Top Tips to Stay Safe at University

Yes – we all know that the thought of going off to university can be incredibly daunting, especially if you have never been away from home. Both parents and students can feel waves of anxiety as students head off to their new adventure. Taking a few simple precautions can help give you that added peace of mind.

Our top 10 tips are:

  1. Plan Your Route
    If you take a few minutes to plan the end of your evening before you head out you will definitely reduce any chance of getting into risky situations. Spend a minute or two discussing how you are going to get home. Always leave clubs and pubs with a friend or group of friends. Let someone know where you are and what time you’ll get home. Keep your phone charged and make sure you are able to make calls in an emergency in case you lose the people you are with.
  2. Getting Around At Night
    Walking is usually not the best option but if you have to, never walk alone. All students are equally at risk – men and women. Plan your route in advance sticking to main roads and footpaths and avoid those dodgy badly lit zones– especially shortcuts such as parks and alleyways. Check with your students’ union for recommended cab companies. Remember, your safety is more important than the taxi fare. If you plan to use public transport to get home, sitting near the driver might give you a feeling of safety.
  3. Keep In Touch
    If it’s your first time living away from home keeping in touch with your family will be important. Maybe arrange a weekly time to text or call so you don’t feel you have to call every day. Parents will enjoy knowing there is a designated time for a call but also that you are off having fun. Encourage friends from home to visit and give them the full tour of your new home!
  4. Prepare For Freshers Flu!
    Seriously this is not a myth! Bring paracetamol, cough sweets and hot drinks to ward off the dreaded flu. Unfortunately being in close proximity to so many new people mean illness in those first few months is a given! Sign up with a GP and keep in touch with your friends so they know if there is something seriously wrong.
  5. Keep Your Home Safe
    Don’t give burglars an open invite. In student halls and shared houses bedroom and flat doors are often left unlocked making it a quick in-and-out job for a burglar. Close those doors – even if you’re only popping out for five minutes. Another tip is to avoid leaving notes on your door saying you’re away or ‘back soon’! Otherwise you might as well say come in and take a look….!
  6. Insure!
    Over half the students who fall prey to theft and burglary have not got adequate personal belongings cover. Insure your phone and anything valuable for extra peace of mind. This is surprisingly good value and can cost as little as £1.85 a month for a shared house.
  7. Online Safety
    In this age of social media, many of us are used to posting all manner of details online without a second thought. ‘Checking in’ at places online can alert burglars to the fact you are not at home, and posting images of new and expensive items can also be risky. Keep laptops secure and be extra careful of people collecting personal details online.
  8. Consider A Personal Safety Alarm
    Personal alarms will give you peace of mind if you do end up in a tricky situation. Carrying a personal alarm with you is a good idea – both for men and women. Safety Beacon gives you the option to text friends with your location as well as set off an alarm. Download here.
  9. Map Your Way Around The Area
    Like most university students you will be studying a in a new town or city. It’s likely that you won’t have had a chance to get to know the place before arriving so spending time on orientation is a great idea. As well as giving you peace of mind you’ll track down those local pubs and late night supermarkets too!
  10. Nights Out
    When on a night out, it can be all too easy to get carried away. Top tip number 2 is knowing when to call it a night – another skill that will help you throughout your uni experience and keep you safe. Try to avoid giving into peer pressure and once you feel it’s time to go home, just go without that FOMO feeling! If you are drinking never leave drinks unattended and keep an eye on how may drinks you have. Most students we interviewed said they actually enjoyed their cosy nights in…

So remember, work hard and play hard this term – but stay safe every step of the way!