UNC SAFE Escort Service: (919) 962-7233
Duke Van Service:
(919) 684-2020
NCSU Safety Escort Service (919) 515-3000
NCCU Escort Service: (919) 530-6106

Part of collegeand part of being on your own for the first timeis learning how to take care of yourself. But for those of us who’ve never even done a load of laundry on our own, keeping yourself safe in a big, scary world can seem, well, scary. Relax, kid. You got this. Some simple rules: Trust your gut, use the resources your school offers, and look out for yourself and your peers.

There are lots of everyday things you can do to stay safe. First: Always lock your doors when you leave, whether you’re off campus or in a dorm. Charles Corr, administrative lieutenant at Wake Tech, also recommends keeping your car doors locked and not leaving valuables where someone can easily get to them.

“The majority of the break-ins are actually people that are just going around pulling handles,” he says. “Sometimes someone will just walk through the parking lots and pull handles, and then when they get a door that opens up, they look through the car.”

If you’re out late, stick with friends or let people know where you’re going and when you should be back. Lots of colleges have safety apps, like Duke’s LiveSafe, which offers a SafeWalk feature that allows users to track each other on a map while they’re walking to a destination. The app also allows students to submit anonymous tips. Other apps, such as Circle of 6 U, let you share your location with friends and access campus-specific emergency response systems.

If you feel unsafe on campus, utilize resources like police escort services, safe ride systems, and call boxes.

And sorry if we sound like your mom, but if you plan on boozing, make sure you have a designated driver or a ride-share app handy. Also, watch your drink to make sure no one slips something in your cup. And if some creep is trying to make you do something you don’t want to do, tell them to piss off: Your health and safety come first (see p. 21 for more on sexual health and safety).

Mental health is also important in college, which can and likely will be one of the most anxiety-ridden periods of your life. If you or a friend are struggling, contact your campus counseling center. If it’s an emergency, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at (800) 273-8255.

Most important, trust your instincts and stay aware of your surroundings.

“Everybody has that senseyou can feel something is wrong and, you know, trust it,” Corr says. “If you see something you don’t like, turn around and walk the other way.”

2016 N.C. college crime statistics*

1,173: Number of reported criminal offenses
20: Number of reported hate crimes
590: Number of reported violence-against-women offenses
1,709: Number of reported arrests
7,394: Number of reported disciplinary actions
38: Number of reported fires that occurred in on-campus student housing facilities
3: Number of reported injuries or deaths as a result of a fire in on-campus student housing facilities

*On-campus, reported
Source: U.S. Department of Education, Office of Postsecondary Education, Campus Safety and Security survey.