5 Safety tips for girls leaving for college

The new school year is fast approaching and for thousands of young women that means leaving home to be on their own for the first time. This experience can be both liberating and exciting, but it’s also important to remember the dangers that can arise when being away from the safety net of family and home. Here are 5 safety tips,

Know & Enforce Your Boundaries

The most important thing to do is set your personal boundaries. First, we need to establish what is our “comfort zone” and what can make us feel discomfort. Discover your boundaries and remember them when you find yourself in a situation that makes you feel uncomfortable.

 Once your boundaries are set, be firm in your boundaries and express them both verbally and through body language. Once you’ve established your boundaries it’s extremely important to re-enforce them if you feel they are being crossed or compromised. Your safety comes first and anything that makes you uncomfortable should be voiced immediately.

Share Your Location

College can be a great place to meet people and build connections (both romantic and professional) but it’s important that whenever you meet-up with people you are connecting with, you take some precautions. Always tell your friends, family, or roommates where you are headed. Share your location with people you trust for an extra layer of security. In a situation where you’re meeting someone for the first time, the safest thing to do is to pick the place that is familiar to you. Maybe one where you know people on the staff. Having someone you know present can make all the difference in a situation that goes awry.

Never Leave Your Drink Unattended

Let’s say it, an inevitable aspect of the college experience is partying. At parties it’s not uncommon to be offered drinks and/or drugs and so it’s important to keep your guard up even when you’re having a good time. The first and most important rule of drinking at a party is to never leave your drink unattended. You never know what someone might try to slip into your drink when you aren’t paying attention, and keeping your drink in your line of vision can help prevent someone from drugging you.

 When drinking from cups at a party, always be present when someone pours your drink especially when it’s handed to you by someone else. Always drink responsibly, stay on guard, and prioritize your safety over a good time.

It’s Okay To Change Your Mind

Sometimes in the moment things can escalate and you can find yourself in a situation that at first seemed appealing, but suddenly it makes you uncomfortable. It’s okay to change your mind about any situation that affects your sense of comfort and safety. Your boundaries should be respected at all times, and you should never feel bad or guilty for doing what you feel is best for you. No one can force you into anything you don’t want to do, and if they try to, it’s important to remove yourself from the situation as quickly as possible. Anyone who tries to push you into doing anything you’re uncomfortable with isn’t worth your time or energy. People who respect you and your boundaries will never pressure you.

Weapons are Useless Without Training – Your BODY Is The Best Weapon

In an attempt to feel safer some young women have taken to carrying weapons such as a small knife or pepper spray when they travel in public. Items like this can often provide a false sense of security and are almost useless when employed without the proper understanding on how to use them. Also if the weapon isn’t in a place that’s quickly accessible, it’s likely that an assailant will successfully attack you before you get to your weapon or while you’re trying to locate it. Remember that just wielding a weapon isn’t a realistic form of protection, and it can be dangerous to rely on one without also having the proper skills to help disengage a threat.