I am a Live Secure Safety Squad Member. All opinions are my own.
Last week, I took my 12-year old son to a crawfish boil at the University of Houston. After we had our fill of mudbugs, we walked around the campus because I wanted to give my son a taste of college life. As we toured the grounds and buildings, my son had many questions about college:
What is dorm life like? It’s fun, but it can also be complicated depending on your roommate.
How do you get around a campus so big? Walk, bike, or take shuttles
What is the food like in the cafeteria? Nothing to write home about.
Are the teachers nice? In college they’re called professors. Some are nice and some are not.
I also talked to my son about being safe in college. While I was in college, I had some of my personal items stolen and I encountered a couple of threatening situations on campus and on the streets of D.C. To help you avoid similar situations, I’d like to share a few college safety tips for parents and students.
Travel in Groups
During my freshman orientation, the counselor shared a lot of information on how to be successful in college. One thing that stuck with me was her safety message. She told us to travel in groups whenever possible, especially at night. This advice proved to be useful one night when I was returning home from a party. My friends and I were walking down the street when a group of guys approached us. One of the guys bumped into me on purpose.
“Hey, man!” I said. “Watch where you’re going.” The guy stopped and asked if I had a problem. One of my friends who was a linebacker in the football team spoke up.
“Yes, we have a problem.” The guy looked at the size of my friend and backed off. If my friends hadn’t been with me, that situation could have ended badly.
There is safety in numbers. Find a buddy who is willing to watch your back.
Protect Your Personal Items
As I mentioned earlier, I had several of my personal items stolen from my dorm room while I was in college. Part of the problem was that I rarely locked my door. In fact, I kept the door open while I visited my friends in the dorm. I guess that I had a false sense of security. After losing a few precious items, I learned the value of locking my door and securing my valuables. I recommend that college students place a Sentry Safe H0100 Small Privacy Lock Chest in their dorm room to store their valuables. For students who ride their bikes around campus, it is also important to make sure it is safe. I suggest the Master Lock 8300D Bike Lock. The combination is easy to set and reset to any length using directional arrows, letters or numbers. Students should also consider Bluetooth Smart Padlocks and Master Lock BCC0615 Door Lock for additional security on campus or for off-campus living.
Know How to Contact Campus Police
Have your son or daughter program the campus security phone number into his or her device so they can quickly call for help if the need ever arises. Many campuses also have panic buttons located around campus to contact campus police. Students should emorize these locations in case they encounter a dangerous situation on campus.
For many students, going to college will be their first experience with living on their own. Taking the proper safety precautions is an important step in making their college years memorable (in a good way).
Join the conversation: Did you ever encounter a dangerous situation in college? Were any of your personal items stolen? If so, how did you handle the situation?