Freshman year is here, and you are officially a collegian. Whether you intend to live on campus or commute, you will soon be moving into a new environment. There will be lots of exciting discoveries to make: classrooms, labs, study nooks, eateries, and fun spots.
Before you run out to explore these new places, take a moment to consider a responsibility of paramount importance—safety. No meeting, class, test, or party is urgent enough to ignore basic safety precautions whether in the dorms or out and about.
We at A+ have three recommendations for your safety on and around campus.
- Get the Facts (Be Informed). Will you be attending an urban school or one in a more rural area? A large university or small college? Don’t make the mistake of assuming that one type of school is automatically dangerous and another perfectly safe. Each campus has its own characteristics and risk factors. The U.S. Department of Education posts a campus safety and security website. You can also visit the website of your school to learn important safety tips (Penn State’s University Police and Public Safety page provides an example). Call and ask questions. Be prepared before you set foot on campus!
- Follow the Experts’ Recommendations. Don’t just absorb the information; use it. If Campus Security provides escorts for travel after dark, use them. If they recommend that students walk to certain areas in groups, do so. If they advise against working in a remote lab alone, don’t. In “9 Ways to Stay Safe on Your College Campus,” Melissa Darcey suggests “download[ing] a personal safety app” (It need not be the exact model she recommends). Another good idea is to make sure someone always knows where you’re going and what time you plan to get there.
- Stay Safe at Home. Safety precautions aren’t folded up and left outside the front door. Whether you live off-campus or in a dorm, remember common sense rules. As you get to know your roommates and housemates, it’s a temptation to leave doors unlocked so that everyone can come and go like one big happy family. However, locks should be unhesitatingly used to secure valuables, to keep unoccupied spaces safe, and to protect you and your roommates when you are sleeping or otherwise inattentive to comings and goings.
Also, remember that crime is not the only hazard to guard against in your living space. Make sure your home or dorm has working smoke detectors and a fire extinguisher. A carbon monoxide detector isn’t a bad idea either.
Students come to universities and colleges to obtain all sorts of knowledge. The one lesson everyone needs to learn is how to stay safe.
At A+ Test Prep and Tutoring, our focus is always on you. Our practices are based on the latest developments in educational theory and research. Our excellent team of tutors can help with standardized testing, executive functioning, or achievement in any other school subject. If you would like more information, Client Service Directors Anne Stanley and Susan Ware are available to answer questions and provide solutions. You may reach either of them by calling A+ Test Prep and Tutoring at 215-886-9188.