When a new school year starts, it’s important to take a few precautions.
Here are the top tips.
First, make sure you have the resources you need to prepare for your first day of classes.
Here’s what you need for your freshman year.
Make sure your dorm room is a safe space for students of all backgrounds and sexual orientations.
This is particularly important for students from low-income families who often face discrimination.
If your dorm doesn’t have a shared bathroom or toilet, or a separate area for people of different genders, that can lead to discrimination.
It can also make it difficult for students to get comfortable with each other.
For instance, if you’re both students from the same city, you may not be able to share a common bathroom, and vice versa.
In these situations, it may be helpful to find a space that is accessible for students.
Make your dorm space accessible to people of all genders and sexualities.
This means having separate, single-occupancy bathrooms, separate dorm rooms, and a shared kitchen, according to the College Fix.
It also means having a lock on your door and a way to access your personal items in case of emergencies.
Make a list of your friends and family.
It’s important for you to keep track of who you’re socializing with and how you’re communicating with them.
That way, if a friend invites you to dinner, you’ll know to be prepared for that conversation.
Make an effort to be supportive, whether it’s by inviting your friends over to your place of residence or talking about what you’ve been up to in your day.
Make it a priority to learn about your peers and their experiences.
The more comfortable you are with others, the more likely you are to succeed.
As an example, you can have a more welcoming campus if you can start conversations with people who aren’t part of your immediate family.
This can be helpful if you have a younger sibling who might be less accepting of other students.
Ask your roommates to be considerate of each other’s personal space.
Being respectful to others is important for everyone, but especially so for LGBTQ individuals.
This includes asking your roommate to be attentive when you go to sleep.
For LGBTQ students, this can mean being aware of the fact that they’re sleeping with a partner and having a conversation about it, but it can also mean that you may be uncomfortable sharing their space or that you need a room change.
For example, if one of your roommators is a woman and the other is a man, you might want to ask them to share their space so you don’t feel awkward sharing your space with them while they sleep.
Consider a “safety plan.”
This may sound like a simple rule, but you should consider whether it will help you be comfortable during your freshman years.
It may not seem like it at first, but a safety plan is something you can implement in the first few weeks of your freshman term.
In general, a safe plan should include a plan for emergencies, how to make plans for your school year, and how to handle any potential conflicts.
For more information about LGBTQ safety, you could consider the National Coalition for Campus Equality’s LGBTQ Resource Center, the National Center for Lesbian Rights, or the National LGBTQ Task Force.
Take time to think about your future.
If you are LGBTQ, you should be thinking about your futures.
There are a lot of unknowns, but there is also a lot you can do to be a better student.
If these tips help you feel more comfortable as you enter your freshman period, you’re on the right track.
The best way to make a safe college experience for LGBTQ student is to start now.
Related: How to tell if you might have a student-on-student sexual assault.