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A Guide to Help You and Your Personal Items Stay Safe On Campus

This article is brought to you by GradGuard. We protect college students and their families from the financial risks of college life, like providing a refund for tuition or replacing a stolen backpack when your school may not. When the unexpected happens, GradGuard’s tuition insurance and renters insurance can help you get back on track.

When moving away for college, you, and definitely your parents, want to make sure you are safe. Living on campus can give you a feeling of safety, as you are constantly surrounded by your peers and persons alike that, as far as you’re concerned, have your best interest at heart. But regardless if you live on campus or blocks away in off-campus housing, you should always be aware of your safety.

Personal safety should always be your top priority, but the safety of your belongings is just as important. In today’s world, nearly everyone has expensive items on them on a day-to-day basis, ranging from smartphones and laptops to smartwatches and Bluetooth earbuds. All of these items, as well as the more expensive ones in your apartment/dorm (like TVs or video game systems), are vulnerable to being stolen if you don’t take the proper steps to protect them.

If you are currently living on campus or are considering doing so, here are tips to boost your personal safety and the safety of your belongings, while making your college experience more enjoyable!

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Tips for Personal Safety

1. Keep Distractions to a Minimum: In order to be more alert and aware of your surroundings, try to keep your distractions to a minimum. Avoid mindlessly scrolling through social media as you are walking, texting, or playing games. The less your mind is preoccupied, the more you can be prepared for a potentially dangerous situation. If you enjoy using headphones, make sure to keep the volume of your music to a level where you can hear what is going on around you.

2. Carry Self-Defense Items: To help increase your safety both on and off campus, get yourself a whistle and a small mace spray to put on your keychain. We all carry a set of keys whether it be for our cars or our homes so this can be one of the best ways to help protect yourself, as your keys are usually easily accessible. You can get both items online or purchase them in stores like Walmart or Target for less than $20.

3. Familiarize Yourself with Campus Safety Personnel/Police: One of the first things I did when I arrived on campus was get the number of the campus police and put it into my phone. I even went as far as subscribing to alerts from my school’s police when there were dangerous occurrences nearby, which gave me the location and the event that happened, and helped me know which areas to avoid. Do not hesitate to contact campus safety personnel if you are in an unsafe situation. Depending on your institution, the campus safety/police may have personnel that can escort you to your home/destination if you feel unsafe.

4. Employ the “Buddy” System: The Buddy System works no matter how young or old you are, and can truly keep you safe in potentially dangerous situations. Whether you have a night class, work late shifts, or are returning to your place after a late-night party, make sure that you are in the company of at least two or more people. These can be friends, classmates, co-workers, etc. If you do not have friends that can accompany you, try to surround yourself with people in general. Also, if you are still feeling unsafe, give a friend or family member a call and talk to them on your way back.

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Tips for Keeping Your Stuff Safe

1. Lock Your Doors: When living in a dorm or even a university apartment building, you become familiar with the people on your floor and building, which can make you comfortable with leaving your doors unlocked or even open. Though not all of your new college friends are thieves, it’s still important to look out for yourself and your stuff while living somewhere unfamiliar. By locking your doors and windows, you have an extra layer of protection that thieves have to maneuver through, making it difficult to access your things.

2. Insure Valuable Items: While you may be doing everything you can to prevent someone from stealing your expensive laptop or your Bluetooth speaker, sometimes thieves can still get their hands on your stuff regardless. Purchasing insurance for certain valuable items that you own can help you either get money back for the total item cost or even have it replaced in the case that it was stolen. Taking the step to get some of your belongings insured doesn’t prevent a burglary from happening, but it does help you protect your things if it does. If your parents’ homeowners’ insurance does not cover your belongings, you may need to consider purchasing renters insurance. GradGuard, a leader in tuition and renters insurance, is a great choice if you are considering renters insurance, as their policy covers belongings such as clothing, electronics, bicycles, books, etc.

3. Get Locks for Expensive Items: Purchasing locks for your expensive belongings is another additional step you can take to ensure the safety of your stuff. A safe box is a great option to store your most precious and valued items, such as your laptop, treasured jewelry, extra cash, Bluetooth earbuds, handheld gaming consoles, etc.

Being away from home can be scary and make you feel like you and your belongings are vulnerable to dangerous situations. This vulnerability takes time to get used to, but there are also simple ways to ensure you and your beloved items are safe while you’re away, like utilizing your campus’ safety department or friends from class, or getting renter’s insurance to protect what you have.

It’s no secret that college costs a lot of money. Make sure your investment in higher education is protected with GradGuard. Our affordable tuition insurance and renters insurance plans are specifically designed for college students. Customizable plans make it easy to protect your tuition, room and board, laptop, bike, and so much more.

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