We live in central Pennsylvania. With that being said, we tend to take for granted the benefits of going to school – quite literally – in the middle of no where. Welcome to State College, PA, where the most common crime is having your bike seat stolen.
“I’ve gotten so used to how safe State College actually is,” says freshman Paige Wertz. “I’m super clumsy with things like leaving my door unlocked. Thinking about that now actually freaks me out.”
We forget what it’s like outside of our Penn State bubble― in foreign countries, major cities and even on other college campuses. It’s not everywhere that you can safely walk home alone or leave your door unlocked.
Whether you’re headed to Daytona Beach, Puerta Vallarta or to visit your friends at other colleges during break next week, it’s never a bad idea to make safety one of your top priorities.
Remember the essentials.
When you’re packing your suitcase, think about the items that will come in handy should there be an emergency. These include bottled water, bandages, Neosporin, Advil, a flashlight, batteries and yes, even mace. Keep these items in a compact, cute make-up bag so that it’s easy to carry on the go. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
Utilize the buddy system.
But, seriously. Girls walking alone + drunk frat boys + foreigners = a recipe for disaster. It speaks for itself. Stick with your friends and there shouldn’t be a problem…and even then, be careful.
Actually use that safe in your hotel room.
When traveling, we keep so many important documents with us. Use the safe in your room to store your boarding passes, licenses, extra cash, passports and any other items that you deem valuable. This small step can avoid a large potential disaster.
Familiarize yourself with the area.
If you’re traveling abroad, this one’s a biggie. Foreign countries have many laws and regulations that the United States doesn’t, as well as their own sets of norms and standards. Before you hop on the plane, take some time to research the country’s expectations. Imagine your friends struggling with the language barrier as they attempt to bail you out of jail in Mexico…
If you go to Penn State, you’re smart– just use your best judgment. Have a blast, relax and soak up that sunshine.
Photo by Jessica Korch