart.

Book Smart. College Smart.

Starting college is an extremely exciting new chapter and as a young adult, there are many new experiences to be made. You may find yourself all packed up and ready to move into to your new “home”, but knowing how safe your new environment is crucial for you and especially for your parents and friends.

You may go to school in a secluded rural area or between the hustle and bustle of a large city, but knowing your surroundings and letting others know where you’ll be can help keep you safe.  You may feel like you know where you live and that “nothing bad can happen” but there can be bad events and bad people at any given time. If you ever find yourself in a risky situation where you don’t feel comfortable, go with your gut feeling and remove yourself before its too late.

Student housing is a great way to build connections with potential friends and your roommates. Its your home away from home and your safe-haven for when you may be feeling stressed out from classwork. Dormitories are notorious for parties, drug use, sex, and unfortunately sexual assault. It is estimated that one out of four college women will be a victim of sexual assault.  College is all about meeting new people, but don’t put yourself or a friend in a situation with a complete stranger.

Saying that “it won’t ever happen” doesn’t always mean that it won’t. Knowing your surroundings and the people you are around is extremely important. Its also important for your parents to know this as well, and what grounds your school stands on sexual assault. Parents may want to give their children space during this time and let them grow in this new college experience. While that may be the case, its also important to stay connected and be informed about what is happening.There are some events that your children may not want to share with you (parties, drinking, etc.) but hearing that they are okay and letting them know that they can talk to you is important. While being away at college you may think your a grown adult, but still keeping your parents informed is not only a good way of staying in touch, but letting them know about your where-abouts. You may feel like a child doing so, but remember that they only care about you and want you to be safe at that party or club.

Your safety is extremely important, and although you may want to make new friends, always travel in groups. If you know that you or your friends are going to be out late, make sure to always leave with each other and to keep a headcount.  Another way to keep connected to your friends on a night out is using the share location option on an iPhone. You can control how long you’d like to share your location and with who’d you like to share it with. Having this feature on may help letting your friends know that you’re okay.

Living away at school is a lot of fun but maintaining your safety is extremely important. Be sure to get to know your surroundings and to let others know of your whereabouts.