College Campuses have changed a lot over the years. And college students have changed as well. There are more distractions and there are even new threats. But the one thing that has not changed is the need to stay safe among it all. So whether it is avoiding danger, or dealing with it once it falls into your lap, there are some things that you need to.
1. Better Situational Awareness
Criminals love a good victim. Anyone who is not paying attention reads as a great target. A criminal knows that they will have the element of surprise that is likely to shake the distracted victim into quick compliance. College campuses specifically demand this practice of increased attention. At universities, a very common thievery style is to run up to someone who is looking at their phone, grab the phone, and keep running. A snatch and grab is easily preventable by simply keeping your head up, and periodically looking around. If you look engaged with your surroundings, you are less likely to be targeted. And if you are actually paying attention, you can prevent someone from getting the drop on you.
2. Self Defense Training
The way you get better at anything is with practice. Luckily in life, you are not under constant attack. But not confronting a problem makes it very easy to forget what it takes to deal with it when something happens.
Another great part about practicing your self-defense in a class setting is that you can become familiar with confrontation with no threat of real harm. And turning your body into a weapon is also helpful. Where you may forget pepper spray, not be able to get to a pocket knife, etc., you will always have yourself.
Training will also boost confidence, which makes you less attractive to criminals. These classes are often available for free or course credit at Universities. And making friends with your classmates can create safer environments as you travel with a group of people trained in self-defense.
3. Investment in Security Products
You certainly want to purchase some form of personal safety device. This serves not only as an aid in a terrible situation but also as a constant reminder of the threats in the world. On campus, you can get thrown off your daily routine with group projects or late night study sessions.
Staying calm is incredibly important in order to handle a dangerous situation. Also having these devices allows you to prepare yourself before a suspicious situation becomes dangerous. If someone is getting too aggressive, or an area seems rather seedy, you can be poised to respond.
4. Travel and Transport Safety
Dealing with cars, bicycles, skateboards, etc., causes a lot of potential safety hazards. When you are in class most of these items need to be locked. Skateboards are often acceptable to bring into class (especially if they are penny boards), but some buildings will not allow this.
In any case, during the locking and unlocking process, it is hard to stay alert. That is why it is so important to remember keys and/or combinations and practice using them quickly. If you are distracted by trying to open a lock, then you may be targeted.
Similarly, if you find that you are locked out of your car , you could be stuck in a remote location for an extended period. This makes you vulnerable to all manner of threats. Be sure that you always have locks and keys to secure these items and regain access to them, so you are not left without your transportation.
5. Read the Situation
Awareness will prepare you for a threat, practice will help your body know how to react, and your safety device will help you stop an attacker. But sometimes you need to be able to assess the situation and make a judgment. As much as I hate to say it, fighting back is not always the best option. Running is frequently the most effective way of escaping a confrontation, and compliance may even be necessary at times.
Each situation will call for something different, but the goal is always the same: keep yourself safe. You should not force yourself to react in the way you think you are supposed to.
However, it is always best to remain calm and composed. Do not let yourself become a doormat, even if you must comply. It is crucial to always maintain a level of control over the situation. Never move to a secondary location, and always look for an opportunity to get away.
Most college campuses are pretty accommodating to the student safety. But you still need to practice staying aware of your surroundings. Colleges even go as far as to promote and allow students to carry with them all manner of personal safety devices. It may also be necessary to seek out self-defense courses at the university.
From there it is a student’s responsibility to practice stay safe while traveling to and from the campus. And no matter what happens, it is always important to read the need of a particular situation. If you practice all of this advice, you are sure to improve your safety while on campus.