For a city its size, Bloomington has an unusually high crime rate. In fact, as a resident of this little city, you have a 1 in 28 chance of having your property stolen. That means either you or someone you know has probably been burglarized or had property stolen from their car. The police work hard to protect all of the residents and students in the city but unfortunately, they can’t be everywhere at all times. Insurance may replace the physical items you lose in a burglary but it can’t give you back the sense of security you had inside your home prior to the burglary and the money won’t replace the sentimental value of the things taken by a burglar. As a student, you are particularly vulnerable. There are a few things you can do to avoid being a crime victim. These tips will help you stay safe and keep criminals from stealing your valuables.
Whether you live on campus or off, you need to be aware of your surroundings. Avoid walking alone at night, even to your car. If you have to walk alone, be sure you know exactly where you are and pay attention to what is going on around you. Thieves count on catching their victims off-guard. If you see them coming, you’ll be better able to protect yourself and fend them off.
It’s important to use well-lit streets so you can see what’s in front of you. To keep your property safe inside your dorm room or apartment, be aware of who is in your space at all times. Burglary is a crime of opportunity. If a potential thief knows your class and work schedule, as well as all the things you have in your room, you might come home to find it missing.
If you live off campus, get an alarm system! Alarm monitoring from ADT is very affordable in Bloomington and can help you avoid returning home to find that a thief took something very valuable to you.
Keep your doors locked, whether you are home or not. By getting into the habit of locking your door, you’ll make it more difficult for a burglar to know whether or not you are home and less likely to have someone simply walk into your room or apartment when you are there. Open doors are invitations to thieves and even though you may be struggling to make it financially as a college student, you are a prime target for criminals who believe you must be wealthy to be a student at Indiana University.
Avoid drinking excessively. There will be plenty of wild parties going on while you are in college and you’ll be invited to a lot of them. If you are of legal age to drink, be mindful of how much you are drinking and have a plan to get home. Walking home drunk isn’t usually a good idea and neither is getting a ride from someone who may have had a couple of drinks themselves. If the party isn’t taking place in your apartment building or dorm, plan to catch a cab or an Uber back to your place when it’s over. By having this in mind before you leave your room, you’ll drink less because you need to be relatively sober to order the ride.
Campus security is there to help you if you need it.
If you don’t feel safe, pick up the phone and call them. You may be able to get someone to walk you to your car or to investigate a suspicious person wandering around near your home. Don’t hesitate to call if you don’t feel safe. These security officers are trained to help students feel safe while they are in Bloomington. They understand most of the college students are young adults who don’t have a lot of life experience. While you might not feel vulnerable, the fact that you are a college student away from your home and family makes you a viable target for a criminal. It’s up to you to take advantage of the security at your disposal.
There are places around campus that students should always avoid and if someone has advised you to stay away from a particular area, heed their advice. This is a time in your life where you should be learning all you can, meeting new people and enjoying yourself. If you become a victim of a burglary or violent crime, your entire college experience might be affected. You might not feel as safe in your surroundings as you did before. You might feel like you need to take an extra look around you before you turn a corner. In many cases, these events can be avoided by being proactive in the first place. Instead of leaving your safety up to chance, get a security alarm for your apartment and always walk with a friend. If you don’t have anyone to walk with you and you are on campus, contact the security team. Although you might have to wait a few extra minutes for them to arrive, your safety and lifelong peace of mind is worth those few minutes of time.
College students are victimized every day but you don’t have to be a statistic. You also don’t have to be afraid, as long as you follow the safety steps above and get all you can from your experience as a student in Bloomington, Indiana.