Living in the city can be pretty intimidating, especially if you haven’t lived in one before. Here are six easy things you can do to stay safe while living in the city.
1. Put Emergency Numbers In Your Phone
The last thing you want to have to worry about when you hit an emergency is knowing what phone number to call. Your school will provide you with emergency numbers to call, and you should definitely program them into your phone. Make sure when you do, you specify which number to call when so you don’t have to look it up before you call. You should also make sure to know the local police number and the phone number of the local rape crisis center. It’s better to be prepared.
2. Be Prepared When You’re Out Alone
Speaking of being prepared, it’s good to think ahead when you’re headed out, especially if you’re going out alone. There are a few options to choose from. There are plenty of apps out there you can put on your phone that can work as a personal alarm, like Watch Over Me. Of course, you can always use an actual emergency button, but the app should work just fine. Pepper spray is also a good thing to have, as long as it’s legal where you live!
3. Familiarize Yourself With The Area
Before you start exploring the fun parts of your new area, you should make sure you know where all the important things are. Coffee, for starters. But more importantly, you should know where the nearest fire station is, where the nearest police station is, and where the nearest hospital is. You should know how to get there from your dorm or apartment. If there are emergency boxes on your campus, you should have an idea of where they are in case you need them.
4. Tell Your Friends Where You’re Going
If you’re going to meet new friends or to meet people for class, it’s important to let someone know where you’re going to be and when you expect to be getting back. Ask them to check in with you to make sure you’re okay. Your friends are one of the best tools at your disposal to stay safe. If you’re really unsure about the people you’re planning to meet, ask them to meet in public and ask someone to come along. If you have to meet them in private and you’re unsure about it, don’t hesitate to ask if you can bring a friend with you. If everything’s fine, they shouldn’t have a problem with it.
5. Know How To Safely Use Rideshare Apps
Rideshare apps are super useful for living in the city. As great as public transport is, you’ll likely find yourself needing a ride home. The subway might not run all night, and if it’s late it might be safer to take an Uber or Lyft. There are a few things you should always do when you’re using a rideshare app. Always double-check that you’re getting into the right car, and make sure the driver confirms your name. If the driver isn’t the one listed on the app or if they’re driving a different car, do not get in the car and report it to Uber. Invite a friend or one of your parents to watch your ride to make sure you get home safe, and if you’re not sure of the route and can’t follow it on your own, follow along on the app to make sure you’re going to the right place.
6. Lock Your Door Habitually
This might seem obvious, but you’d be surprised. Every time you leave your dorm or apartment, lock your door. Especially if you live in an apartment. It’s a hassle, but even if you’re just doing laundry or going to get the mail, you need to lock your door. It’s not worth it to risk it: stay safe and lock your door anytime you leave or come in.