The start of a new school year can be daunting. Moving into a new apartment, new roommates and new classes can all be a bit overwhelming. Unfortunately, campus safety is one more worry to add to the list. Ensuring you feel safe and secure while at school is vital. In order to make the best of your college experience, here are a few tips to follow.

PARTY SMART

The start of a new school year means lots of partying. It is important to note that it is possible to celebrate and be safe at the same time. The key to safe partying is to remain in control. Never leave your drink alone on a table, even for just a few minutes. If you must put your cup down, do not return to drinking it. Instead, pour yourself a new drink.  Date rape drugs can so easily be added without anyone noticing. Never trust that your drink was exactly how you left it.

When it is time to leave the party, opt for a ride with a close friend or an Uber. Never ride in a car with anyone who has had more than a drink or two. If you are ever in doubt of someone’s capability to drive, do not risk it. Furthermore, do not accept rides from anyone you do not know. Do not trust that everyone has your best interests in mind.

BE AWARE OF SURROUNDINGS

Whether you are on your way to class or walking home from the gym, always be aware. Never walk around while on the phone. Instead, pay constant attention to your surroundings. Attackers often go for victims that are distracted. Especially at night, keep a lookout to make sure that no one is following you. If you are ever in doubt of your safety, call the local or campus police.

BE FAMILIAR WITH YOUR CAMPUS

Before classes start, ensure that you are well-versed on all areas of your campus’ safety features. Know where the campus security office and police station is. Also find out how to use the emergency phone stations, which are located throughout the campus. These features are offered specifically to make you feel safe, so take advantage of them.

LOCK UP

Always lock up your apartment or house when leaving, even if it is only for a short time. Ensure that balcony doors and windows are locked, especially if you live on the first floor. When leaving your home, do not leave your valuables in clear view. Stash laptops, tablets and any jewelry out of plain sight.

KEEP PRIVATE

Starting school is exciting, and it is understandable to want to share this with friends and family. While it is fine to post on social media about your new experiences, ensure that you are not oversharing. Posting locations of where you are will allow anyone to see where you are, including those you do not know. Also, avoid announcing if you are at home alone or leaving your home empty.

PREPARE YOURSELF

Confidence in yourself speaks more than most know. Feel safe and confident that you can defend yourself if needed by preparing beforehand. Sign up for a self-defense class at your local gym. Many campuses offer these classes free of charge to students. Take advantage of being able to prepare yourself for the situation if it ever arises.

Do not forget to stock up on your self-defense needs at Self Defense Superstore. Purchase a pepper spray to keep on your key chain and tasers to keep in your car. Ensuring that you are well-prepared will prevent you from ever being a victim.