college campus

Campus Safety

As a college student, you may be experiencing complete freedom for the first time in your life, and it may seem both exhilarating and overwhelming. You left your parents at home and now you are on your own (except when it comes to cash, of course). Nevertheless, no one can tell you what you can and cannot do, as probably you know everything already, correct? Unfortunately, statistics show otherwise.

Even though college campuses are regarded as a sort of safety bubble for students, crimes of different sorts continue happening. Crimes ranging from assaults, to burglaries to sex crimes have been reported on many campuses across the nation. While most of them are committed by residents (students) of the campus, almost 20% were committed by outsiders from the surrounding communities. No one expects anything like that to happen in the new life that you are about to start, but it is wise to keep a  few tips in mind to  assist you during times of need as you finish your studies on campus. As the old adage goes, “Better safe than sorry.”

Campus Is Not As Safe As Many Think

As much as you are used to listening to your mp3 player or Smartphone at all times, at least as a freshman, avoid this habit and try to become more aware of your surroundings. Watch and scan carefully for different people and scenarios in order to recognize a potentially dangerous situation in time to avoid it. College students come from many different places and backgrounds, so it is impossible to be quite sure if every single one of them has fully honest intentions. Walking alone at night has never been a good idea for any place in the world and college campus are not the exception. Always invite a trusted friend to join you on your night walks back to your dorm. Aside from experiencing potential danger outside, indoor crime can be serious as well, both for you and your possessions. Let locking the doors and closing the windows while you are asleep or out become a trustworthy habit. This can spare you from burglaries, assaults, or even sex crimes. Most campuses have specific emergency systems and emergency points; be informed on where they are located and how to access them. Furthermore, get to know your campus well. Walk around the campus frequently and get to know paths, shortcuts and hiding spots.

Additional Tips

Parties will probably be an avoidable part of your college life, and even though they are seemingly harmless, try attending with at least one friend that’s going to stick around with you. Don’t allow yourself to get too lost in all of the madness happening there. Taking self-defense or martial art classes can also be beneficial if you are ever in an unforeseen situation; even carrying a simple pepper spray can be advantageous. No one is 100% safe anytime, anywhere, so with this in mind be sure you have taken necessary precautions in case you encounter a precarious situation.

What safety measures does your campus have in place?  

confidence

Gaining Confidence After an Accident

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports the fifth most common cause of death in the U.S. is accidents, as also stated on Boston auto accident attorneys’ website. Most accidents are very traumatic, even where there was no physical injury. The emotional scars can remain for a really long time particularly if you were the one behind the wheel. You might find yourself reluctant to get anywhere near the wheel of a car soon after. This is a normal reaction and may not bother you much at first. However, it is important that this feeling does not linger. The best way to overcome the fear of driving after an accident is to get your confidence back. Here are a few suggestions on how to do just that.

Be Kind to Yourself

Don’t feel keep feeling bad about what happened. Stop blaming yourself because you had an accident. According to Forbes, most people file a claim for collision at least once in about 17 years. So you are not alone in this. Whether it was as a result of your mistake or the other driver’s, there are lessons; learn from them and move on. When you move on, go slowly. Do not push yourself too hard as you have been through an experience that would most likely be traumatic for most people. Take things easy and be kind to yourself. Take care of yourself and if you need to take driving lessons in order to boost your confidence, go ahead and take them.

Get Back On

Don’t wait too long before getting back behind the wheel or you might get paralyzed by anxiety. Go slowly, but do make proactive efforts to try and get back to driving. You can start in your neighbourhood where there is less traffic, and drive around for a bit. As your confidence builds, you can then move on to the highway and your other normal routes. If you do not want to stress about being responsible for someone else, then drive alone until you gain more confidence. However, if having the company of someone you trust helps you to keep calm, be sure to invite them along for the ride. Understand that everyone is different, so go with the approach that works for you.

Seek Therapy

Driving anxiety is a real problem for many people and if you are suffering from such anxiety, do not dismiss it. If you have tried driving again and you just can’t seem to make that move from thinking about it to actually driving, then you should seek therapy. Psychotherapy is used for anxiety resulting from a traumatic experience, and it is likely that the accident was traumatic for you. Do not let anyone make you feel bad about the need to seek psychotherapy, in the end it is about taking control of your life. If you are able to face your fears and get behind that wheel at the end of it all, then that’s all that should matter.

Gaining your confidence back after having a motor accident is not easy, but with patience and determination it can be done. Just remember to be kind to yourself and take it at your own pace.

Interact with Dogs: Child Safety

Dog experts will agree that some dogs bite and some dogs don’t, but all dog bites are preventable. Unfortunately, children are at a high risk of receiving a bite from a dog. In Canada and the United States, between 1982 and 2014, of all the reported dog bite cases, 81% of the victims were children. Additionally, between 2010 and 2012, 359,223 children were bitten by a dog and while many people assume that dog bites are received from strange dogs, about 61% of dog bites occur within the home or in a familiar place.

While there is often controversy as to where the responsibility falls when a dog bite occurs (some blame the owners, others blame the victim) parents can help decrease the risk of a dog bite by teaching their child how to responsibly and safely interact with dogs.

Adult Supervision Around Dogs

Although it’s important that children are taught how to behave around dogs, either familiar or unfamiliar, adults are also responsible for supervising children around dogs. If an adult is around, particularly the owner of the dog, the dog is less likely to attack. If an attack does occur, adult intervention can help reduce the severity of the attack (ie. fatal attack). Similarly, if a child is left alone with a dog and the dog does attack, the child is less likely to free him or herself from the attack than if an adult was present. Not only are adults responsible for supervising a dog’s behavior, unsupervised children are more likely to wander off into a potentially dangerous situation.

Why Do Dogs Bite?

This is an important question to answer, especially for people who assume that dogs are always at fault. First off, there is no one reason why dogs bite, but here are a few:

  • Dogs are Pack Animals: By nature, dogs are pack animals and much of their behavior is based on such instincts. Since children are typically smaller than most dogs, some dogs may consider themselves as superior or alpha. Additionally, a dog may display protective behavior for a territory or person (which is also instinctive behavior).
  • Boundaries are Compromised: Many dogs are territorial and have boundaries in which they feel comfortable and safe. Children, on the hand, do not understand boundaries. An overly protective dog can feel threatened when his or her boundaries are crossed.
  • Too Much Physical Contact: Most dogs like affection and are eager to receive it, but if a tail or ear is pulled by an overly affectionate child, a bite may occur as a warning to “back off”.

Show and Tell Your Child How to Interact with Dogs

While dog owners have a great responsibility to teach their dogs not to bite and to recognize a potentially dangerous situation (ie. meeting strangers or too much stimulation in public), parents can only control how their child acts around dogs (or how the family dog acts). Here are some tips to teaching your child how to act around dogs:

  • When approaching a dog (and his or her owner) always walk slowly and quietly
  • Always ask the owner if you can pet his or her dog, never assume
  • If the owner says “yes”, slowly extend your hand to let the dog sniff the back of it (not the palm)
  • Pet a dog’s shoulder or chest, not the head

 

Additionally, if a child is in a dangerous situation with a dog, he or she should:

  • Never run, but give the dog a jacket, backpack, or something not attached to them
  • Avoid direct eye contact and stand like a tree with arms at their sides
  • Remain quiet and curled up in the fetal position if the dog knocks him or her down

Airbnb: Preparing Your Home

Becoming an Airbnb host is a great way to generate some extra income for that spare bedroom in your home or for the whole space when you are off visiting family and friends over holiday break. Before you take pictures of your home, set a price and post on the Airbnb site, you need to make sure your home is ready to be rented out short term by complete strangers.

Is it Legal to Rent Out Your Space?

Many Airbnb hosts, eager to keep up with rent payments while visiting friends states away, are unaware that it may be illegal to rent out their space for a day or two. Whether you rent an apartment or own a home, you need to check out the laws in your city or your rental agreement. Even if your landlord is never around and you’re only renting out your place for a night or two, you could be violating your lease and you could return home from your own trip with an eviction notice. Know all of the legalities before you decide to host, it’s not worth the risk.

Get Your Home Ready as an Airbnb Host

If you’re given the “go ahead” to be an Airbnb host, congratulations, but you will need to do a little prep work before you rent your space for your own safety and the safety and comfort of your potential renters.

  • Keep it Clean: If you have the extra funds to hire a professional cleaner, go ahead and splurge, otherwise clean your space as you see fit. The cleaner the space, the better ratings you’re likely to get. Additionally, if you don’t take the time to clean, you really can’t expect much in return from your renters. If your home is prone to dust, animal dander, or even mold, you should definitely mention something in your description.
  • Fix Up Your Space: Just as you would with a long term renter or guest, you’d make sure to fix any hazardous areas in your home, such as a loose railing, broken step, or unsafe electrical. In the event of a guest injury in your home, Airbnb offers insurance, but you also want to talk to your insurance provider and make sure what’s covered.
  • Communicate Everything: If, for some reason, something breaks right before a renter is due, make sure you communicate any potential dangers. A responsible and successful Airbnb host communicates everything. You should make all directions and expectations completely clear, as well as the inventory or space that is available. This can be something as simple as how to use the coffeepot or television remote to using the washing machine. Don’t leave any surprises for your guests or advertise that you provide one thing when you don’t have it.
  • Keep Your Valuables Safe: Whether you’re a regular host or an every-now-and-then, it’s important to keep your valuables safe from the strangers who live among your possessions. If you have an extra room, you could store important documents or heirlooms in the room and restrict access. A fireproof safe, with a combination lock or key, is also a good idea. If you are too worried about having your stuff looked at or handled, you probably should reconsider becoming an Airbnb host.

 

 

Office Space : Decorate for Holiday Festivities

They say “tis the season to be jolly.” This does not have to be restricted to only your personal life. However, you do not want to take your holiday celebrations to the extreme either. There is wisdom in balancing your career with your holiday excitement. Unless your livelihood is not linked to the paycheck you receive from your job or you work from Scrooge then finding that happy medium will be vital. Most business establishment and offices use this festive period to give their surroundings a new and appealing look. Typically everyone appreciates beautiful decorations and you can use that as your first step to test the waters. If you turn your cubicle office space into a cleanly designed but holiday themed work zone then there is a probability that your employer might take notice and invite you to decorate the entire business premises. This would give you the opportunity to demonstrate your team spirit and bring some seasons glow.

The following are some tips that can make your holiday time spent at work more enjoyable:

  • Mind the size of your office. Even if your boss or other employees don’t appreciate office decoration during holidays, you can do it in a way that they won’t be bothered. Don’t over-do it like most people do. Just keep it simple and beautiful. If you over-clutter your space with Christmas trees and toys, when you know your office is small, then you are making it look like your job is secondary. It could also portray you as disorganized.
  • Start and end with cleaning. If your employer or other co-worker seem to be less than pleased with your decorations, they will appreciate a neat office. Start the decoration from your door by giving it a little scrub and then move on to clean the walls and windows of your office. You must also be sure to clean up any mess your decoration might have created in the course of designing them.
  • Use small but beautiful decorations. Having adopted the principle of simplicity, you can go ahead and get beautiful but colorful Christmas trees that you can attach to your door or office table. You might also want to speak with your boss and see if he/she would want to increase team moral by throwing a contest. This would promote teamwork and make the office look more festive. Be sure that any materials or tools you use at your place of employment has been approved and sanctioned by your supervisor. There is always the possibility of an accident at work.
  • Changing your window blinds to colorful green and red mixture during festive periods like this is also acceptable.
  • Choose your decoration time cautiously. If you don’t want to offend others, ensure your decoration time is well planned and scheduled to avoid criticism. You should try not to decorate during your work hours. Decorating activities should take place either before or after your normal schedule. This will not only give you time to focus on the placement but will come as a surprise to your co-workers.
  • Avoid loud music. If you are alone in the office or you share it with others, you must avoid any form of distraction. Christmas songs are good and melodious but you need to make sure that your music is not distracting another employee.

What are your plans for the holidays? Do you have any office decorating tips you would like to share?

 

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