Universities promote diversity and are the meeting ground for all sorts of people. While this provides immense opportunities for growth and personal development, it might also raise concerns about students’ safety and security.
To help you take care of yourself and your belongings, we have some simple tips:
Always lock your door
Ensure that the main door to your room, hall or apartment is always locked. This, in addition to being the first safety check for intruders, will also help keep away trespassers. You should keep your windows locked, too.
Also, don’t hesitate to keep your room’s door closed, even if you think you will be away only for a couple of minutes. Don’t provide intruders any opportunities.
Do not let strangers into your hall or apartment
Sometimes, students let in strangers for not wanting to seen rude or thinking that he or she might be the roommate’s friend. Don’t. It is always better to be safe than sorry.
It also never hurts to call and check if your roommate or friend did indeed order food, ask a friend over, or invite somebody
Don’t forget about your car
If you have a car, always keep it locked when you leave it. Don’t leave the keys in the car and the engine running to run out to get something.
If you’re not using the car for a long time like, say, a whole semester, check on it frequently at regular intervals to make sure it’s where it’s supposed to be.
Don’t lose sight of your keys
If possible, it is always a good idea to have an extra set of keys kept in a safe location or given for safe keeping to a trustable friend. This ensures you are not locked out in case you lose or misplace your keys.
If you have a tendency to lose your keys often, consider keeping them close to you by wearing them on a lanyard.
Get a gadget locking device
Laptops and phones tend to get stolen often. If you have sensitive information (such as bank and identity details) or exam notes, project files or assignments stored in your laptop or smartphone, theft can be a disaster.
Get a solid lock for your laptop and complement this with an electronic locking and tracking devices. Various anti-theft and tracking software such as Find My Mac and Find My iPhone can also be useful.
Do not leave your belongings unattended
Many students assume that it is safe to abandon their belongings lying around unattended in public areas like the library, cafeteria, or study rooms when they take a toilet break, run down to the vending machine for a quick snack or order a sandwich.
Thefts can happen anytime, anywhere, often, in the blink of an eye. Ask a friend or someone trustworthy to watch over your belongings till you return, or just take your stuff along with you.
Don’t go alone at night
While travelling around campus or back to campus at night, it is always smart and safe to have a friend with you. People in groups are less likely to be mugged, assaulted or harmed than those walking alone.
If your friends are busy, don’t be embarrassed to ask campus security to escort you home. Remember, safety comes first, so don’t put yourself in risky situations.
Keep someone informed about your whereabouts
Tell someone, like a friend or roommate, when you are heading out, like to a club or a date. You can let them know the location and when you expect to get back.
You can even ask them to check on you via text or phone call to make sure you got back fine. This is a good idea because your friend or roommate will be able to get help at the right time and to the right place in case you are in trouble.
Tell your friends you’re okay
If you do not live on campus but have stayed late with friends for a friendly get-together, drama rehearsal or group study session, call them after you get back home.
Similarly, if you are going back to campus, it is a good idea to check in with your friend or family member and let them know you’ve arrived. This will allow you or your friend to get help when you are in trouble because someone is there keeping track of your whereabouts.
You might want to consider using friend-tracking apps such as Find My Friend which will allow you to locate your friends based on their GPS location.
Keep emergency numbers handy
Keep all the emergency numbers in your phone and a list in your wallet so that you know who to call in case your wallet, debit or credit cards get stolen, or if you are in any trouble.
It is also wise to memorise the number for campus security and save it in your cell phone; it might come handy if you are in an emergency or if you need to assist someone.
Most of these tips might seem like plain common sense. Yet, many students often forget these when they are caught up in the hassles of daily campus life. Paying attention to little details like these will help you and your friends to keep yourselves and your belongings safe and have an enjoyable, safe experience at the university.