Classes are starting up again and students are back in the dorms for another semester. College is a challenging and exciting time, but it is also one of the first times where you are responsible for yourself. Before you head off to class, it’s important to familiarize yourself to your new surroundings.
Here are 5 ways to stay safe in your residence this semester:
- Don’t let it happen to you. One of the biggest misconceptions regarding safety is that taking safety precautions isn’t necessary because “it won’t happen to me.” Be prepared. Get to know your dorm’s safety procedures or speak with your residential assistant. Be aware of your own responsibility to ensure the safety of yourself and others in your dorm.
- Keep it clean. Your dorm is what you make of it, but space is limited. Limit clutter by sticking to the essentials. This should make it easier to maneuver throughout the space. Try not to hang anything from the ceiling and limit wall coverage. Having room organizers is a good way to stay organized and keep your dorm clean.
- Report any problems. If your window won’t close for some reason, heater is acting up, or electrical outlet blew a fuse, make sure to contact your residential assistant or campus’ office of residential life immediately. The problems may seem minor at first, but can escalate rapidly.
- Don’t get crazy. Although Christmas lights and bumping music may get you a lot of friends, it not only disrupts neighbors, but presents an unsafe environment for the facilities and you!
- Watch where you put things. An older-style laptop with a failing battery probably shouldn’t get placed on your comforter while you are away at class. Similarly, the suite’s PS3 might need to be turned off every few days to avoid overheating—both for the system and where it’s placed. Also, always remember to not overuse or misuse extension cords and power strips.
Photo: SUNY Cortland