Whether you are a first time or seasoned parent sending your child off to college in the near future, There are surely things you are nervous about. Among the many important things to discuss with your child staying safe while away from home should top the list.
1 in every 22 college students will experience a crime during their time at school, and 1 in 5 college women will be sexually assaulted.
It is important to help prepare your student with guidelines to keep themselves safe. Although your child may seem uninterested in the conversation, it is important to stress some basic safety tips with them. https://www.bestcolleges.com/resources/campus-safety-guide
- Heads up cell phone down, be aware of your surroundings at all times.
- Do not walk alone at night, there is safety in numbers. Take advantage of your school’s escort program if walking alone is your only option, some schools offer a free shuttle service.
- Set up ICE (in case of emergency contacts) in your phone.
- Look into smart safety apps like: circle of 6 – connects with your closest contacts when you are on your own. https://www.circleof6app.com/ Bsafe– an SOS button sends an alarm to your emergency contacts with your Location with audio and video. https://getbsafe.com/
- Be careful what you post online, posting your whereabouts also shares your exact location with people you do not know.
- Know where your campuses emergency phones are located (normally under a blue light)
- Sign up for your school’s emergency updates.
- Know your limits and be true to yourself.
- NEVER leave a drink unattended or turn your back on it.
- Never accept a drink from a stranger …. Even water- the two most common date rape drugs are colorless, tasteless, and odorless. These drugs have been used on both sexes so do not think you are immune if you are male.
- Know how to protect yourself while using ride share apps
- Carry a form of self-defense with you when walking at night (pepper spray or whistle)
- See something say something – report suspicious behavior
- Make sure you cover your webcam camera when you are not using the camera function on your PC or Laptop. Recommended by the FBI, covering your webcam protects your privacy and ensures that nobody is able to record you without your knowledge.
- If something happens to you, make sure you report it right away!
- Ask for help if you are feeling overwhelmed – nearly 1 in 5 college students are affected by anxiety or depression.
- It is perfectly normal to feel homesick at times- talk about it. – best cure for that… call your parent, rest assured they are missing you too.
- The best advice for parents with students going off to college is to keep the lines of communication open.