College is one of the best times in your life to meet new and exciting people. New classes and new friend groups provide ample opportunity to extend your friend and dating pool. It’s important to not get too carried away with the excitement of it all that you forget about your own safety. Here are five tips to keep in mind to make sure you stay safe while having new experiences.
If you’re meeting someone new for the first time, make sure you pick a public location. This way there will be people around you that you could reach out to if you started feeling uncomfortable or unsafe. Also, if the person you are meeting suggests that you move to a more private location, tell them that you’d like to save that for another time when you’ve gotten to know them a bit better. If this offends or bothers them, then they might not be right for you.
It’s never a bad idea to meet new people while in a group of friends. If there is someone that you’ve been chatting with online and you’re thinking you might be ready to meet them in person, you could invite them over for a game night or another group activity with some of your friends or roommates. This also provides an opportunity for the people you know to help vet the newcomer.
If you’ve decided on a one on one meet up with a new person, make sure you tell someone what your plans are. Let a roommate or friend know the name of the person you are meeting and about when you think you’ll be coming home. It’s even a good idea to share with them the activity you’ll be doing so they’ll know if they need to keep an eye on their phone just in case you need to send a “help” text.
Even if the person you’re meeting up with has offered to pay for your evening out, always bring a bit of money with you. If something were to happen, then you wouldn’t be left stranded. Bring enough money that you’d be able to pay for your meal and grab an Uber home if you needed to.
In today’s world it’s important to be able to communicate with people via your phone. It isn’t polite to be on your phone while you are on a date, but it is smart to have your phone with you and fully charged. If something happens that makes you uncomfortable on the date, you’ll be able to phone a friend in the bathroom for an excuse to leave early or make a quick escape plan.
It is exhilarating to meet up with new people and learn more about the world around you, just remember to be smart. There is no reason to place yourself in a potentially dangerous situation. Communicate with the people around you and you should be able to have a safe and fun time while you're out at college.