College can be an exciting, confusing and sometimes daunting experience, especially for new students. Indiana University has the second highest enrollment in Indiana, according to College Stats. On a campus with so many people and opportunities, you’re bound to have countless great experiences, but some not-so-great ones might come up as well.
Here are some tips for new students to have a fun and safe first year experience.
Be aware of your surroundings
IU has a huge campus. Anytime I have friends or family visit, we spend a lot of our time walking around campus and the surrounding community. For new students, it’s important to get a lay of the land during your first couple of weeks here. Get to know not only where your classes are, but also where other important buildings, like the Student Health Center, the Indiana Memorial Union, and others, are on campus.
IU has emergency Blue Light Phones, emergency phones with blue indicator lights, spread across campus. If you feel like you’re being followed, or just feel uneasy and unsafe, you can go to the nearest one, use the button on the front panel to call IUPD and explain the situation.
Keep your phone charged and on you
Keeping my phone charged is a struggle for me personally. But it’s important that you make an effort to keep it charged throughout the day, just in case you need to call someone or use it in some other capacity in case of an emergency.
Another thing new students may want to consider is sharing your location with trusted friends and family, even if it’s just temporarily. I have my friends share their location with me when we’re meeting up on campus or a restaurant off campus, especially later in the evenings.
If you aren’t comfortable with doing this, calling or video calling friends while you’re walking somewhere is also super helpful.
Stay with trusted friends, especially at night
You’ll spend a lot more time walking around campus than you think and, although the scenery can be very enthralling throughout the year, students should understand that there are still risks present while on campus. If you’re able to, find friends to walk to classes, from classes or even around town with.
Make sure these are people you know and trust as well. You’ll meet a lot of people during your time at IU, but not all of them will turn out to be your best friends. Just make sure they’re trustworthy enough to at least safely pal around with.
Make use of the city and campus busses, or just call an Uber
The local bus system is a safe and convenient way to get around campus and the greater Bloomington community. Students can ride buses that’ll take them from the southernmost point on campus all the way to the Stadium on the north side of campus. You can even catch rides out to College Mall and the West side of town.
If you prefer not to ride buses, ride services like Uber and Lyft are also options. If you do choose to use a ride service, always be aware of your surroundings and trust your gut. Otherwise, IU Ride is also a popular option for students and staff.
Know the resources available to you
Many students are often unaware of the number of services available to them. This is especially true for new students who are stepping onto campus for the first time. Services like the Student Health Center, Sexual Violence Support, Student Legal Services and many more departments are available to all students.
This article was originally published in the 2022 Orienter New Student Guide. Explore the entire guide here.