The Most Unsafe Roommate You Can Have

Safety at school is serious stuff, and you’ve probably gotten together a list of things you need to do before going off to college. Maybe you’ve bought yourself a dorm safe and some pepper spray, and a few minor locks for some valuables (and if you haven’t bought these things, your checklist is severely inadequate, and you should immediately visit here to makes sure you’re stocked up on college essentials).

However, all the things in the world aren’t going to be useful if you make bad decisions…which leads me to my point; a bad roommate is the most unsafe thing you can have in college.

Here, I’ll give you some examples:

1.) They cloud your judgment. A roommate that says things like, “Oh c’mon, I’m fine to drive I’ve only had a couple…” or “Let’s go to their house! They’re cute and seem really nice!” is just asking for trouble. If you’ve got a bad feeling about something, trust it. Even when your whiny roommate is begging you to make a bad decision along with her (or him).

2.) They have no respect for your stuff. Having no respect for your stuff is annoying, I’ll give you that, but the problem is that this lack of respect often spills over to a disrespect of your shared space, which is downright dangerous. If they’re bringing random people home at random hours of the night, they’re not only putting themselves in danger, but they’re also putting you in danger. Make sure you’ve both agreed on clear cut rules on who is and who isn’t allowed in your dorm room.

3.) They do illegal things. You don’t smoke pot, they do; fine. You have no problem with that. But when they do it in your room, you both can be held accountable. If you have a roommate that is seriously toeing the line with illegal goings on, you need to make a change. You don’t necessarily need to go all crazy narc on them and turn them in, but you do need to get yourself out of the situation. For the sake of your future, get out of the situation.

4.) They are reckless. Now don’t get me wrong, there is always a time and place for a good rule-breaking, but there are also times when it’s important to follow the rules, and if your roommate can’t tell the difference you could be in for a world of hurt. If they fall asleep with candles burning, disconnect the smoke alarms or have otherwise outlawed things, you need to do the right thing and get it taken care of, for your own safety as well as the safety as everyone else in your building.


Your Worst Possible College Mentality

The phrase “it won’t happen to me” is a disaster just waiting to happen. The idea that you won’t get skin cancer even though you don’t wear sunscreen, or that of all the people attacked each year walking to their car alone and in the dark you won’t be one of them is astoundingly obtuse. Yes, things happen to good people, and you have just as much of a chance of being a victim as anyone else does.

Unfortunately, this mentality is rampant in the world of university. Students fresh out of high school, still equipped with the idea of indestructability and invisibility now enter the world of responsibility and consequence. Sometimes things work out…and sometimes they don’t. Now you may feel you don’t possess this mentality, but you probably do, so here are a few ways situations to spot it:

1.) You leave your things unlocked. Dorm living is a tricky thing. You’re probably used to having a room at home with your family (read: people that respect your wishes), but now you are rooming with a stranger…so lock your sh*t up! A dorm room safe is essential for your college days, and if you think your roommate is probably totally normal and won’t be snooping through anything of yours, you’re wrong. They will be.

2.) You ride in cars with inebriated people. Or worse, you drive. College parties are many and often, so you’re going to be in this situation at one point or another. The idea that you “only live just down the street” or that “it’s all on backroads, no one will know” is so off base it’s ridiculous. Under no circumstance should you ever be getting behind the wheel of a vehicle after you’ve had a few, and definitely not in the passenger seat with a driver who has had a few. All those kids that get in accidents and kill their friends or innocent people coming home from work have something in common; they never though it would happen to them. Bottom line: call a cab or a sober buddy.


3.) You walk alone. I know this is a tough one. Not only have I frequently crossed my campus alone, in the dark, but I also like it. I like the feeling of being alone in the fresh air with just myself and my thoughts, but as romantic as that sounds, a being assaulted by someone preying on zoned out college students is not a refreshing feeling anyone wants to experience. Unfortunately this is dorm life: walking alone is a bad idea. And if you do have to spend some time in the dark, at least take a self-defense class or arm yourself with a hefty, effective container of pepper spray 

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The Random College Safety Concern You’re Ignoring

We’re going to talk about something that never really seems to get brought up except in very specific college circles. And by very specific, we mean extremely exclusive instances, as even fellow college students that have experienced this don’t talk about it.

We’re talking about food poisoning. And as much as it seems like a laughable topic (go ahead, we know you scoffed as soon as you read it), the fact is it happens quite often. And why wouldn’t it? Take a high school student that has never learned to cook and put them in a situation where they are starving and clueless about cooking appliances and you’ve got yourself a recipe for disaster (haha…recipe…pun…nice). So here are a few tips to making sure you don’t fall victim to the ever too common instance of self-inflicted food poison.

1.) Know the right temperatures. Your refrigerator should have a temperature below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, and anything that is taken out of the refrigerator needs to be consumed within 24 hours, or put back in the fridge. Cooking temperatures, on the other hand, vary by product. Vegetables, for example, don’t even need to be cooked (yes, some people don’t know that), while meats vary depending on what kind of meat it is. As a general rule, any kind of poultry should be heated to an internal temp (buy a meat thermometer, they’re cheap and super useful) of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Think, “Bacteria don’t thrive at 165.”

2.) Don’t leave stuff out. Once you are done, put the leftovers away! Leaving things out for grazing is one of the fastest ways to invite food poisoning. Wrap everything up and put it in the refrigerator within two hours of cooking. We shouldn’t even have to go into the amount of bugs (flies, ants, cockroaches) that could get into exposed food…right?

3.) Know expiration dates. Yes, things expire, whether they are well packaged or not. If you’re buying a package of chicken breasts, for example, and you aren’t sure whether or not you’ll eat it within the week, put it in the freezer instead of the fridge, where it will last much longer (months compared to days). Anything that is packaged should have an expiration date on it. As a general rule, if it’s past the expiration date, don’t eat it, and if it looks bad, in any way, don’t eat it. There are some exceptions, but now is not the time to get to know them.

4.) Avoid cross-contamination. Don’t use the same cutting board to cut your veggies as you do to cut your meat unless you wash it in between choppings. And your hands need to be washed anytime you handle meat before they touch anything else! If you had a plate full of raw food, don’t put the cooked food back onto it. Simple things like this will help keep you safe from cross-contamination.

5.) Clean up. A clean kitchen is one of the most essential parts of protecting yourself from food poisoning. That means doing your dishes the day of, and cleaning out the microwave if your food splatters. And besides, if you made the mess, clean it up. You don’t live with your mother anymore.

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