If you are graduating or have just graduated high school, and embarking on your journey to college, you will probably be a bit overwhelmed by the prospect of freedom. There are many things to do at college that can consume your time. No matter how much work you put into it from the start, it is still possible to ensure that your safety is maintained throughout your first year.
College is an exciting time, but it can also be pretty challenging. As a part of this transition, many students begin to consider their new environment, and how to best adapt to the subject changes occurring in their classes. This includes making sure that they have ample supplies and resources available.
For students who are living on campus, it is important to be aware of security features and protocols in place. It’s key to get to know your campus safety or security office, every school has one. You can make the most of this resource by contacting them during office hours and visiting their online safety resources. Other security tips include:
It is also important for young people to know what resources are available to them should they experience a mental health crisis, or need to advocate for their needs.
In a research conducted by the NY Times they found that:
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 1 in 3 high school students experienced persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness in 2019, representing a 40 percent increase since 2009.
Once they arrive on campus, these problems don’t go away. A survey conducted in March by Inside Higher Ed and College Pulse found that undergraduate students were more than twice as likely to rate their overall mental health as “poor” (22 percent) versus “excellent” (9 percent).
If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health crisis, please connect with your college’s counseling center or seek help from the following resources:
When young people are faced with a difficult situation, they may be unsure of where to turn for help.
It is important for college students to feel comfortable speaking out about anything that concerns them and asking for help when needed.
College campuses should be able to provide resources that can help students feel safe and secure on campus. If there is an emergency situation on campus, it is important to know where to find help within a university community. Campus security should be able to provide help if needed as well as alert students of any evacuation procedures that may be necessary.
Some resources may be called: The Office for Inclusive Excellence offers education and services such as the Center for Women and Gender Advocacy (WGAC), the Office on Sexual Assault and Violence Prevention (OSAVP), and the Center for Diversity and Inclusion (CDI).
It is important to know your neighbors and other students whom you will encounter during your classes and in your building. This will help you stay safe from harm.
Be alert at all times: Keep an eye out for suspicious behavior, and report it immediately so that it can be handled properly. Do not let anyone into your room without permission.
Do not go anywhere alone: Please consider the safety of yourself and others by avoiding going out alone at night or during the day if you are unsure about the situation.
Always keep an eye on your surroundings when walking on campus grounds, especially after dark when there may be more people around than usual; this includes parking garages, sidewalks, and other outdoor areas where others may be walking or working nearby during regular business hours (such as libraries).
Finally, there are many safety tips and tricks that can help all students feel more prepared for their time away from home. Here are some:
College is an exciting place, but there are things you can do to make it safer and more enjoyable.
We hope that these tips will prove useful to you and enhance the opportunities you have at college. And if there's one more, it's this: remember to have fun! College is a time of great growth and change, but with some preparation and foresight, your time there can be safe and rewarding--and fun.
While it is unlikely that you'll be able to foresee every problem and danger, there are a few precautions you can take to stay safe. So before you start college, take time to consider the options outlined above, and take any reasonable steps you can to avoid falling victim to scams or other crimes. After all, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
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