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4 safety tips for new college students on campus

Each year, thousands of students across the U.S. leave home and move into college dormitories. By the time these young people enter college, they're already on the way to becoming full-fledged adults, responsible for guiding their own academic career.

Yet being away from home the first time can be a time of great change, and their personal wellbeing isn't always a priority. it's no wonder, than, that September, when many colleges begin classes, has been designated as National Campus Safety Awareness Month. Before your student starts moving into the dorms, be sure to go over the following four safety-centric tips:

"New college students should plan their routes ahead of time."

1. Plan a route
During elementary school, you and your child may have walked to school together to plan out his or her route. While your college student may be too old for your help, it's still a good idea to plan ahead. Not only will this keep them from getting lost, but figuring out a route beforehand can ensure they avoid certain situations that might compromise their safety. Similarly, try to reinforce that it's a good idea to walk with someone at night, as the buddy system's always the safest. Students should also remember to use locks at all times and to be aware of their surroundings.

2. Pack it up
Any time your student heads anywhere on campus, they should bring a few key items. The first is emergency contact information, in addition to a student ID. Be it on a designated card or just programmed on the student's smartphone, this is essential information in case of an emergency. Spare cash is another good idea, as sometimes credit cards don't work and the student may need cash. Finally, as a preventative measure, many students will carry pepper spray or a whistle. It's always better to be safe in case of dangerous situations.

3. Stay vigilant 
In college, it's not uncommon for people to gather in another person's room, and not everyone is always acquainted with one another. As a result, one of the most important lessons you can teach your new college student is to trust their instincts. If they encounter someone in their room, for instance, they need to ask for their name and who they're looking for. If the student experiences something they're not comfortable with, they should reach out to campus police, or even use the school's escort service. It's more than just being aware; it's about acting on those feelings.

4. Don't forget your health 
College is an amazing time in anyone's life, a time to meet new people and explore creative interests. But students who are on their own after years at home have to remember that they're not just responsible for getting to class on time, but their own personal health. That means taking steps to make personal health a priority. if students want to be their best academically, they need to eat the proper diet, exercise frequently, get plenty of sleep and stay aware of pains, fever and other conditions. Then they need to seek out medical help accordingly.

One place students can go is CareWell Urgent Care Center. With locations across the East Coast, many near college campuses, CareWell is one option for safe and effective urgent care.

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