College campuses are gearing up to welcome a new class of first-year college students eagerly awaiting to discover their purpose in life. It can be a very emotional time for parents who have teenagers embarking on their college journey and into a world of unknowns. Parents of first-year students also worry about how their teen will adapt to living outside the home for the first time or how they will manage the new college environment. Along with those challenges, parents also worry about safety while their child is away from home.
Our partners at Frankenmuth outline seven tips for staying safe on a college campus:
- Become familiar with the campus and its surrounding neighborhoods. Make sure students know the perimeter footprint within the campus. They need to know where their classes will be, where their dorm is as well as where the dining hall and library are located. It also is a good idea to locate the Campus Safety Office or the Campus Police Station and keep their number handy in case of an emergency.
- Don’t walk alone at night. The buddy system is the best system when navigating a college campus at night. Never walk in unfamiliar areas alone. Carry a flashlight, pepper spray and whistle in your bag. Trust your instincts. If it doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t.
- Use safe transportation methods. Most college campuses offer a shuttle service. Familiarize yourself with these transportation methods and their routes. If you drive your car, make sure it has been checked out and is reliable. Never, ever ask someone you don’t know for a ride.
- Protect your personal property. Don’t leave expensive items out in public. Never leave your personal property unattended. When you leave your dorm, lock the door.
- Small appliance safety. Small appliances such as microwaves, space heaters, fans and toasters can make dorm life easier, however, students need to make sure they know how to use these appliances properly. Colleges also have strict rules on which appliances are allowed in a dorm room, so familiarize yourself with what is acceptable. Colleges take their small appliance allowances and safety rules very seriously and some campuses even levy fines for rules violations.
- Fire hazards. Extinguish fire hazards before they become a problem. Leave the candles at home and opt for alternatives such as flameless candles, string lights and scented wall plugs. Know where the fire exits are and memorize the emergency evacuation routes.
- Life insurance. As a way to proactively prepare for your future, it is a good idea to purchase a life insurance policy while you are young and healthy.
A note for parents: Most of a student’s property in their dorm will probably be covered under your homeowners’ insurance policy. It’s a good idea to discuss this and the other insurance needs with one of our associates. The Prewitt Group would like to wish new and returning students all the best for a safe and happy year at college!