While college is an exciting time in our academic career, you should remember that being safe throughout your entire experience at university is just as important as earning a degree. These are the seven main things to watch out for on college campuses nationwide:

1. Sexual Assault

Studies show that 11.2% of all college students, including both undergraduates and graduates (male and female), will experience sexual assault or rape during their time at university. Majority of the time, sexual assault occurs when a victim is intoxicated at a party. If attending one, always go with a group of people – and watch out for each other during it as well.

2. Robbery/Theft

Never leave personal items unattended – even for a split second. Keep them close to you at all times. Furthermore, move all visible items in your car to the trunk. You don’t want to give off the impression there are valuables in the vehicle. College campus parking lots are often isolated and unsupervised, making it easy for someone to break a window, grab what they want, and escape undetected.

3. Drugs and Alcohol

Drugs and alcohol can always be found on a college campus. In the situation where you are in the presence of the aforementioned substances, avoid accepting them from a stranger or leaving your drink or food unattended. People can easily slip drugs into whatever you’re consuming and then take advantage of you. Subsequently, you may also be offered study drugs to enhance your focus on completing assignments or diminishing stress. But the study drug risks far outweigh the benefits: the abuse of study drugs can cause a heart attack, stroke, and even death.

4. The Wrong Crowd

Don’t associate yourself with people who make you feel uncomfortable or are morally questionable individuals. These unhealthy influences do nothing but bring negativity into your life. A social circle should be comprised of people who value the same qualities and goals as you, motivate you to succeed, and wholeheartedly accept who you are.

5. Social Media Stalkers.

In this age of technology, anything and everything can be found on social media – making it easy for stalkers to keep tabs on you. If you’re an active user of social media, limit what you post on a feed, such as personal information and locations. You never know who is meticulously scrolling through your posts.

6. City Crime

Crime doesn’t stop once you leave campus; it has a fair share of activity in the surrounding city as well. Familiarize yourself with the city’s common crime areas and the rate of how often crime happens there overall. Therefore, you can learn to travel around these areas and lessen your likelihood of running into trouble.

7. Potential Fire Risks

A risk that usually never crosses a college student’s mind is the potential of a fire happening in their dorm. The accident of burning food or leaving a candle unattended can turn into a dangerous situation! Additionally, pay mind to your electrical outlets and make sure that no liquid spills anywhere near or on them. Not only do you put yourself at risk for starting a fire, but electrocution too.

The most important thing to prioritize in college is your safety. As long as you are cautious both day and night, educate yourself on basic safety skills, and stay aware of your surroundings, you never have to worry about feeling afraid or unprepared when on campus.