Walking to class on a college campus is not typically an action that you think of as coming with any level of danger. In fact, if you're like many college students, you might feel as though you're barely awake while en route to your first class. However, good reasons exist to pay attention to your surroundings. Furthermore, varying your route is a smart way to bolster your personal safety for a variety of reasons.
The thought of a stalking situation arising when you are merely trying to walk to class is terrifying. While you want to keep perspective and remember that the odds of such an issue are not high, a stalking issue could occur. If the stalker knows the route that you take to class every day, this person can then just wait for you in a certain spot and start following you. In the event that you notice the stalker, you may try to run away. Keep in mind that you should change your destination. If this person has been following you for some time, the individual is then aware of where you are headed on your route. Changing up the path that you take can make it more difficult for a stalker to figure out where you will be at what time. Remember that stalking situations can turn violent. Even when you feel confident that no one is currently following you on campus, varying your route acts as a protective measure against possible future incidents.
A stalking situation could lead to a physical attack, or a physical attack could happen independent of stalking. Someone on the campus might want to hurt you. This individual may want to rob you, beat you up or murder you. If the person knows how you get around campus, they can simply follow you until you are alone. They may follow you for days, weeks, months or even years. When they see that no one else is around, they might strike. Keep in mind that these issues can happen off of the campus too. As you progress through your college years, you might decide to live in an apartment or a house that is off of the campus. You may still live close enough to campus to walk to your classes. While college campuses certainly aren't bubbles offering perfect protection, these environments can sometimes have a bit of a safety shield with public safety officers and other students looking out for you and one another. When you are not on the campus grounds, you could fill victim to an attack from any person from the neighborhood or who wandered into the neighborhood. Consider driving to class, especially if your walk involves time outdoors alone when it is dark out or early in the morning before many people are around.
Break-ins to Dorms and Apartments
If someone is watching you and sees you walk on the same route on a regular basis, this individual then knows that you are not home. You might say that college classes aren't every day, and you are correct in most scenarios. Still though, this observer might know what hours you are out of the dorm or your off-campus apartment on Mondays and Wednesdays or Tuesdays and Thursdays. This individual may then take the opportunity to break into your living space and steal items. Another possibility is that the evil individual is actually after your roommate. By observing the times that you are leaving and noticing that you are taking the same route each time, the individual likely knows that you are going somewhere for a protracted period of time. This individual may then surmise that your roommate is alone during this time period, which could lead to an attack. Clearly, in addition to varying the exact path that you take to your classes, you should also try to differentiate the times that you leave and return. For example, you might grab a quick breakfast on your way to class some mornings and return later due to lunch on other days.
A person who is studying your route so closely might also have intentions of trying to steal your identity in some capacity. While a person knowing your route to class does not necessarily mean a stolen credit card or social security number, this individual could cause damage in other ways. For example, if you are in a large lecture hall, the person might follow you to class and pretend to be you. This individual might access your essays or try to take your exams for you. Basically, an individual who knows your schedule so well might try to engage in sabotage of your academic career. Also, this person might use information about your schedule to pretend to be you online. An individual with these evil intentions might try to lure someone from campus to meet by pretending to be you. Other issues might cause an individual to want to try to be exactly like you. Following the path that you take to class and learning every detail about your life could contribute to the way that this individual is trying to mimic your every movement. Such a scenario is jarring and unsettling.
You might wonder how you would ever encounter driving roads when you are walking to class on a college campus. Remember that you might choose to live off of the campus at some point. In that case, you would be as susceptible to driving areas as you would be anywhere else. Also, when you think of a college campus, you might picture a rural setting with virtually no traffic on campus. Not all college campuses have this vibe though. Some campuses are spread out across rural or urban areas, and major highways or other roads could cut across the campus. In other words, you could be in danger of getting hit by a car. Varying the routes that you take could reduce your risks. For example, if you have to cross a danger intersection every day, your risk of getting hit by a car could be higher than if you take that path only once in a rare while. When the roads are dangerous, you should find out if the campus offers any sort of shuttle service to help students avoid these deleterious situations.
Attending college is an enjoyable experience that opens you up to many advantages. Still though, you need to exercise caution in many of your endeavors. Walking to your classes is one such endeavor. Switching up the route that you take can help to keep you safe.