Six things young women need to do before going to college

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According to the United States Justice Department, one in five college women will be the victim of a sexual assault or an attempted one. The first semester of college is known as the “red zone’ a time when young women are most at risk.

Chicago area gynecologist, Dr. M. Susan Scanlon (, author of “The Gyne’s Guide for College Women: How to Have a Healthy, Safe and Happy Four Years,” and host of the popular “Respect Yourself, Protect Yourself” college prep workshops, says young women are not prepared for the safety, social and health issues they will face in college.

Dr. Scanlon says with better preparation, young women can cut their risk of sexual assault and other issues dramatically.

“Just like they practice for the ACT and SAT, young women must practice safety and health before going to college,” says Dr. Scanlon. “There are six things they should do before heading to college.”

  • Take a self defense class. It will make protecting yourself an instinct rather than a reaction
  • Review a blood alcohol calculator website to learn your alcohol limit and stick to it.
  • Load safety apps on your phone like Circle of 6 and Companion. Input the campus shuttle schedule and load a taxi app on your phone.
  • Plan your contraception method before you are sexually active. Keep condoms in your purse to protect against STDs.
  • Practice the power of the word no and other key phrases you can use to get yourself out of bad situations.
  • Ask yourself what type of woman am I and what are my boundaries. Apply your personal values to the situations you will face in college.

Dr. Scanlon leads a team of experts conducting interactive college prep workshops around the country for young women and their mothers. The workshops include self defense classes, mock scenarios with young men, information about alcohol, safety apps, contraception, sexually transmitted diseases, dorm room workouts, stress management and healthy eating tips.

“We give the young women strategies to navigate college in a safe and healthy way so these four years can be happy ones,” says Dr. Scanlon. “Every year after the first semester in college, I treat patients and it is heartbreaking because many of the problems they are dealing with could have been avoided if they had been better prepared.” – PRNewswire

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