8 Ways to Stay Safe at University

•Sponsored Collaborative Post•

Going to university is an exciting time in many young people’s lives. It often involves moving to another town, maybe even another country, that might be completely new to you. The best way to prepare for the lifestyle changes of being on campus is to make sure that you always stay safe. Here are some of the things you can do to stay safe at university wherever you go.

Know Where You’re Going

Adapting to life in a new place can be stressful as well as exciting, and the first few weeks of university will be especially busy. Make a note of your accommodation address, both on your phone and on paper to keep in your purse just in case. Spend some time on Google Maps to familiarise yourself with the layout of the area around your accommodation and the transport links to campus and other parts of town. It will be much easier to explore your new city and ensure you get around safely if you download apps for local travel services onto your phone.

Know Who to Contact

Similarly, keep a record of all the important phone numbers and addresses you might need. This includes your accommodation, any roommates, mentors, or department heads, and of course emergency numbers. Register with a local GP as soon as possible and make sure you have a copy of their number and address. Make sure that you know how to contact the campus security team if there is an issue on campus that should involve them before calling the police. You should also have a record of contact numbers for student wellbeing services.

Protect Your Identity

Don’t leave your personal documents lying around in public, even on campus, and do not give away your personal details to anyone suspicious who asks for them. No matter how close you might become with someone, do not loan them your student ID or the keys to your accommodation. Whenever you change address, inform organisations of your new address for forwarding mail as soon as possible. You should also report lost bank cards to the bank immediately. Keep your student ID, passport, driving licence, PIN, and personal mail safe.

Insure Your Valuables

You may be living alone or without parental supervision for the first time, and insurance is probably the last thing on your mind. However, it is important to obtain a policy covering your personal belongings just in case the worst should happen. It will be much cheaper to replace a stolen phone if you have insurance. You should check with your parents if their policy could cover you while you are away from home. Write your student ID number and university name on important items in UV pen. You could also register electronic devices at immobilise.com.

Protect Your Property

Lots of students take laptops to class and carry them around campus, but this is why they are also commonly a target for theft. Be discreet with your laptop, mobile phone, and any other expensive devices such as headphones. It’s not worth showing off if flashing your goods gets them stolen. Be careful with money – avoid carrying cash if possible, and be aware of others around you when using ATMs. Never leave your belongings unattended, even if it is only for a minute. Make sure that your jacket and bag have secure inner pockets.

Always Lock Up

Student accommodation is also a common target for break-ins because students are often not at home. Make sure that all the windows and doors that can access your accommodation are fitted with adequate working locks. Always remember to close and lock all windows and doors before you go out and check them before you go to bed. Keep your valuables out of sight or close the curtains when you are not in. Never risk propping open a door or leaving it unlocked for a friend or roommate. It is worth getting a separate lock for your bedroom door.

Drink Responsibly

One of the biggest draws of student life is the nightlife. As boring as it sounds, it is important to be responsible about where you go and how much you drink on a night out. Plan ahead to decide where you will be going and when and how you will be going home afterwards. Keep an eye on everyone in your group – make sure that nobody is leaving drinks unattended or accepting open drinks from strangers. Before you go out, make sure that you eat some food to help absorb the alcohol. While you are out, alternate drinks with water to stay hydrated.

Don’t Go Out Alone at Night

Whether it’s a night out across town or just walking back from the library after an all-nighter essay, try to avoid ending up on your own when it’s dark outside. Crimes are more likely to happen at night, so always stay in groups and stick to well-lit public areas. Stay as alert as possible and avoid using your phone or any other devices that could distract you from your surroundings or draw the attention of criminals. You should always let someone know where you are and when you intend to get home. Unfortunately, sexual assault is a continuing issue on student campuses around the world. If you experience sexual assault while at university, you can get help with reporting sexual abuse and making abuse claims for compensation.

This is a sponsored collaborative post. 

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