The high school years are in the rearview mirror, and you’re adjusting to an amazing new chapter in your life. Parents are feeling like empty nesters and all of a sudden you’re becoming “Miss Independent.” The happy dance begins, but reality soon sets in as you take that first step into the adult world.
Getting to college is an important milestone and you want to be equipped with the knowledge and skills to handle college life whether you’re a freshman or senior.
College campuses are a maze of buildings, dorms and facilities, and it takes a village just to find the dining hall! Don’t wait until you get on campus before checking the school safety record, policies and rules. Parents and students should also research prospective campuses for their safety ratings as a part of the decision-making process.
The risks for women on campus
The Office on Women’s Health in the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services denotes that studies show students are at the highest risk of sexual assault in the first few months of their first and second semesters in college. Sexual assault is common among female students of all ages, races and ethnicities. One in five women in college experiences a sexual assault.
- Visit your school’s safety office when you arrive on campus to ask about their services: emergency blue light telephone stations, safety escort, secure routes.
- Take extra precautions at night by using the buddy system. Download the campus map and add a personal safety app to your phone.
- Give your class schedules to your parents, close friends and add emergency contact information.
- Social Media – make your accounts private. Avoid taking selfies outside your dorm or apartment building.
- Walk with confidence, know your surroundings and avoid shortcuts. Use a campus shuttle if available.
- Lock your car and keep your keys in your hand. Park in well-lit areas. Keep your cell phone in your hand, but wait until you’re in a safe place before calling friends.
- Safety supplies – check with the campus safety office for recommendations.
- Always lock your dorm or apartment doors before leaving. Secure your valuables in a small safe.
- If you have to travel alone, make sure a roommate, close friend or relative knows where you’re going and when you’ll be back.
Parents step aside while you begin this journey knowing you want to create your own experiences. But be alert so you can make the most of college life. Don’t forget what your parents have taught you about being a strong woman as you head for success!
The information on this site is intended to raise awareness and understanding of specific health issues. It should not be used for diagnosis or as a substitute for healthcare by your physician.