If you have a high school senior that is heading to college in the fall, it is important to prepare them for a wide variety new experiences. A college campus is its own community that may include certain dangers. Sadly, crime is common on college campuses so you want to ensure your student will stay safe. Below are a few topics to discuss:
· Secured residence. Whether your student will live in a dorm, apartment or house near campus, he or she must always keep the doors and windows locked. It is common for college kids to prop doors open, leave windows open and even fail to lock the front door. This leaves your student and his or her possessions in jeopardy.
· Safe travel on campus. Make sure your student is in the habit of telling somebody where he or she will be going and an expected time of return. This is particularly important when the student will be deviating from a normal routine. You should tell your student to always carry a cell phone and a small flashlight. Some students carry pepper spray, but it is important to never carry a firearm because guns are prohibited by the security policies of most universities. Finally, if your student will be using a car at college, tell him or her to always park in a well-lit parking lot or garage.
· Campus escorts. Most colleges offer students with free and safe escorted travel when on campus after dark. Make sure your student has the contact information for the campus escort service saved on his or her cell phone. Your student should also be familiar with where emergency phones are located on the campus.
· Social media. If your student enjoys posting where he or she will be, make sure the privacy settings are adjusted so only trusted parties will see the information.
Finally, and most importantly, tell you student to use common sense. It is easy to feel comfortable and safe at college, but you want him or her to also be alert and aware of the potential dangers.
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