When you enter college/university, you’re expected to be more independent. In charge of your own schedule, responsible for figuring out your commute, deciding whether or not it’s best to attend your classes, committing to completing your assignments especially if working with other people, the list goes on. However, it’s important to remember that being independent doesn’t mean always being alone.
Staying Safe At School: Designate A Person To Frequently Contact
It’s a good idea to let someone know of your whereabouts often, whether your school is near or far from home. This could be a parent, close friend, or significant other. Whomever you trust, this person should be updated on where you go and when you arrive at these places. This is one way to stay safe at school.
Staying Safe At School: One Buddy Per Class
Another way to stay safe at school is by making at least one friend in each of your classes. When people think of making friends in post-secondary school, it’s usually for the purpose of having help and support to succeed in those classes. People we may interact with to simply keep as “Study Buddies” can also be people to rely on to stay safe at school.
There’s no need to become super close with them but having one person you’re friendly enough with is good. As humans we’re capable of being concerned about someone especially when some kindness is exchanged. Being able to contact someone or have them check on you in case you find yourself in a situation makes loved ones worry less.
I speak parting from a time when I was grateful to have a friend by my side when I suddenly felt ill during a class.
Luckily it was towards the end of class and I had no others to attend afterwards which meant I could go straight home. By that I mean start my commute to go home; I took public transportation which was at least an hour.
My cramps had kicked in very badly to the point that I could barely move. Though the pain was only coming from one area, every movement I made was difficult. The professor had dismissed us and my friend who was sitting beside me noticed I wasn’t packing up my things. I was holding my stomach and I think she could tell from my face exactly what I was experiencing. She offered to help me. We walked very slowly but I was able to make it to the washroom and even find somewhere to sit after so I could eat the sandwich I packed for lunch.
My friend was supposed to meet with her cousin who instead came over and met up with us. They were kind enough to even walk with me to the subway station and make sure I was alright. I honestly don’t know if I would’ve been able to make it home without them. Usually when I get these “cramp attacks” it takes about 2 hours for the pain medication to help me feel okay enough. At the time, I texted my mom that I was hanging out with a friend for a bit before going home, so she wouldn’t worry (I told her the truth when I arrived home).
I’m so thankful there was someone who knew what I was going through and was kind enough to spare some of their time so I felt safe at school and could make it home comfortably.
Staying Safe At School: Walk Safe/Escort Programs
Check out the services your school offers in terms of safety and security. These may be especially useful for those that have class in the evenings. During the winter semester when it gets darker faster, you may prefer to have someone walk you to your destination if you don’t have a friend to go with.
Ontario Tech University – Campus Walk program
Ryerson University – WalkSafe Program
York University – goSAFE
To summarize the three tips in this blog for staying safe at school, they are:
1) Have at least 1 buddy per class
2) Update a friend or family member of your whereabouts
3) Save information about the safety services your school offers
I hope you never feel unsafe at school but you should also not get too comfortable. It’s still important to be careful and aware of your surroundings. Thank you for reading and if you’re worried about someone, don’t hesitate to reach out and be the one to help them feel safe at school.
Graduate from Ryerson University & Lead Content Writer at Parting Stories.