5 ways to prioritize safety in NYC

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Living in NYC is one of the most exciting and opportunistic journeys any college student could embark on. Endless opportunity, fun, shopping, food, but all that can sometimes come with uncertainty. As young adults discovering all the wonderful aspects of the city, it is important to stay vigilant and aware of your surroundings as well as brush up on some tips and tricks to ensure your safety while taking part in everything the city has to offer. 

  • Know who is driving you. The city offers endless services like uber, lyft, taxis, revel, etc. These are great options when traveling late at night, alone, or general convenience. When using these services, it is important to never get into an unmarked cab, or a cab where they do not have their credentials on display. For uber or lyft, it is also good practice to make sure the driver says your name before you get into the car. This ensures that the driver is legit and is connected through the app. There are safety apps that are downloadable in the app store such as SafeTrek  or Noonlight which allow the rider to hold a button down to notify a contact or authorities that you are feeling unsafe with location tracking abilities. 

  • Keep your bags close on the subway or bus. When riding public transportation in the city it is smart to keep your bags closed and on your body. Backpacks are worn in a way where you can not see if someone is possibly opening a zipper or taking something out. WHen on the train lines or bus routes keep all belongings closed and on your front or side or your body where you can see all compartments and ensure no one can get into your valuables. As far as purses or crossbody bags, just leave them on you, forgetting your purse on the Q train is something you never want to deal with.

  • Do not be embarrassed to use an app to help get around. If you need directions to somewhere, or are just not familiar with an area, do not feel embarrassed if you have to pull up the maps app. It is better to move with purpose and knowledge than to get lost in an unfamiliar area or in the subway because you were embarrassed to ask Siri for help. 

  • ID is always key. It is so important to keep your ID on you at all times in your wallet, or some place that you always carry. Whether it is to get into a building, or to identify a lost object, having your ID is a necessary part of living in the city. Lost wallets or bags that have ID in them are far more likely to be returned than a personal belonging without it. Having ID while traveling around alone is also very important to personal safety if a situation occurs where someone needs to get in contact with other people who may know you. 

  • Look around at your surroundings and have a plan B route. When walking around or riding public transit, look up from your phone and glance around every few seconds. The streets can always be crossed and you can always move cars on the train or get off at the next bus stop. Knowing who is around you and what is around you is one of the most important ways to stay safe while in the city, especially while alone and especially at night. Having different routes to different places that you need to get to is always important just in case you have to change paths halfway home. Trust your gut because it is better to be safe than sorry.


NYC is an amazing place to live and be discovering while in college and in your young adult life. Knowing the tips and tricks to stay safe and comfortable while being here will only enhance the experience. Stay alert and stay safe.