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PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2018 8:59 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 13, 2013 7:28 pm
Posts: 95
I was wondering what - if anything - people have done to help prepare their fresher for personal safety issues they may encounter in the big, wide world?
Whilst our DD is potentially going to a safe(r) university town, she has been highly sheltered in life. I have done a bit of research and am thinking about getting a panic alarm for her. Apart from conversations is there anything else that anyone would recommend?
Thanks in advance!


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2018 9:48 pm 
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Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2010 11:39 pm
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I think it's scary for boys too. We (make that I) have talked to him about being both safe and respectful but I still worry.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2018 9:57 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 09, 2007 2:09 pm
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Location: Solihull, West Midlands
Depending on the city it may be worth investing in a bus pass/travel card so she has maximum flexibility for transport options (avoiding the temptation to walk home alone late at night to save money) and keeps a spare £20 note for emergency taxi purposes!


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2018 8:22 am 
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Joined: Mon May 16, 2011 1:05 pm
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Location: Reading
My advice would sort of echo what we do for those about to start secondary in a way. Time for her to come out of her sheltered life now, while she still has the security of being at home.

She will feel more confident if she knows her way around the place, obviously this is trickier than secondary school as it’s likely to be miles away, but looking at maps etc and having a day visit if possible might help. Get to know where the dodgy areas are. Getting her to look at the public transport system there and how that works, paying for fares, timetables, what apps are available (I know for instance Reading buses have an app with live times and ability to pay to bus fares etc). Money at home for taxis is also a good idea, but make sure she knows how to use taxis safely and not just get into any.

If she is confident that will help a lot. Tbh I’m not sure how effective panic alarms are, if they are not in your hand, it’s of no use. Most people I know who had them carried them in their bags, until I pointed our that no attacker is going to wait until you’ve opened your bag get it out. I believe there’s some phone apps that are set up for this sort of thing these days.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2018 9:39 am 
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Joined: Wed May 09, 2007 2:09 pm
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Location: Solihull, West Midlands
Good point Tinkers. Hard thinking back now but my DS1 (who took a gap year-in-industry) became increasingly independent in his last year or two at home (although as this included "working from home" during his 6th form college years that was not necessarily a good thing!) - having to get around by public transport in & out of Birmingham, borrowing the car (!), staying overnight with other YIN students, culminating in a month-long round-the-world single backpacking trip the day after his 19th birthday! I'm not suggesting the OPs DD go to such lengths, but "letting go" is ideally a gradual process which started effectively the moment the little darlings were ejected from the comfort of the womb....


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2018 9:56 am 
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Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2012 11:41 am
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Location: Essex
Something that sticks in my mind from over thirty years ago, when we lived in a (really rather nice) road near Lewisham station. Further up from our flat, there was a university hall of residence. One evening as I came out of the little lane by the station onto the main road, I was accosted by a young woman, who asked me whether I was walking up Granville Park and if so, would I walk home with her? Some incident had recently occurred - obviously not scary enough to put me off getting out of the house and going to work - and apparently the female students had been told that they were not to walk up our road on their own after dark.

So hanging around on a street corner and nabbing complete strangers to escort them home was a better idea then? :shock: :shock: :shock:. Goodness only knows how long she had been there; it wasn't late, but it had been dark for quite a while...

The irony of her asking another woman, not that much older, who was just about to walk up said 'too dangerous to walk up on your own' road, on her own, wasn't lost on me, but presumably had been on both the student and her advisors.

Moral of the tale, keep your own wits about you :) .

Ours have used public transport to get to secondary school from the outset and we have encouraged them to do things like go to the public library after school / stop off in town on the way home if they want to buy something (rather than come home and wait to be taken out by one of us), etc. From about year 9, DS1 used to hang out with friends on a Saturday evening, initially only until a reasonable 'supper time', but eventually graduating to the odd visit to one of the local night clubs between A levels and departing for university.

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Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read.Groucho Marx


Last edited by ToadMum on Sat Apr 21, 2018 6:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2018 5:34 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2011 8:44 am
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Location: Reading
Stressing the importance of being aware of surroundings would be good. I walk 2 big dogs on a uni campus every day. I have lost count of the number of times students have been so engrossed in their phones that they would have walked right into me if I hadn’t called out to them. I am a 6 foot tall woman in a bright red coat walking 12 stone of dog and they simply haven’t seen me in broad daylight!


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2018 6:07 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 5:27 pm
Posts: 4118
Location: london
As above but also...especially during freshers week she will come under peer pressure to drink herself silly. Whilst she may be used to dealing with this in the melee of trying to make new friends it can be particularly challenging to deal with. In itself it may not be an issue but girls do tend to be particularly vulnerable in these situations and it is worth her understanding this in advance. I guess this is just an extension of teenage life but it is quite an intense experience and if it is one with which she is unfamiliar then understanding how she can confidently deal with it AND/OR ensuring that she knows what to do if things do get a little out of hand is really important.

For any parents of boys I would highly recommend (nay beg/plead) that you ensure they have this video drummed into their heads repeatedly:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pZwvrxVavnQ

But also, just to say, it is a wonderful experience, she will get to grips with things quickly and, once settled and sorted it is usually be great fun. Remind her that life is a journey not a race and good luck!

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2018 6:42 pm 
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Joined: Sat Oct 08, 2011 1:25 pm
Posts: 1769
Sorry but this is just too good an opportunity to miss, get them on a 'fast' defence course.
Fear Adrenaline Stress Training is excellent for self awareness and self defence..
great fun too:-)


Last edited by stroudydad on Sat Apr 21, 2018 6:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2018 6:55 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2012 11:41 am
Posts: 7512
Location: Essex
Reading Mum wrote:
Stressing the importance of being aware of surroundings would be good. I walk 2 big dogs on a uni campus every day. I have lost count of the number of times students have been so engrossed in their phones that they would have walked right into me if I hadn’t called out to them. I am a 6 foot tall woman in a bright red coat walking 12 stone of dog and they simply haven’t seen me in broad daylight!


Is that Reading university, and does your route cover the London Road campus? If so, DS will definitely want to put Reading on his list of schools of Architecture to look at for 2021; he loves dogs :lol: .

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Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read.Groucho Marx


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