One of the best things about being a student is partying like a student, whether it's a house party, raving at a club, chilling in a bar or going for a good old gossip down the pub. But while you're out enjoying yourself, you still have to take into account your personal safety.
Here are a few tips:
Never leave your drink unattended. It could be the perfect opportunity for someone to spike it.
If you are buying a bottled drink, make sure the bottle they open is still sealed and that the bar staff open it in front of you.
Don't walk anywhere on your own when it's dark. If you're out in a group, stick together. If you're on your own, keep your phone and a taxi number handy, or pre book just to be sure. If you know that you will be in a position where you will have to walk home by yourself and you are concerned about your safety, invest in a personal attack alarm. They are readily available and will cost no more than about £5
Laundry – Most students will go late at night to do laundry when the laundrette is empty, but this is a perfect breeding ground for attackers/muggers/etc. go with a group of friends or go in the daytime.
Public Restrooms – there is a good reason why women go to the toilet in pairs!! If public restrooms are out of the way and often quiet, there could be anyone lurking about inside.
Car Parks – Try to avoid parking in car parks when you know you will be out late. Especially avoid spaces next to hedges or alleyways where someone could hide and wait for you. If possible, park on the main street or in a busy well-lit area.
If you think you are being harassed or stalked by someone, it is important not to put yourself in a situation where they could take advantage of you. Don't set routines, try and stay with friends at all times, and alert the police if you think it is a serious matter.
Jogging – If you're partial to the early morning or evening jog, be aware that it is very easy for someone to plan an attack. Most joggers have a set routine that they stick to, jog in secluded areas when it is quiet and will usually have music on. Get together with a group of friends or jog in a busier area . . . or if you're really stuck then there's always the treadmill at the gym.
Room/Home safety – whether you are in halls or renting a room in a house/flat, safety is a very important factor. Never leave your room unlocked, even if you're just popping out for five minutes. That's plenty of time for someone to get into your room and help themselves to whatever they want. Don't leave your valuables where they will be easy to get at. Be smart and keep them hidden away. If you live in a house make sure that all windows and doors are locked when the house is empty. If you don't fully trust your housemates, make sure there is a lock on your door. As a paying tenant you should be entitled to one.
It is also important to check about insurance. Some students may be covered by their parents home and contents insurance, so check out their policy before you leave. If that is not the case, it is important to get insurance asap so that you are covered if anything happens.