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College Safety: Expect the Unexpected

posted Apr 16, 2014, 8:01 PM by Unknown user   [ updated May 12, 2014, 8:31 AM by Unknown user ]

Madi Endicott

The class of 2014 has been together in little old Van Buren, Ohio, for 13 years. As they prepare to head their separate ways come this fall, many are excited about their upcoming college experience. There are important things to remember, though, as seniors head off to shiny new cities and embark on their independent lives away from the comfort of VB.

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As an independent individual in a new place it is just as much the student’s job as it is the college board’s job to be equipped and prepared for unexpected situations.

One way to ensure a safe college experience is to be aware of the facilities and services colleges provide for students.

In college, Mom isn’t there 24-7 to take temperatures and make chicken noodle soup, so when flu season rolls around or something got into the cafeteria food it’s up to the student to take care of himself/herself. Fortunately, many colleges have some form of a student care center to help when these situations arise. Care centers have everything and anything students need from a flu vaccination to a dose of cough syrup and many are open 24-7, and many colleges’ services are free.

Nearly all colleges house safety services as well, which enforce a safe living environment for students by providing a round-the-clock escort service, responding to criminal activity, and they even help students who are locked out of their dorm.

Though college campuses go to great lengths to provide a safe and comfortable learning environment for students, there is no way to sugar-coat the dangerous happenings on nearly all college campuses.

While almost all college students are underage, the presence and consumption of alcohol is prevalent in the college atmosphere. “At least 50% of college student sexual assaults are associated with alcohol use,” according to College Safety Magazine. As an independent in this sort of environment, preparation and awareness are key. Taking up self-defense is a great way to prepare your body for any sort of attack and it can help keep off the dreaded “freshman fifteen.” Many public colleges offer classes or similar classes in the student recreation center and this can be a fun thing to do with friends.

College Safety Magazine also claimed that, “Among college students who were sexually assaulted, 35% of attempted rapes occurred on dates, 22% of threatened rapes occurred on dates, and 12% of completed rapes occurred on dates.” While college provides a new relationship pool, it can be a dangerous one. A way to avoid this when looking for a relationship is to double date with a friend. To ensure personal safety on a date or anywhere is to carry a can of pepper spray or mace. Many can be purchased at Dunham’s or DICK’s and come in the form of a key chain, making transportation and accessibility easy.

It is also important for students stay protected from themselves. With college comes a lot of stress and pressure to find a perfect future. This can overwhelm many students and can even affect their health. According to Healthline, “Suicide is the third leading cause of death among college students,” and, “1 out of every 4 college students suffers from some form of mental illness, including depression.” College can be stressful, hectic, and demanding at times, making it difficult to see the ultimate goal. Remember that perfection is unattainable, so falling short of the finish line doesn’t make someone a loser: it just makes them a tryer, which is what we all are in life, anyway. If a student does feel depressed, treatment is a must and can be found at the student health/care center.

While the seniors travel their separate paths, they must remember that the world outside of Van Buren can be dangerous and it is important to take necessary measures to ensure that their college experience is enjoyable and safe.