The internet is full of college survival guides that teach you everything from how to settle into campus life to how to create simple meals in your dorm room. But many of these guides forget about the real survival tips that will help keep you safe on campus. With all the fun and frivolity of campus life, it’s easy to forget that you could put yourself at risk without following some common sense safety tips like the ones below.
Be a Buddy, Have a Buddy
The old saying that there is safety in numbers certainly holds true in college. Pair up with a buddy when you’re socializing in and around campus. If you’re about to make a poor choice, your buddy should be able to help you out and vice versa. You’re also less likely to be a victim of a crime if you’ve got a friend by your side.
You don’t need to be joined at the hip, but you should keep an eye on your buddy and know where he or she is throughout the night. If your buddy wants to leave an event with someone else, make sure it’s a smart choice. Never leave your buddy behind at a party, especially if he or she is drinking and may not make the right decisions later.
Avoid Pre-Mixed Drinks
If you are drinking, avoid pre-mixed drinks. Cups of pre-mixed spirits can contain the alcohol equivalent of more than two standard drinks. Pre-mixed spirits are often mixed with juices or sodas which makes them easier to drink more quickly, unlike beer and wine which people tend to sip. That means that when you choose pre-mixed drinks, you’re drinking more-potent drinks, often at a faster rate.
Alcohol in carbonated drinks is absorbed more quickly into the bloodstream, so these drinks will raise your blood alcohol level faster. If you can’t resist pre-mixed drinks, set yourself a hard limit and don’t exceed it. And remember, when at a party, NEVER drink anything out of a bucket, vat, trashcan, or other bulk-type vessel. These tend to be cheap fruity mixers and low-quality alcohol (and occasionally worse things like date-rape drugs) made for the purpose of getting as many people as drunk as can be for as cheap as possible. If you don’t know what’s in it (or you think you do but you’re a little skeptical), don’t put it in your body.
If You See Something, Say Something
“If You See Something, Say Something” isn’t just a good policy for national security. It can also help maintain a safe college campus. Look out for anything that seems unusual, like anyone forcibly entering a dorm room or vehicle, strangers loitering around campus buildings, people carrying weapons, or packages left unattended. If you see something that doesn’t seem quite right, alert your college police or campus security. Keep the campus police number in your phone so you can access it easily at any time.
Wear Reflective Vests When Riding at Night
Bicycles and skateboards make it easy to get around campus quickly. Helmets will keep you safe during the day, but when night falls, it’s smart to up your safety measures and wear a reflective vest. Admittedly these vests are never at the height of fashion, but they’ll help cars spot you and reduce your risk of getting hit.
College is meant to be enjoyed, but that doesn’t mean you don’t need to think about safety. Keep your wits about you and take steps like these to stay safe on campus.