Safety Tips For Students In America
I often hear people who want to study in the US expressing their safety concerns. Most of the times, those concerns relate to guns. Yes, jumping into a gun-loving society doesn’t sound great. However, there are many ways to stay safe, not just from guns, but from other dangers of American life, as well. The more you know the risks, the more you are likely to keep yourself from danger.
Here are a few things to think about when it comes to keeping yourself safe during your time in the US.
1. Know which part of the city is relatively dangerous.
Any big cities have some areas where you do not want to step in. In general, the crime rates in those areas are relatively higher than the other parts of the city.
Before you visit any big cities, please make some research before your visit, and know your surroundings. Also, if you are going out to the new places, please plan to go out with your friends. You will less likely to be robbed or attacked when you are in a group rather walking alone.
Once you arrived the city, try to stay in a well-lit and populated area. You will have higher chance to encounter this you do not want to experience in dark and not populated area. Also, if you do not have your friend with you, it is not smart to withdraw money from an ATM outside. You and your cash will be safer if you withdraw money from an ATM inside of a building.
2. Know where your campus resources are.
If you get serious cold during a semester, what would you do? Going to the Health Center often helps you providing some medication. Also, Learning Center is the one you would love to bring your paper to have somebody check your paper organization and grammar. The best thing about those resources is that they are free most of the time. Try to be attentive about campus resources you have in your college and utilize it.
Also, campus safety, or also called campus police, is a good resource for you to keep your surroundings safe. I am sure you have heard of some police shootings in America, but it is not good to overgeneralize the police in the US. Campus safeties rarely shoot people, and truly can be a good resource.
For example, if you have to work a long way from library to your dorm in the midnight, you can call campus security to pick you up or walk with you. You may think it sounds too much to ask police to walk you with you, but do not forget that about one in four university students in America has experienced some sort of sexual assaults on campus.
In a case you went through some sexual assaults or harassments, you can always talk to those campus resources including Student Life Department, Health Center, or campus police also. Each college has their own policy to handing sexual assaults, which you may want to find in your college website and go over. Those policies are to help and safe an assaulted student, and your privacy and information will be confidential.
3. Know the risks surrounding alcohol.
Drinking alcohol is a popular activity in most college party scenes across the country. It’s okay to go to a party, but you should always ensure that you stay safe and stay smart when alcohol is involved. Many times, students in college will drink before they’re 21-years-old — the legal drinking age in the US.
However, getting caught drinking “under-aged” can lead to serious legal trouble, especially for international students. Know the risks, and, if you choose to take a chance and drink before you’re legally allowed, recognize the consequences if you get caught.
Additionally, sexual abuse and assault often occur when people are drunk. While your newfound freedom may tempt you to overindulge, try not to drink too much, stick with your trusted group of friends, and stay alerted to recognize dangerous situations.
Sometimes people may even try to slip what are known as “rape drugs” into your drinks. Try not to let your drink out of your sight, and never drink anything you didn’t open or pour yourself. Again, if something you did not want happen occurred while you were drunk, please remember that your campus resources and school policy against sexual assaults are there to help you.
4. Avoid drugs.
I can guarantee that there is at least one person who uses drugs in your hall. So many college students in the US have access to drugs somehow. Marijuana and cocaine are popularly used among students, but there is no “safe drug” to use, so please know what would be the risk of using drugs for your body and brain.
It could be possible that your friend or neighbor gives you a drug without informing you what really it is. In that case, do not intake them unless you are sure it is what you want. If you were forced to intake drug, you should go to the Health Center afterwards. Anything done by somebody without your vocal consensus it is considered as an assault.
If you do not want to use the drug, please keep yourself away from it. Since sometimes people in the trance under drugs do outrageous things. It is smart to leave when people started using drugs in front of you.
In sum, knowing your risks and proactively taking steps to keep yourself safe are the most important things to remember. Stay in a group and chose well-lit and populated streets when you visit new places. Be smart when you drink, and image what danger you might see when people around you started taking drugs in front of you. Also, know your school policies to the assaults and know whom you can go talk to when unwilling things happened. Please have a safe and fun college life in the US!