Think twice about tweeting from the beach and other smart Spring Break advice02/28/2012
Students! We are days from the start of Spring Break, and many of you have big plans for the week. Wherever you are bound — the beach, the slopes, the mall, the couch (alright, maybe not the couch) — here are tips to help make the week as safe as it will be memorable:
- Secure your space here before you leave. Lock all doors and windows. Leave your answering machine on, but turn the ringer off (and don't leave a message saying that you are away). Leave a light on or better yet, put a light on a timer so that it appears as if someone is home. Take home easy-to-pack digital devices. Put a hold on the mail (you can do it here online).
- If you live immediately near campus, UA and Akron police can check your house periodically over spring break. Register by March 12. Learn more and register. (If you have a friend who is not leaving town for break, ask him or her to periodically check your house.)
- Don't pack your car the night before. It may take only a minute for a determined thief to break in.
Whether you are heading to the beaches or to the slopes:
- Travel in groups. There's safety in numbers. If you are going to separate from your group, tell someone when you will return. Take a cell phone, if possible (but remember that they may not work out of the country).
- If you are of age to drink, set a limit and stick to it. Don't drink on an empty stomach. Be on guard…alcohol affects judgment and lower inhibitions, leading to risky behavior that would be avoided otherwise. Don't leave a drink unattended. If you are away from your drink for a while, toss it. It's not worth the risk. And you already know not to drink and drive.
- Don't broadcast your absence. Sure, Tweeting from the beach will make your friends jealous, but it could also tip off others that your campus home is unoccupied.
- Call ahead to where you are staying to learn how you can secure your valuables. Don't slide them under the pillow and expect them to be secure. Ask if a safe is available. If not, perhaps it's best to leave them home.
- Always carry identification. Make sure someone at home knows how to reach you (in case there's a family emergency).
- Know your surroundings. Carry a map. Plan your journeys. Tell others where you are going.
- If you are heading into sun country, slather up! Use sunscreen. Avoid the sun at midday, and remember that tanning is a form of sun damage. Over time, it adds up.
- Remember that what happens during Spring Break doesn't necessarily stay there. It could follow you back to Akron. This applies to citations, STDs, tattoos . . .
We look forward to your return after a safe and fun break!