Think twice about tweeting from the beach and other smart Spring Break advice
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!