Staying Safe on Campus
In the busy, fast paced life of a college student it is common to get so wrapped up in responsibilities that overall safety is neglected. Let's be real, the world can be an ugly, dangerous place. We've all heard the stories of campus violence, drug usage, unsafe sex, etc. So here are some tips on staying safe on campus!
Watch your Surroundings - avoid keeping your head down while walking, or walking in unpopulated areas. Night classes are scary too so stay alert! Try carrying a stun gun with a flashlight or mace to carry with you to and from class day or night.
Guard your Space - watch your food and drinks in public. Seems obvious enough, but I, like many others, can become too comfortable in a place that it becomes an after thought to watch your things. Watch your purse, wallet, keys, and everything else you bring to a place. You can purchase drink testers and alarms to better protect yourself and your belongings.
Never underestimate the power of the Buddy System - The classic "Buddy System" is crucial to safety in a group. My friends and I use it ALL THE TIME. No one strays alone. One has to go to the bathroom so does another. I've literally stood in a one person bathrooms while friends took care of their business. No woman left behind. At stores we travel in groups or pairs, car rides are never lonesome, parties are always social because your girls are always around. People are less likely to approach if you're in a group, which can be a downer if you're trying to meet people but as long as friends are in earshot and eyesight PLUS having your location and phones on... distance can be okay. Alarms, stun guns, and pepper spray can help reassure friends that, God forbid it is necessary, you can defend yourself.
Throw a Punch - That gym you paid for in your tuition, more than likely has classes to teach you how to fight (in different styles). It is a fun way to take care of your personal safety! Even basic moves, like how to throw a punch, can be helpful in fighting off an attacker.
The Art of Consent - This still seems like a hard concept to grasp for some, but simply put - any opposition in sexual activity is NOT consent. If you feel pressured into any sexual activity LEAVE the situation as soon (and as safely) as possible. Keeping a weapon on you, friends nearby, a code word in a group chat, or anything is essential to help you get out of a potentially dangerous situation.
No, Nah, Uh Uh - Sometimes it isn't a predator that can put you at risk, but a friend or acquaintance. Peer pressure is a REAL thing and sometimes hard to see. When you say no, it's no. Point, blank, period. They can call you whatever they want but if you think its safer to stay in your room with ice cream and reruns of The Office, do that. I've turned down many invitations for various reasons, true friends get over it. No means no in ALL relationships.
STD screenings - Getting tested for STDs is important for your health on campus. Campuses offer FREE STD screenings to unsure the sexual health of students. There is no shame in getting tested, it's actually a responsible thing to do. Having unsafe sex is a surefire way to get next level sick. Also go to a doctor with any abnormal bumps, itching, or smells on, around, or in your genital area. It happens, so better safe than sorry.
Contraceptives - They give out condoms like Halloween candy on campuses. My first week of college included a man at a table giving me a full black bag filled with condoms. I was shook but understood the necessity. Make sure to be safe, especially if your campus is like those you'd see on TV.... disease and pregnancy will spread like wildfire! If engaging in sexual activity be safe and responsible. If you take birth control make sure to keep up with it.
World of Drugs - I always thought it was an exaggeration in the media about drug use on college campuses. In my two semesters at university I realized that it really does exist. Be careful when offered to partake in any drug activity especially if you've never done it before. Drugs aren't safe in general but when given by strangers or done in large groups it can increase the danger. Avoid smoking, snorting or taking any drugs. Being in an altered state of mind during college can have some serious consequences if you are caught and/or hospitalized. You can get kicked out, lose scholarships, fired from jobs, and potentially ruin your chances of getting them in the future. As easy as it may be to hide drug use on campus, doesn't mean you have to take advantage of it.
These simple tips can help you avoid some crazy, life threatening situations. Stay safe on campus from your first to last year! Mistakes of course are made, but follow these tips to eliminate the likelihood. Better safe than sorry 💕. Check out fashionablysafe.com for self defense products and more information!