So, you have managed to get admission to your dream university and are busy in making the arrangements for the much-awaited shift from your hometown. But wait! Going to university can be a lot more than studying, having fun and living an independent life. It is that time of a student’s life when a person can have both good and bad experiences. While you cannot avoid the bad experiences, being prepared well in advance can be helpful in making the most out of your years at the university. Whether you are moving from a small town to a bustling city or vice versa, follow our tips below to stay safe at university in the UK.
Take responsibility for yourself
Living an independent life does not mean you can run away from your responsibilities. Your biggest responsibility will be your own safety. While most of the universities in the UK are renowned as the safest universities in the world, being prepared in advance will not cost you a fortune. At the very beginning of your term, check out the crime rates in and around your university as well as your accommodation. As you might take time to get accustomed to the new place, always keep your phone charged to make calls or to find a way to reach your desired destination. Being with a group of friends will help you during the late evenings. Make sure you always carry extra cash to get a taxi when needed and always pre-book a licensed taxi or get a taxi from official taxi positions.
Be extra-cautious while going out alone
If you are going to an unknown destination, plan your journey in advance before leaving your home. Inform your friend or family about where you are going and by when will you be back home. Avoid poorly lit areas, alleyways, parks and underpasses at night. Try to take occupied busses or carriages on a train. Be alert and don’t get distracted by your phone from your surroundings. While many male students feel that it is only women who should follow safety norms, young men are often at a higher risk of being attacked in a street. So, carry a personal alarm when going out alone.
Limit your drinks
If not taken sensibly, drinking can be hazardous at times. If you are highly drunk, then you are at a higher risk to do something foolish or risky. So, know your drinking limits, eat well before gulping down that extra pint of beer and drink lots of water to remain sober. Do not leave your drinks unattended or accept drinks from strangers as there are chances that it might get spiked with drugs.
Do not flaunt your belongings
As a student, it might be rare for one to own the most expensive phone or laptop. But if you have one, keep it discreet and secure both inside and outside your accommodation. Do not leave your mobile phone hanging out of your pocket as it might accidentally get lost or get stolen. Carry all important stuff like wallets, cash and bank cards in a zip-up pocket or in the inside pocket of your clothes. Avoid carrying a big amount of money unnecessarily.
Register your belongings
Register your belongings in advance to make your life much simple during an unexpected event such as robbery. Always mark your personal items with a UV pen and include your student registration number along with the initials of your university. You can register electronic items such as mobile phones, cameras, iPads, laptops or bikes at www.immobilise.com. Being a free UK property register agency, this website is supported by police forces to help people during accidental events.
Keep your house secured
Burglars often target student accommodations. So, keep your house properly locked from inside and outside. Fit outside doors with secured locks which are difficult for thieves to break down. Use timer switches on radios and lights to fool the potential burglars by falsely indicating them that you are at home. In case if you are leaving any expensive item during your holiday, keep it safe in a locker or a completely secured storage.
Protect your identity
Ensure that all your personal details are safe. At public places, be extra cautious about items such as driving licenses, bank cards, PIN numbers, official university documents or any item relieving your personal identity. Keep everything organised as losing these things in public might land them in the wrong hands. Inform your university, bank and other organisations about your change in address in advance, to stop them from sending the important documents with personal details at the wrong address.
Be cautious about your car or bike
The UK has the highest chances of getting a bike stolen. So, invest in a high-quality bicycle lock and use it without fail. Park your bicycles only in designated public areas which are adequately lit and lock it with some immovable object. When at home, keep your bike locked in a proper garage. When using a car, immobilise it immediately after you leave the car even for a few minutes. Park your car in proper parking spaces and don’t leave back any valuable stuff in the parked car.
Use security apps on mobile and laptops
With the increasing number of cyber-crimes, one cannot ignore the need for securing all digital devices with trusted apps. Keep your phone and laptop safe by installing security software. While leaving the university in the middle of the night, carry your laptop in a sports bag rather carrying it in its case.
Learn to say NO
As an independent student, there are chances that you might succumb to the unnecessary requests from acquaintances or complete strangers. Never feel pressured to do anything which you feel is not appropriate. Politely say no thanks to escape a dicey situation. While you would want to make new friends and a good impression on others by actively participating in social activities, just remember that being alert and taking your own care is more important to make good memories for a lifetime.