5 Back-to-School Safety Tips When You Start College

Author: PeopleFinders on May 19th, 2020
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Starting college is an amazing experience. For many people, it’s the first time they’re getting out of their parents’ house, and it provides the perfect transition from being dependent upon your parents to being independent. Especially if you’re living in a dorm or other college housing, it’s a great way to strike out on your own.

However, when you’re over 18 and living on your own, it’s even more important to keep safety in mind. You’re responsible for your life now, and that includes being responsible for your safety. Utilize these five important college safety tips to make sure your college experience is as safe as it is exciting:

1. Party with Friends

Whether you’re going out to a bar to celebrate your 21st birthday or are having a good time at a Halloween house party, it’s important that you stick with other people you know. Parties are typically fun and safe. But there’s always the possibility that, in the commotion, you’ll end up in a dangerous situation.

When you stay around your friends while you’re out, you get to take advantage of a number of benefits. People don’t usually like to tangle with groups of people; there’s safety in numbers. Staying in a group also means that at least one of you is likely to sense if something is wrong. Lastly, if something does go wrong, there are more people available to help.

2. Utilize Campus Escorts

Campus escorts are an option that most campuses have, but that many students don’t know about. When you utilize a campus escort, a security officer or law enforcement official will walk with you to or from a location on campus.

They’re unfortunately an underutilized resource. But they’re an amazing option, especially if you routinely have classes or meetings that get out after dark, and you don’t have friends to walk with.

3. Map Out Your Travel Routes

When you move to a new place, you may have trouble navigating the area at first. However, wandering around trying to figure out where to go can sometimes make you a target. It’s important that every time you’re walking or driving to a destination, you know where you’re going and how you’re going to get there.

Your first choice should be to use a navigation app to make sure you get to the right place when you don’t know where you’re going. If you’re regularly making a specific trip — for example, if you live off campus and have to drive to classes every day — you should map it out and use the same route every time.

4. Lock Things Up

Unfortunately, many people have a misplaced sense of security when it comes to their home and car. You may assume that just because you haven’t heard of any crimes in the area recently, you don’t need to worry about anything. However, it only takes one mistake for you to become a victim.

The good news is that it’s simple to avoid these issues. It doesn’t matter if you’re merely stepping out for a few minutes; lock your doors! If you need to place a spare key in case of emergency, do it somewhere no one would suspect. Don’t put a spare key under the doormat or in a plant; create a safe place that isn’t traditionally used.

If you usually need to park on the street, lock your car doors as well. And never leave anything in your car that could be tempting to a thief walking by.

5. Be Careful Who You’re Hanging Out With

One of the most important things to keep in mind throughout your college life is to choose the right people to hang out with. They need to be safe to be around, especially if you’re by yourself. However, if there’s someone with a violent past in your midst, he or she is unlikely to be forthcoming with that info. With PeopleFinders, you don’t need to rely upon anyone’s word.

As long as they (and you) are over 18 years-old, PeopleFinders can help you try and make sure that your friends are safe to be around. Whenever you start hanging out with someone, try to perform a criminal records search on that person. The info you find may be able to tell you whether he or she has a hidden criminal past. Then, you can make your own judgment on whether or not to spend time with this person.


Staying safe on a college campus isn’t as difficult as you might think. All you need to do is take these extra precautions; if you’re careful to stick to them, you can feel more confident in your safety, as well as a more fun and rewarding college experience.

Image attribution: Adam Calaitzis – stock.adobe.com

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Categorized in: Safety