Stay safe on campus: Smart senses

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Raqshan Khan
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As the new academic year approaches, many new college students will be required to take an online course or attend a seminar put on by their school administration about the possibilities of encountering violent situations or staying safe in high risk situations. Here are some simple steps in order to avoid such scenarios and that starts with using your senses.

Keep your eyes and ears open

If you are like most people, once you settle into your daily routine, you begin to get comfortable with your surroundings. While it’s great to get familiar with the place you will be calling home during the school year, it is equally important to make sure you stay aware. You may find yourself going through your daily routines in a relaxed state and unaware of what is going on around you. This can be very dangerous. One basic thing you can do in order to prevent avoidable danger is to pay attention to the sights and sounds around you whether you are at home or going about your day outside. Moving your alertness to a level of attention can prevent you from being totally surprised by the actions of another person.  

Trust your instincts

Trust your instincts when it comes to your safety. If someone is making you feel uncomfortable or unsafe for any reason, you have the right to make it stop, whether that is declining to give out your number to a stranger or asking a classmate not to stand so close. You should not hesitate to make sure you feel safe. Do not feel that you need to remain polite to someone who is trying to make you do something or be in a situation you are not comfortable with. Whenever you feel like you need to make someone back off, yell. Do not hesitate if you feel awkward or think it will embarrass the aggressor. The action could save you from a potentially dangerous situation. Trust your gut and get away.

Carry pepper spray

Carrying pepper spray has to do with your senses in knowing when to use it. It not only gives you a good defense, but it deters potential aggressors just seeing you carry it. It is smart to make sure you learn how to use pepper spray as soon as you get it, otherwise you could end up hurting yourself with it. If you are confronted by someone who is making you feel unsafe and you are unable to escape, raise your pepper spray, aiming at their eyes, and shout at them to stop. If you are loud enough and can attract attention, it might be enough to deter the aggressor alone. If not, the presence of the pepper spray may be a strong deterrent for a potential attacker. Only if they don’t back down after seeing the pepper spray should you use it.

College is a time for new adventures and fun, but make sure you are keeping your safety in mind as well. Your senses are your first defense in avoiding a dangerous situation.  Have a great time, but trust yourself in how you are feeling.


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