Friday, August 30, 2013

7 safety tips for college students

Posted by Catherine Cloutier  August 27, 2013 02:21 PM

The beginning of college is an exciting time in students’ lives. But for many, the prospect of being on their own in a new and unfamiliar environment is frightening.

With the help of the Brandeis and Tufts’ police departments, we assembled a list of tips for students to keep them safe—and happy—during the new school year.

1. Lock your doors.

Make sure your dorm room or apartment is safe secure by keeping your doors locked at all times, especially if you are sleeping or out.

If you are moving into an off campus apartment, check the exterior doors and windows to make sure they have good locks. If the locks do not appear sturdy, ask your landlord or building manager to replace them.

For those in campus housing, do not prop open residence hall doors. They are locked to keep you safe.

2. Be aware of your surroundings.

Stay on well-lit and well-traveled pathways. Become familiar with the locations of campus emergency blue-light telephones. Remove ear buds or headphones so you can hear someone approaching. If possible, plan to walk across campus or to late night classes with a friend.

If you are walking to a car, carry your keys in your hand. Before entering the car, check that no one is inside or lingering nearby.

Most importantly, trust your instincts. If you feel unsafe, get out of the area as quickly as possible.

3. Program campus security numbers into your cell phone.

Many colleges offer late night ride services. Add that number, as well the emergency and non-emergency college police department lines, into your cell phone’s contacts list.

If you’re anxious about walking home late at night, use the ride service. It’s there to protect you.

4. Keep an eye on your belongings.

Don’t leave your laptop, cell phone, or anything of value on a table in the library or in a classroom. Walk with your purse or backpack fully zipped.

5. Know your limits.

When you’re drinking at a party, know when enough is enough. If you’re feeling sick, ask your friends to leave with you. If they refuse, call a campus ride service.

Opt for a can of beer instead of a Solo cup. If cups are the only option, pour your own drink or watch the person who does.

6. Report any suspicious activity or people.

Do not let unknown people into your residence hall. If there’s a stranger in your dorm or apartment, call the campus police immediately. Do not confront the person.

7. Ask for help.

If you feel unsafe, stressed, or overwhelmed, reach out to those around you. Colleges have a network of support, including residence hall advisers, health professionals, and campus police officers. Take advantage of the services provided on campus.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

More Safety Info Needed!

We still need more safety info about your university. Just send us a message or some fan mail letting us know the “unsafe” spots on campus! We can’t wait to hear from you!

www.thegoodlifeoncampus.com 

Sunday, June 30, 2013

How Well Do You Know Your Campus?

Every college campus in the United States has one very sad fact in common; there is at least one area that all students know to stay away from. Maybe it’s the one spot next to the gym building that the lights don’t quite hit. Maybe it’s the block that happens to share an alleyway with the local liquor store. Either way, these unsafe places aren’t usually something that’s advertised in your college’s orientation brochure. So how the heck do you find out the right and wrong route to take before you end up learning the hard way? By following these simple tips:

1.) Ask the right questions. You might be interested in a great place to go for a run or sit and clear your head, and the person you’re asking is going to tell you just that: where an amazing place is. However, they can’t guess where you will or won’t go from there. So ask about places you shouldn’t go as well. “Is there anywhere I should avoid? Why?” Then you’ll probably get an earful about that amazing running path just south of the library…and why you should only use it before 6:00 pm.

2.) Ask the right people. Let’s go back to the subject of the running path, shall we? If your friends have only ever seen pictures of the path, that’s not a very good source. Talk to someone that goes there regularly. Talk to campus police to see if they’ve had any reports or issues there.

And speaking of campus security, be sure to ask them the same questions as in the previous point; is there anywhere you shouldn’t be going? And don’t let them give you the classic cop-out of “well, just try not to walk around alone at night in dimly lit areas.” That’s common sense, everyone knows that. You want to know where the hot spots are around campus for unfavorable conditions. Where have most of the rapes or muggings occurred. If they don’t know, have them look it up. You can wait.

3.) Do your own research. In the end, word of mouth can only get you so far. So turn to your trusted friend Google to answer a few more of your questions. Look for newspaper articles or events/clubs. Sticking with our same example of the running path, look to see if there were any reported crimes in that area in the last few years. Then look to see if there is a running group that uses that path. Go to a safe place, at a safe time, with a group of other people and there you have it; you’ve now dramatically decreased your chances of ending up in a horrible situation. 

And don’t forget; for dorm safety items (like pepper spraysafes and personal alarms), check out our store at www.secureoncampus.com, and for dorm decorations (like dorm lightingfun drinking games, and wall decals) check out our store at www.thegoodlifeoncampus.com!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Common Sense Home Safety Rules You’re Breaking

There are so many safety tips that may seem like common sense, but for some reason people (myself included) break these rules all the time. Between our hectic work and home schedules, it can often be easier to trust the outside world not to harm us, but in reality this is never a safe way to live; especially in a busy, high population city like New York or Los Angeles.

But no matter where you live, here are some common sense tips you’re probably ignoring:

1.) Lock your door. This has to be one of the easiest things to do and yet so many people fail to do it! Sure, you’re probably in a hurry, and sure, you’re probably only going to be gone for a second, but just take the extra moment to lock your door! Most home burglars look for the easiest possible home to break into, and an unlocked house is certainly very appetizing. It takes hardly any time at all, and doing it every time you leave the house will ingrain the habit into your mind.

2.) Leave a light on. We’ve been trained over the years to turn all the lights off when leaving a room, and there’s definitely nothing wrong with doing our part to save the earth on a daily basis. However, leaving a light on in the window at night will go a long way towards saving yourself from a dangerous situation. Burglars want to be as unseen as possible, so even if they know you aren’t home, a light is still going to deter them for fear that someone else will see them. Use a compact fluorescent bulb to save on your utility bill spiking through the roof and even pair it with low-playing music to better protect yourself.

3.) Be careful when answering the door. This is home safety 101. Even as young children we were all taught to be careful of strangers, yet as soon as we grow up we throw all of that well-intentioned advice out the door…literally. Don’t let your trusting nature get the best of you in this situation. Unless you’re expecting an electrician, don’t automatically open the door just because someone is dressed like one. Put that peephole to good use!!

4.) Get to know your neighbors. The quickest way to find out if anything suspicious was going on while you were out is to ask the people that were there. Your neighbors are you best alarm and surveillance system, not to mention they probably have the same goals that you do: to keep everyone in your building/complex out of harm’s way. Plus, knowing your neighbors will help you both help each other. You can pick up their mail for them when they’re out of town and they can do the same for you. Everyone wins!

5.) Get a pet. It doesn’t have to be a dog, really any pet makes a thief uncomfortable. Even birds will make a loud ruckus if someone unfamiliar comes barging in, not to mention starts rummaging through stuff. Remember, thieves want to choose the easiest target possible, and a locked, well-lit apartment with a loud pet is definitely not the easiest target.

And don’t forget; for dorm safety items (like pepper spraysafes and personal alarms), check out our store at www.secureoncampus.com, and for dorm decorations (like dorm lightingfun drinking games, and wall decals) check out our store at www.thegoodlifeoncampus.com!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

3 Ways to Protect Your Home from Theft

Did you know roughly 1.6 million residential burglaries occur in the US every year? Of course we’re not saying that to scare you, we’re telling you that so you’ll be aware of the risks. Home theft does happen, and even if you always hope it doesn’t happen to you, the truth it is at some point in time someone will most likely look at your home as a potential target. In those cases, here the top three ways of protecting yourself and your belongings from outside intruders:

1.) Give a “lived in” feel. A “lived in” feel means it looks like someone is home at all times. Things like keeping the mail from building up on the front porch or having your neighbor park their car in your driveway when you’re gone for the weekend give the impression that someone is home. And for longer periods of time, making sure your yard is maintained and is also a simple tip to make it look like your home isn’t completely abandoned.

Another great tactic is to use light to your advantage. Motion lights outside your home are an easy way to spook anyone that might be scoping your place out. Even if you aren’t home, it still shines some light on them for other people in the area to see. In addition, set your lights and television to times that come on and off at various times. A potential burglar is much more likely to go for the dark and quite home at 9:00 at night rather than the one with lights and an active television.

2.) Protect your valuables. Leaving your laptop on the dining room table right next the front window can often be just asking for trouble. Instead, make your home appear less tempting. Purchase an entertainment cabinet with doors that close over your television when you’re done watching it and have your valuables in a well-hidden area that isn’t the cookie jar, under your mattress or the freezer. A great trick is to have an empty safe in plain view while you keep your valuables in a much more hidden safe. Thieves tend to take the safe and run, thinking they’ve already hit the jackpot, when really they’ve only gotten away with a free safe.

3.) Get to know your neighbors. By having a good relationship with the people around you, they will better be able to tell when someone isn’t right at your home. The better they know you, the better they know the people around you. They know what your friends and family all drive and they know when a strange car is lurking around your place. It can be very comforting knowing someone is looking out for your home when you have to leave town for a few days.

And don’t forget; for dorm safety items (like pepper spraysafes and personal alarms), check out our store at www.secureoncampus.com, and for dorm decorations (like dorm lightingfun drinking games, and wall decals) check out our store at www.thegoodlifeoncampus.com!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Signs of a Bad Relationship

No one wants to end up in a damaging relationship, but it can be difficult to recognize if we’re a part of one or not. I myself have been there, and I didn’t even realize what my life had become until I was free again. If your relationship has any of these signs, you might want to consider packing your bags:

1.) Your partner puts you down. Even slight putdowns and backhanded compliments can build up over time, and not only are they hurtful, they’re downright psychotic. Under no circumstance should you be with someone that makes you feel stupid or insignificant. No matter what you have done, your partner should be there to build you up, not tear you down.

2.) You feel the need to hide things from your partner. If you came out of the supermarket, found a scratch on your car door and instantly thought about how you can cover this up before your significant other sees it, that’s not healthy behavior. Things happen, and wallowing in constant fear of how they may react to any given situation is a horrible, horrible way to live.

3.) They try to change you. You don’t want someone that will try and change you but someone that loves you for who you are. Of course this tends to be a gray line. If you are severely overweight and smoke three packs a day and your partner is asking you to live a healthier lifestyle, that’s one thing. If your boyfriend or girlfriend asks you to “do something with your hair” every time you leave the house to avoid their own embarrassment, that’s quite another.

4.) There’s a lack of trust. Trust is one of the foundations of a healthy, caring relationship, and if your significant other is constantly second guessing your loyalty, you might have a problem. Someone that constantly calls to “check up on you”, has jealous fits or accuses you of lying is not someone who loves you; it’s someone who wants to control you.

5.) You’re not equals. It doesn’t matter who makes more money or who works more hours, if you’re feeling trapped because you aren’t able to make your own decisions, it’s a sign of trouble. No one should have power over another in a relationship; you should both be equals and have an equal say in the issues you come across.

6.) You keep their actions a secret. If you don’t tell your friends what your partner says or does behind closed doors, chances are it’s not healthy. Everyone fights, and everyone says things they don’t mean at one point or another, but we all know what we are able to share and what we aren’t. Even if you did tell someone and immediately had to defend them by saying something like, “But he’s really not a bad guy…” guess what: he really is a bad guy. Pack your bags.

And don’t forget; for dorm safety items (like pepper spraysafes and personal alarms), check out our store at www.secureoncampus.com, and for dorm decorations (like dorm lightingfun drinking games, and wall decals) check out our store at www.thegoodlifeoncampus.com!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

5 Cheap Ways to Increase Your Home’s Security

Everyone wants to live in a safe and secure environment, but let’s be honest, everyone does not have extra thousand dollars lying around in order to equip ourselves with a decent home security system. Plus, take away the fact that many of us aren’t allowed to have a dog in our current dwelling and we might literally feel a little exposed. Never fear though, we’ve put together a few ways to keep your home safe when you don’t have a fortune to spend.

1.) Have a roommate. Whether you live with a friend or a significant other, the more people you live with the less likely a criminal is willing to risk breaking into your house. When you are the only resident, all they have to do is follow one schedule. When you’re not home the whole place is up for grabs, but when you have a roommate, that’s a whole other person they have to keep track of. In addition, when you go out of town there’s a good chance your home will still be occupied.

2.) Fake a pet. Landlord won’t let you keep a dog in your house? A burglar doesn’t know that. Even a simple “Beware of Dog” sign on your front gate will be enough to deter the majority of home burglars. The best “fake it” story I ever heard was a mother that accidently broke the lock on her daughter’s front door, so while the house had to spend a few days unlocked before it could get fixed, the mother left a sign on the door that read:

Susan –

I accidently let your snakes out. I had to go to work but I’ll come by later to look for them.

Sorry,

-Mom

3.) Ask the neighbors to help out. If you’re going to be gone for a weekend, ask a neighbor if they wouldn’t mind parking their car in your driveway for a couple nights. Have them stop by and get the mail for a few days as well. Nothing says “no one has been home in days” like a steadily growing stack of mail in your entryway.

4.) Set your timers. It’s fairly easy to set a timer to a few lights or your television within your home. They only cost roughly $15 and you can plug your television or lamps into them. Having flickering lights and sounds in your home will make it seem less obvious that it’s actually completely empty.

5.) Get a cheap alarmThe typical burglar is not some kind of professional, but actually a male teen living in your neighborhood. In addition, most burglars want to spend no more than 60 seconds breaking into your home. If it takes longer than that, they’ll move on to an easy target. So one of the best deterrents isn’t a fancy home security system, but a simple, loud alarm. You can a simple door alarm up at the store for about $20.

And don’t forget; for dorm safety items (like pepper spraysafes and personal alarms), check out our store at www.secureoncampus.com, and for dorm decorations (like dorm lightingfun drinking games, and wall decals) check out our store at www.thegoodlifeoncampus.com!

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Preventing Fires in Your Home

Did you know 1 person is killed every 2 hours in a house fire? It’s true! What’s even sadder is that many of these fires are completely preventable. So before you move into a new home or apartment, here are a few things you can do to protect yourself from deadly home fires:

1.) Check your smoke alarms. Smoke alarms are your number one defense against a starting fire, so it’s essential that you not only have an adequate amount, but also that they’re in working order and placed in the right locations. Smoke rises, so your smoke alarms should be place in in high rise locations like your ceiling or high on walls. Smoke alarms mounted on ceilings should be at least four inches away from the nearest wall and smoke alarms mounted on walls should be between four and twelve inches away from the ceiling. Make sure each alarm has fresh batteries and can be heard from every room in the house. Smoke alarms that are over 10 years old or have been painted over should be replaced.

2.) Keep a fire extinguisher nearby. Throwing water on a fire isn’t going to do much good when it really gets going, but a fire extinguisher might still be useful in this situation. The good news is that fire extinguishers are relatively cheap (around $30 dollars for a small one). Make sure the extinguisher is in proper working order (meaning the gauge should be checked to see if it needs to be replaced or recharged) and that it is in an easily accessible location. A fire extinguisher isn’t going to do you any good if you have to rummage through storage boxes in the garage to find it. It’s also important that everyone in the household knows how to work the fire extinguisher as well.

3.) Don’t overload sockets and power strips. With all the electronic devices in today’s world, it’s easier to overload a socket and not even know it. The television, DVD player, stereo equipment, video game console, computer, lamps and many other things will often be plugged into a single power strip. For newer homes, this may be acceptable, but in an older home it may be necessary to have a professional install a new outlet nearby.

4.) Watch your open flames. Candles are often outlawed in dorms, and for very good reason: an open flame can literally catch anything on fire! But if candles are allowed in your home, make sure they’re kept away from anything that could catch. Even curtains can be blown about when someone enters a room or a breeze comes in through a window. Pets and small children can also knock over a candle on accident.

5.) Use common sense. It may sound easy, but many people have fallen victim to this line of thinking. I’ve even come close to burning the house down when a blanket that was resting on the back of the couch feel off and landed on a heater while I was in the shower. I came out to a smoky living room and a severely scorched blanket. So keep your lamps and heaters free of debris, you never know what could catch!

And don’t forget; for dorm safety items (like pepper spraysafes and personal alarms), check out our store at www.secureoncampus.com, and for dorm decorations (like dorm lightingfun drinking games, and wall decals) check out our store at www.thegoodlifeoncampus.com!

Do you have any home fire safety tips?

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Renter Safety Issues Solved

Renting a home is one thing, but being a renter with a few of the issues listed below is just plain dangerous. Hopefully, if any of these things happen to you it will be nothing more than a mere headache, but just in case things get a little heavier than anticipated, here are a few ways to get yourselves out of the following situations:

1.) Unwanted guests. Far and away one of the worst parts about renting: the random people you have to deal with. If you have a roommate, that means at some point their brother, good friend from high school, old sorority sister or even “this really, totally awesome guy I just met at the bar last night” all have a free pass to your home. And if you don’t have roommates, you’re still going to have to deal with the occasional surprise home inspection (read your lease, it’s in there) or even an additional roommate if your landlord decides he needs an extra room for his uncle that was just released from rehab. I’m making it worse than it sounds, but you get the point.

So how do you protect yourself? Well first of all, make sure the important things are kept somewhere secure. That means anything you’d rather not be messed with (like your collection of old vinyl records) needs to be kept in your bedroom. Then keep it locked up. Door lockssafes, and padlocks can work wonders when dealing with random house guests.

2.) Sketchy appliances. Of course the first thing you should do whenever any appliance breaks is to notify your landlord. Most states have a “duty of repair” which requires them to keep certain appliances (like those used for heating, cooling, electrical, plumbing and sanitary, just to name a few). Keep a record that you reported the problem in writing, and make sure it’s dated as well. You don’t want to be stuck with the bill if you need to move out three months later and the refrigerator still hasn’t been fixed.

The main issue though, is to get the item fixed as soon as possible. A broken stove could result in a more dangerous situation, such as a gas leak. After a reasonable time frame (usually two weeks), you can take your complaint to local housing officials if your landlord hasn’t attempted to make any progress. You can also contact your landlord to tell them you will be hiring a professional to fix the damaged item and you will be keeping the receipt for reimbursement.

3.) A negligent landlord. Or, the problem is your landlord him – (or her) – self. Maybe they aren’t keeping up on any of their required duties, such as putting a new lock on your door, fixing the broken step on the front stoop or replacing the missing handrail on the fire escape. If this is the case, move! These things all directly affect your individual safety, and you deserve better!

And don’t forget; for dorm safety items (like pepper spraysafes and personal alarms), check out our store at www.secureoncampus.com, and for dorm decorations (like dorm lightingfun drinking games, and wall decals) check out our store at www.thegoodlifeoncampus.com!

Got anything to add?

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Staying Safe in a New City

image

Moving, while stressful, can actually be pretty excited. It’s almost like a clean slate, in a way. But while moving may be quite exciting (all the new restaurants to try and activities to do), it can also be a bit dangerous if you don’t know your way around. Maybe there is a certain part of town that you just shouldn’t be wandering around at night, or maybe this city is actually serious when they say an evacuation is in order. Either way, here are a few tips to keeping yourself safe in a new, unfamiliar city:

1.) Do your research. Even if you just do a simple Google search, something is bound to come up. Better yet though, contact the local police department before your arrival. They will be able to tell you where to look to find local crime statistics and even possibly spots to avoid (such as their highest areas of theft or assault). If you are going to a city with a gang problem, it might also be necessary to be aware of the colors you wear in certain neighborhoods.

2.) Be smart with your exploring. Love to explore? I completely understand. Exploring needs to be done in a smart manner, though; if you want to visit the local parks, do so during the day when there are plenty of people around. Central Park, for example, is a fantastic place to get to know, but you should definitely be visiting it during the day.

image

3.) Don’t make it obvious that you’re new in town. Snatchers tend to prey on those that are clearly unfamiliar with their surroundings. So keep your guidebooks and camera a little out of sight. You don’t want to be standing in the middle of nowhere looking completely lost and vulnerable.

4.) Leave the valuables at home. There is no reason for you to be walking around with your passport or social security card, so leave those things at home. Carry only absolute essentials, like your debit card and ID. If you need cash you can use an ATM, and if these things get stolen they are fairly easy to replace.

5.) Explore with a friend. Getting lost in a new city can be fun, for a while, but it can quickly turn scary if you end up in a poor location or can’t find your way back. If possible, explore with a buddy before you head out on your own. This will allow you to get your bearings straight before you try it for the first time.

6.) Use common sense. If you get an uneasy feeling about a particular location, leave. If the guy sitting across from you on the bus is freaking you out, change seats. There is nothing wrong with trusting your guy, especially in an unfamiliar location. 

And don’t forget; for dorm safety items (like pepper spraysafes and personal alarms), check out our store at www.secureoncampus.com, and for dorm decorations (like dorm lightingfun drinking games, and wall decals) check out our store at www.thegoodlifeoncampus.com!

Do you have any additional safety tips for your town?

Monday, January 28, 2013

Questions Parents Should Ask Campus Police

When a student is trying to choose a university or college for the next four years, the efficiency of the campus security is probably the last thing on their mind. Other factors, like the academic and athletic program, price and distance from family and friends will probably be closer to the front of their mind. So here’s where the parents can come in. Wait until your son or daughter has narrowed down their top choice in schools to two or three and then ask each school these 5 questions:

1.) What qualifications to your campus security officers have? Many campus security officers have to go through similar training to that of an actual policeman, but other schools simply make them go through an 8-hour course, hand them a Taser and call it a day. You’ll want to make sure the people responding to possible threats actually know what they’re doing, compared to just a scared kid on a work-study program.

2.) Are background checks performed before security members are hired? You would think, in this day and age, that everyone would undergo a background check before they were hired, but it’s not the case. Background checks do cost money (not a lot of money) and do require some time, so a financially strapped college that needs to fill a job ASAP might skimp on something like this. Plus, the hiring process for campus security could be very different than the hiring process of the school’s professors and other staff. Don’t assume that just because one staff member has undergone a background check that all staff members have undergone a background check.

3.) How is the campus security funded and is it adequate? The national norm for the amount of an institutional budget that is spent on campus security is about 2.5-3 percent. How does this school use their funds? They can brag and brag and brag and brag about the level of personnel they have working for them, but if it’s only people because that’s all they can afford, it really doesn’t matter how outstanding they are. There is only so much so few people can handle. A financially strapped institution probably won’t be able to offer campus security escorts during sticky situations, for example.

4.) Where can I see the crime statistics for this school? One great way to know the effectiveness of campus security is checking to see how many crimes are actually reported. A safe campus doesn’t necessarily mean nothing is reported, it means that of the crimes that are reported, a healthy percentage of them are pursued and solved. Schools with little to no crime reports often mean that students aren’t reporting crimes because nothing ever happens to the perpetrators anyway.

5.) How often does the school conduct a comprehensive risk and threat analysis? The old, “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it” mantra doesn’t work here. Every few years a whole new slew of problems arise, and if the campus security hasn’t been doing its research they won’t be able to do anything about them before it’s too late. Think about it; Facebook stalking has only been around fairly recently. Your school better have a plan set in place for dealing with something like that.

And don’t forget; for dorm safety items (like pepper spraysafes and personal alarms), check out our store at www.secureoncampus.com, and for dorm decorations (like dorm lightingfun drinking games, and wall decals) check out our store at www.thegoodlifeoncampus.com! 

Can you think of any questions we’ve forgotten?

Friday, January 18, 2013

A Stranger is in My Dorm, What Do I Do?

This is technically called a home invasion, but let’s be honest, no one ever calls it that in college. I can actually remember quite a few stories from friends of mine where they were awakened in the middle of the night to find a stranger in their dorm. And to tell you the truth, it really is an honest mistake most of the time. Think about it; you pull 4 all-nighters in a row, arrive at your dorm, walk up to the 3rd floor and find your dorm room is already open so no need to use the key. You walk in and fall asleep on your bed. Except in a few minutes someone wakes you up to tell you you’re in the wrong room. You’re not on the 3rd floor you’re on the 4th floor…see how easy that is?

And let’s not forget the countless times a group of friends drops their drunk buddy off at the main floor. Hey, as long as he’s in the building he’s not their problem anymore (or so they say). A drunk college kid trying to find the accurate dorm room in a sea of hundreds is going to yield some misses.

So I’m going to say something that may seem a bit strange: you need to almost expect a few interesting visitors throughout your semester, and the steps for scoping one out are a bit different than if you live off-campus.

1.) Don’t investigate. I’ll admit, in my home off campus if I heard something go bump in the night there’s no way I’d take it lightly, but in my dorm room I’ll investigate close to any random sound. I always figure it’s a roommate in the kitchen making a midnight snack or something. But if you have it on good authority that there’s a stranger in your dorm (your roommates are all gone for the weekend), don’t go wandering out to confront anyone.

2.) Get out. If you have a clear shot at the door, get the hell out. If you can alert your roomies then great, but you don’t have to go through your whole place right now. Step 3 is coming up.

3.) Call the front desk. Not campus security and not 9-1-1…not yet, anyway. The front desk guy only has to walk up a couple flights of stairs to get to your room, so the effect is immediate. Plus, if you do have someone that is in the wrong room by accident, the front desk clerk can take care of everything right away. If things are iffy, they will decide to call campus police. Of course if you call the front desk and no one answers, call campus police. If it’s a serious emergency, like you know the intruders have a gun, call 9-1-1.

4.) Use your wits. If you don’t have a personal alarm near you (which you really should in college), use your keychain. Most car alarms can reach a lot farther than you think, and pressing the panic button on your keychain will signal your car alarm. Besides just scaring the intruders away, someone is going to investigate who’s car it is and someone will be knocking on your door shortly to tell you to turn it the hell off. 

And don’t forget; for dorm safety items (like pepper spraysafes and personal alarms), check out our store at www.secureoncampus.com, and for dorm decorations (like dorm lightingfun drinking games, and wall decals) check out our store at www.thegoodlifeoncampus.com!

Friday, January 4, 2013

College Student Health Tips

Now just last week I posted an article about College New Year Resolutions, and not surprisingly, one of them was to get healthy. Now I get it; college is a huge life step, so why not make the best of it? Plus, since you’re not in high school anymore, this is your chance to create a new identity. It’s a new year, a new career path (you may even be starting your first semester of school in a few days) so why not start off by making yourself the healthiest ‘you’ you can be? I thought so.

But before you start off on some crazy plan (I’m going to run 14 miles a day!) and then quickly abandon it (as an avid runner even can’t commit to running 14 miles a day), let’s get a few more useful habits into place.

1.) Clarify what and why you want to change. If you think the only thing keeping you from being happy is your weight, you’re wrong. There are a lot of factors that determining your happiness and you need to address all of them. That means that by “getting healthy”, you also need to address your mental state of mind. Are you stuck in a dead-end relationship? Do something about it. Are you constantly getting taken advantage of people? Make a change. Your physical appearance, contrary to popular opinion, has nothing to do with these two things. Your weight does not determine your self-worth.

2.) Address all areas of your health. That means not just exercising more often, but watching what you eat, making sure you’re drinking enough water, getting enough sleep, managing stress better and being more aware of your mental health. All of these things combined create a healthy identity, not just one or two on their own.

3.) Be specific, and write it down. You want to work out more? Great! How much? How often? Don’t just say “more”; make a goal. Two times a week? Three times a week? An hour each time? Write that down. Or maybe it’s a fitness goal, like you want to run a 5k by the end of the month. Write that down. Maybe you want to learn how to cook and decrease the amount of meals you eat out by 50%; leaving only three times during the week where you will eat out. Write that down.

4.) Be ready for set-backs. Research shows that habits are never actually broken; they are just replaced by stronger habits. You are never actually going to lose your sweet tooth, but you will become much better about giving into it all the time. Now keep in mind, research also says that it takes roughly three weeks straight for a new habit to start becoming second nature. That means if you abandon your goals by the second week, you really haven’t even given yourself a fighting chance! So if you miss the gym one day don’t sweat it, just go the next day. Gradually, you will be able to make a change.

5.) Keep things interesting. I mentioned earlier that I’m a runner. One of my goals every year is to run 365 miles by the end of the year (1 mile per day). However, I also know that I don’t run on treadmills. I get bored and frustrated. Outside I can run 10 miles, but on a treadmill I barely make it 2 miles before I move on to something else. If I relied on treadmills there’s no way I’d reach my goal, but by creating routes around my house I’m much more likely to stick to my plan.

And don’t forget; for dorm safety items (like pepper spraysafes and personal alarms), check out our store at www.secureoncampus.com, and for dorm decorations (like dorm lightingfun drinking games, and wall decals) check out our store at www.thegoodlifeoncampus.com!

What are some ways you plan on being more healthy this year?

Saturday, December 29, 2012

College Student New Year Resolutions

Well ladies and gents, 2013 is just around the corner, and that means many of us will be sitting down, more motivated than ever, and writing down our New Year resolutions. And sure, there may be a few habits you’d like to change, but we all have to admit; that feeling of lying down to sleep at night knowing you’ve had an incredibly productive day is an amazing feeling, so wouldn’t it be nice to have that feeling more often? Of course it would! So let us give you a few more specific solutions so some of the  most common college resolutions out there and help you get on track for having the best year ever.

1.) Stop procrastinating. This is typically on every college student’s checklist, and for good reason: the amount of effort we spend putting off homework assignments is astounding. I’ve been known to clean an entire house just to avoid starting a research paper. So stop it, by forcing yourself to change your habits. Really think about what you do every day; when you’re 95 years old, are you honestly going to look back on your life and be grateful you spent all those hours watching The Real Housewives of New Jersey? Probably not. You’d probably rather you got your work done and went to the gym. And speaking of the gym…

2.) Get healthy. This will probably be on your list, but it needs to be more specific. What do you mean by “healthy”? Do you have a goal weight (say 10 pounds lighter than you are) or a goal accomplishment (run a 5k). Make sure you have shorter time frames for check-in; saying “by the end of the year” is never a good idea. Instead, set a list of smaller goals throughout the month and focus on those. And finally, how are you going to do it? Nothing just miraculously “happens”, so you need to sort out the details, like hitting them gym 3 times a week and doing at least 30 minutes of cardio activity a day. That’s a good start.

3.) Cut the drama. The new year often causes us to re-evaluate every aspect of our lives, and one of those aspects would be relationships. Do you have any that are holding you back? Perhaps a deadbeat boyfriend (or girlfriend) that sucks you dry of time, money and patience. Cut them loose, and that includes family. I had a manipulative and abusive father and five years ago I cut off all contact. It was tough, but I can honestly say I’ve been happier in the last five years that I have my entire life. It’s amazing how much every day improves when you have no one in your life that constantly ruins it.

4.) Plan your summer. Surely everyone has some version of “have an awesome summer” on their list, but no one plans for it. You will, starting now. Get a job lined up and then plan your weekends. Always wanted to go white water rafting? Want a girl’s weekend in Vegas? Want to learn how to surf? Figure out your commitments (weddings, family reunions) and book some trips on your weekends off. Like I said earlier, miraculous things don’t just happen; you have to work for them, including a kickass summer. 

www.thegoodlifeoncampus.com

And don’t forget; for dorm safety items (like pepper spraysafes and personal alarms), check out our store at www.secureoncampus.com, and for dorm decorations (like dorm lightingfun drinking games, and wall decals) check out our store at www.thegoodlifeoncampus.com!

What are some of your resolutions?

Thursday, December 20, 2012

How to Survive Christmas Break at Home

This blog is typically dedicated to strictly safety related posts, so a family oriented Christmas break post might seem a bit out of place, but let’s be honest here; going home after a semester at college while exciting, can also be one of the most stressful experiences ever. So if all you want is to make it back for the spring semester in one piece (and still on speaking terms with most members of your family), here are a few tips to make it through the holidays:

1.) Talk to your parents beforehand. Sure, you’re an adult, but they will probably never see you that way. You’ve been taking on an incredible amount of responsibility (you’re successfully passing 18 credits including Organic Chemistry all while working 30 hours a week and sleeping 7), and they probably think that’s all very adorable, but to them you will always be a one year old that’s still struggling to walk and doesn’t yet know how to use silverware.

So lay out some guidelines beforehand. Check in when they ask (it only takes a second andit lets them sleep soundly at night) and make sure they understand that you have a lot of people to see in a very limited amount of time.

2.) Talk with friends ahead of time. You might have this fantasy of going home and seeing all your hometown buddies, but if you show up with plenty of time to hang out only to find out that most of them didn’t come home this year you’re going to be pretty bummed.

3.) Understand that other people may have stayed the same while you have changed. One of the toughest things about going home is realizing that people still view you in the same light as when you left. Personally, I was a complete tomboy in high school. I didn’t own a dress and I didn’t even know how to put on makeup or wear my hair any different than in a knot on top of my head. But over the years I’ve found that I like dressing like a girl. Sure I’ll always be a tomboy that prefers playing in the mud to playing with dolls, but when friends back home saw me wearing makeup they thought I was a completely different person. I felt like I was defending myself when I hadn’t even done anything wrong. Be ready for it, and be ready for your friends to have changed as well. And go easy on them too; after all, this is a time when everyone is figuring out exactly who they are.

4.) Stay out of the drama. Your parents getting on your nerves? Let it go. They can’t help it. Your best friend from high school brought back their new college bestie home with them and she’s crashing everything with the two of you? Grow up. Hell if your friend likes her she’s probably pretty cool so maybe you should make an effort to get to know her. The last thing you need is to go back to college with a bunch of petty crap on your mind.

5.) Relax. Christmas break is a time to unwind! Drink hot cocoa on the couch with your mom, hit up Best Buy with your dad armed with that stack of gift cards you got for Christmas and take a walk around some of your favorite haunts. School’s going to be starting up again before you know it, so enjoy your homework free status while you can!

And in the meantime, don’t forget to check out our store of college safety gear at www.secureoncampus.com

What are you surviving tips?