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Personal Safety Rules: 5 Safety Tips for College Students

Your teenager will soon be leaving home to live on his or her own for the first time. Or perhaps your teenager has already left home for college. Either way, parents will want to make sure their teenager understands the basics of personal safety for college students. Here are five safety tips for college students worth sharing.

5 Personal Safety Tips for College Students

1. Awareness.

Be alert. Being aware of yourself, your surroundings, and other people around you is your best self-defense. Don’t walk around campus or a big city texting or with your earbuds in. Have your keys out and ready so you don’t have to fumble for them.

2. Use your sixth sense.

Your intuition is a powerful subconscious insight into situations and people. If something feels wrong, pay attention—your gut instinct might just be right. If someone feels wrong — certainly if an individual is threatening you in any way — leave immediately. Never worry about politeness in this type of situation.

3. Lock your doors.

Keep your doors and windows locked when you aren’t home. Depending where your teenager is living, it may also be advisable to keep doors locked when they are at home—and windows closed at night. Don’t open your door unless you know the person knocking, or can verify they have a legitimate reason for being there (hello, pizza order). Make sure that your car doors are locked and windows rolled up, and when you are driving, leave enough space between you and the car in front of you to allow you to maneuver in an emergency (e.g. pull around car).

4. Rely on the buddy system.

Walk with others at night, including to and from your car, the library, or where ever else. Stay on well-lit, commonly traveled paths. Always tell a friend where you’re going and when you plan to return. Ask campus security for an escort if you are alone late at night. When at a party or a bar, look out for your friends and ask friends to look out for you.

5. Remember other students are strangers, too.

Don’t take rides from strangers, even other students. Never accept a drink from someone you don’t know well. Be cautious about giving out your personal information.

Jane Parent, former editor at Your Teen, is the parent of three.

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