Summer break is over and school is officially back in session. Whether you’re a first-year student or coming into your senior year, navigating university life back on campus can be overwhelming. Gone are the days of online classes in your living room. You’re back in your dorm with a whole new set of responsibilities.
Not only do you have COVID precautions to think about but you also need to keep yourself and your belongings safe and secure in your new living environment. Luckily for you, we’ve put together 8 great tips for staying safe this semester.
#1 – Follow Health Protocols
Many universities have launched programs mandating masks on campus this semester. You may also be asked to present your vaccination passport as proof of immunization before going to class. Whatever the protocols at your institution, be sure to review and follow them to ensure the health and safety of everyone on campus.
#2 – Lock Up
Maybe you are expecting a visitor or perhaps just running down to the laundry room to switch your load over. Leaving your door unlocked may save you the minor inconvenience of locking up for just a short trip but having the door unlocked for any period of time can leave your belongings vulnerable to theft. Did you know that many thefts occur in the timespan of just a few minutes? This means a thief could be in and out in the short time it takes you to run downstairs.
We also recommend you keep your doors locked while at home too. Although the chances of someone entering your home without your permission are relatively low, it’s always a good idea to play it safe against unwanted visitors.
On the same note, if you see the mains doors to your residence halls propped open, take the initiative to close them. These doors lock for a reason, and that reason is to keep you safe. Propping them open leaves everyone vulnerable to unwanted visitors, even if that wasn’t the intention. If you are tempted to do this to avoid having to go down and ring someone in, remember the risks and think twice.
#3 – Know Your Way Around
One of the simplest strategies for staying safe this semester is to know your way around campus. If you haven’t already, take the time to familiarize yourself with the buildings and walkways you will be using often, but also explore those you won’t necessarily be using. In the event that you need to get away from someone, knowing all of the short cuts and safe routes at your institution will be an asset.
#4 – Take Precautions after Dark
Criminals and assailants often prefer to strike at night when they have the shadows to conceal them. This means that when you go outside at night, you are exposing yourself to increased risk of an assault. Of course, sometimes this is an unavoidable circumstance, so the best thing you can do is take precautions.
Stay alert by removing any distractions like headphones. You may also consider keeping your phone in your pocket until you arrive at your destination. If you want to play it extra safe, use the buddy system. Walking with a friend or two drastically improves your chances of arriving safely since a predator is less likely to strike if outnumbered.
#5 – Watch What You Say on Social Media
You may think your social media pages are for your friends’ eyes only. Unfortunately, social profiles can attract a lot of unwanted attention if you aren’t safe. Take the time to review your privacy settings and make sure you don’t have any unwanted images or information accessible to the general public. To prevent yourself from becoming a target, refrain from tagging your location in posts and don’t announce if and when you are home alone.
#6 – Download a Safety App
There are a number of mobile apps available to protect you as a student. Some detect screams of distress while others share your location with select friends and family when you are travelling alone. You can learn more and download safety apps here. Your school may also have a safety app available specifically for its students. Check with the safety office to find out if this option is available to you.
#7 – Carry Emergency Cash
If you are like most college students, you rely on your debit and credit cards for most purchases. However, you don’t want to find yourself caught in a sticky situation if you find they are declined for any reason. If you find yourself somewhere you don’t want to be, it’s good to carry enough to get you back home safely.
#8 – Insure Your Belongings
In the unfortunate event you do become a victim of theft, you don’t want to be out all the hard-earned money you spent acquiring those belongings. With a tenant insurance plan in place, your insurance carrier will reimburse you for the value of your belongings up to your policy limit. Tenant insurance is affordable and well worth the investment for your peace of mind so you can focus all of your energy on studying for those pesky exams.
Not only does tenant insurance cover theft but it will also reimburse you if your belongings succumb to damage from fire, water, or other unforeseen circumstances. Your Waypoint Insurance advisor can help you determine a sufficient amount of coverage for your belongings. Get in touch with your local branch today, at waypoint.ca to book an appointment.