Should Guns be Allowed On Campus?

Hey Tumblr world, we’d like to know your opinion on this!

This is a great article talking about gun rights on campus. Meanwhile though, we’d love to get your guys’ opinions on the matter: should people be allowed to carry guns on campus? We’ve got a few pros:

Pros:

– In a situation like Virginia Tech or the movie theater shooting in Aurora, people innocent, sane people would also have a weapon to turn to in order to protect themselves and take down the crazy person with a gun.

– As the article mentions, there’s a difference between feeling safe and being safe. Many feel that if people were allowed to carry guns the environment would be safer overall.

Cons:

– College freshmen are the same age as high school seniors. Would you feel comfortable giving someone with the maturity level of a high school senior access to their own gun?

– There is a lot of drinking and drug use that typically happens on college campuses. We’re not saying everyone does it, but we’re definitely saying it happens more than it should. We don’t know about you but we don’t quite feel comfortable with a dorm party going on across the hall where alcohol and guns are both in the same room.

– Suicides are rampant during college years. Many students feel completely lost during this time in their life. Combine that with the feeling of failing a class and breaking up with your high school sweetheart, then throw a gun in the mix; would the suicide rate increase with better access to more lethal tools?

Of course these are just a few things we thought of off the top of our heads, so we’re looking for input! What do you guys think? Comment with your opinion!

So go for it: do you think concealed guns should be allowed on campus?

Ways to Fight Winter Gloom

Now I may just call it “winter gloom” but let’s be honest; what I’m really talking about here is a little thing called seasonal affective disorder. You may even have it yourself and not even know it! How would you know?

Do you find yourself feeling a little depressed during the cold, winter months? What about when you happen to live somewhere that’s rainy all the time, like London or Seattle? It might seem silly, but it’s a real thing; some people just need more sun than others.

No really, I’m not even kidding! Seasonal affective disorder is a change of mood that’s brought on by decreasing amounts of daylight. That means short winter days are all it takes to trigger an episode. And if you’re already prone to having depressing thoughts, or already struggle with anxiety, a couple months of short, gray days (combined with the stress of final exams) can push you right over the edge. So how do you keep your head above water?

1.) Get out in the daylight while you can. SAD is caused by a lack of daylight, so when there is available daylight, get out there! Go for a walk, a drive, or just go sit in the park. Take a friend with you or go by yourself. Personally, I love going for a long drive; it’s the perfect way to clear your head!

2.) When indoors, position yourself near windows. Need to head to the library to do study for finals? Don’t bury yourself on the basement level, go up a floor or two and find a quiet study spot next to a window. You can even rearrange your dorm room to have your bed closer to your window so when you wake up in the morning the first thing you see is a little daylight.

3.) Exercise! Exercising releases natural endorphins that help you feel instantly happier. And all you really need is 30 minutes a day; plus you can always combine it with something outside.

Freezing temperatures make it so you’d rather stay indoors? No problem! Head to the gym (a school gym membership should be included in your tuition fees) and try and get a treadmill facing a window. Or just blast some of your favorite music in your dorm room and have a personal dance party for one. It still counts as exercise!

4.) Trick yourself. Surrounding yourself with pictures of the ocean or home during the summer time may sound like a futile attempt to make yourself feel better, but it really does work. After all, when you’re feeling homesick would you rather sit in a blank room, or one covered in pictures of friends and family? There’s a reason college kids line their walls with photos; it makes them feel better! Do the same with this: put calendar pictures of summer days in between your photos. It’ll be a wall of inspiration.

5.) Make a fun change. Changing it up in the drab of winter can bring a little excitement into your life. It doesn’t have to be crazy; just get a new haircut or try out a new bakery in town. A little bit goes a long way!

And don’t forget; for dorm safety items (like pepper spray, safes and personal alarms), check out our store at www.secureoncampus.com, and for dorm decorations (like dorm lighting, fun drinking games, and wall decals) check out our store at www.thegoodlifeoncampus.com!

Your Most Dangerous Thought

College can be a tricky time in a person’s life. It’s as if you are expected to know everything about who you are and what you will become before you even turn 19, and the bet tens of thousands of dollars that you are right. Oh wait, nevermind…that’s exactly what college is. So it’s completely understandable if you’re thinking through a few things.

However, there is a difference between weighing the pros and cons of a situation and having a harmful thought process. The fact is that some of those irrelevant thoughts that enter your mind are actually quite dangerous, and need to be squashed immediately. But there is one thought that is more dangerous than all of those. Can you guess what it is?

“Just this once.”

The phrase “just this once” means you are trying to dodge the consequences of a risky behavior by cutting down on the number of times you perform that behavior. Let’s take a look at some of the situations, shall we?

1.) With drugs and Alcohol. College is a time for experimentation, I’ll admit that. There is definitely a certain amount of drugs and alcohol that are passed around on a frequent basis (depending on the circle of friends you hang out with), but that doesn’t mean you can get stupid. No matter how many times you participate, there are consequences: one positive piss test could mean an expulsion and the loss of your scholarships, suspension for your specific sport if you’re on an athletic team, and let’s not even get into the consequences from your own family. Plus, driving home drunk “just this once” not only endangers you, but anyone else out on the road that you may encounter.

2.) Sexually. Like I mentioned above, college is a time for experimentation, but experimentation shouldn’t mean that safety goes right out the window. Everyone you meet has a different backstory, which means everyone you meet may or may have been exposed to sexually transmitted diseases, so use some form of protection every time. Think about it, it only takes one time to get pregnant or be infected with HIV. Do you really want to risk that for a bit of fun one night?

3.) By cheating. College is stressful, and I can’t count the number of times I’ve been watching a bit of evening television and then suddenly realized that I have a 16 page paper due the next morning. It happens.

However, that doesn’t mean you can cheat. Borrowing your roommate’s paper may sound like a good idea at the time, but professors are wizening up to this sort of thing. Now they just scan your paper and enter it into a database, so even if your roommate wrote that paper for another class, three semesters ago, it still comes up, and then you’ve got some questions to answer.

So just suck it up and do the work. What do you think an all-nighter is, anyway?

4.) With your safety. Trust me, I’ve been there; it’s 1:30 in the morning and you just have  to get to your dorm room before morning. It’s only a 12 minute walk, so you should be fine, right? No. Don’t do it. Even if you do have the proper safety equipment (some pepper spray, a personal alarm, the iWitness app on your phone), you are still putting yourself at risk. You’d be surprised how many drunk freshmen end up freezing to death while trying to walk home. If you can’t get a ride just call campus security. Many times they’ll just come pick you up, no problem.

And don’t forget to check out our store (www.secureoncampus.com) for more personal safety essentials!

College Crime You Need to Look Out For

Regardless of how much you see in the news, college campuses are decently safe places. That doesn’t mean crime doesn’t happen though, and in order to be prepared you need to know what you’re up against.

What’s more, you need to know the more popular offenses that are on the rise. So we’ve made it easy for you!

1.) Property Damage. Most recent data suggests that over 80% of campus crimes involve property of some kind (that includes theft). And as expensive as typical college costs are (tuition, books, dorm room, food, etc.) having to replace a laptop (which also has 36 completed pages of your senior thesis) can really hurt. That’s why it’s important to protect your property. A laptop safe, for example, will ensure that your laptop stays exactly where you left it. Various locks and dorm safes are also great ways to make sure your valuables don’t end up damaged or stolen.

2.) Identity Theft. While theft tends to be most common campus crime, identity theft has been on the rise. And it’s no surprise; after all, colleges typically require quite a bit of personal information for a number of things. Requesting transcripts, signing up for internships, changing your class schedule and signing up for a dorm room often require multiple forms of identification. So while it’s perfectly understandable to have things like your driver’s license, birth certificate and social security card in your dorm room, it would be stupid to leave all those things out in the open! A dorm safe is a perfect tool for storing these items. In addition, various computer securities will keep crooks from looking up all of your information on your computer, like login information and passwords.

3.) Violent crimes. Even though severe violent crimes make up an exceptionally low percentage of overall university crime (usually around 2% of the total crime), the occurrences are on the upswing, which means you should prepare yourself for the worst. A small bottle of pepper spray, for example, is always a great tool to carry. Plus, with advances in technology other forms of protection are coming out on the market. The most recent is the iWitness smartphone service that allows you to take a video of anyone making you nervous. Essentially, it gives you what criminals fear most: a witness.

Another way to protect yourself from violent crimes is to be aware of the situation and know the warning signs. If you’re at a party and someone is drunk and gradually getting more and more escalated, leave the party! If your date is getting pushy about wanting to come inside with you, slam the door in their face! You know what something feels “off”, and trusting that instinct is always your best bet!

Coping with Depression at College

Let’s talk about depression at college. No, not because there was something recently that came up in the news, but quite the opposite actually; it’s never in the news.

Depression at college is incredibly common. And why wouldn’t it be? Take anyone and uproot them from their family and friends, move them a couple hundred miles away (if not more), saddle them with an enormous amount of responsibility (homework, finals, paying their own bills, feeding themselves, getting a job, finding a girlfriend, etc.), tell them they have to choose what they are going to do for the rest of their lives and then call them a failure if their unsure and yeah…I think just about anyone faces a pretty high risk of becoming depressed.

So should you be feeling a bit depressed at your university, here are a few tips to coping:

1.) Do not generalize your experience. All universities are not the same, and it’s completely normal for your first choice to simply be a bad fit. Just as one English professor shouldn’t cause you to lose faith in all English classes, neither should one university cause you to lose faith in all colleges. A change in major, living arrangements or university itself may do wonders for your mood.

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2.) College is temporary. This is not a lifelong decision! College is meant to be four years long, just like high school. You made it through high school, right? And if you want to make the time go by faster, consider taking more credits, or taking credits during breaks (Christmas Break and over the summer). You will not be in this situation forever.

3.) Depression is more common than you think. It may seem like an enormous risk, but go to your student health center and talk to someone. You’ll find that you are absolutely not alone! Depression at college is incredibly common (it’s estimated at roughly 40%…and that’s only based on reported information). So understand that you are in no way alone in this and you are in no way strange or weird for feeling this way.

4.) You don’t have to go to college. A huge source of anxiety for many college students is the idea that if they drop out of college that they are a failure; not so. College is simply a path some people take to reach a career goal; it is by no means an absolute necessity. You can choose to go into the military, to take individual trade or skill classes, or wait until you’re working for a company you’d like to advance in (a lot of times companies offer to pay for additional classes and training). Don’t freak out if you aren’t fitting into the perfect mold of a traditional college student. It just means maybe a different path would be a better option, and there’s nothing wrong with that!

College Safety Equipment You Don’t Need

Everyone in their right mind wants you to be safe when you head off to college, but there’s well intentioned and then there’s downright preying on your fear of the unknown. Yes, you’re going to a new place, but for the love of God you’re not going to some barren wasteland inhabited only by sex offenders and con artists, you’re going to college! Some safety gear you need and some you don’t, but you’ll only realize what you don’t need halfway into your freshman year after you’ve already sacrificed a respectable amount of money and some quality storage room in your suitcase. So here are a few serious (and some not-so-serious) suggestions for safety stuff you don’t need:

1.) Anything that could be in a Mission: Impossible movie. You do not need voice recognition software to unlock your apartment door, and you do not need eyeball pupil dilation recognition to log into your computer. Besides, if I were a criminal, and I came across a house with this kind of protection I’d have to break in, out of sheer curiosity! And remember, all the voice recognition technology in the world can’t stop a brick going through the window.

2.) A bodyguard. Unless you are a celebrity or the closet blood relative of a celebrity or well-known politician, you do not need a bodyguard. And as much as your parents are trying to convince you that the giant man wearing sunglasses is for your protection, he’s really just some schmuck who finally figured out how to get paid for stalking cute college freshmen. His only really job responsibility is to report back to your parents about your every single move.

3.) A gun. While you may feel safer with a gun in your hand, the chances of you ever needing to use it are incredibly slim. However, the chances of a gun ending up in the hands of your drunk roommate at 3:30 in the morning are much more likely. Bringing something like a gun (or a crossbow, or a pair of nun-chucks, etc.) to college for “protection” is about as stupid as any form of thinking goes. Your college campus already has safety measures in place, meaning if there is ever a chance you would have to pull out a gun, someone else (who is authorized and with much better training) probably already has. Weapons serve no purpose at college except as evidence to horrific accidents. Leave your throwing stars at home.

Things you DO need:

For the most part, think of the basics. You’re going to need something to store you valuables in safely, like a dorm safe, some basic locks (trust me, if you’re going to be living with roommmates you’re going to want some of those), some pepper spray, and if you’re going to be living off campus; a fire extinguisher.

Be safe!

3 Ways to Make Your Campus Safe

If you follow this blog, you know we’ve written many articles about college safety. We’ve mentioned specific items to help keep you safe while walking around campus, like various pepper sprays, and we’ve explained the importance of being able to keep your very personal belonging locked away safely in a dorm safe. We’ve even written articles about generally unmentioned college dangers, like depression and suicide. Well today, we’ve decided to write an article describing the top three things you can do to make your college campus a safer place.

1.) Speak up. If there’s a problem, people need to know about it. By allowing criminals to go unreported, you are basically enabling them. If your stuff is stolen, report it! If your roommates stuff gets stolen, report it! And if stuff gets stolen from down the hall, encourage them to report it. Sure you may never see your stuff again, but that’s not the point; the point is that if it’s happening enough the issue may need to be re-examined at a higher level, hopefully resulting in newer procedures that would make your campus a safer place.

2.) Be active in legislation. Not only should you report all incidents, but getting involved in making your school a better place is another great way to address the issue. College campuses aren’t unlike a typical high school or even small city; they have rules and regulations set into place and constantly meet about issues. If you feel the campus crime rate could be decreased by having better lit walkways, bring it to someone’s attention! And if the issues still is being addressed with the scrutiny you think it deserves, join a committee that will be active in making it happen!

3.) Communicate with others. Keeping everyone informed about current situations is a great way to thwart criminals. For instance, in my neighborhood back home we had an issue with a woman driving a red minivan, who would sit in front of empty houses while her kids went in and robbed them (some special mom, I know). So one of the neighbors put the incident in the newsletter that went out to all the people in the neighborhood; descriptions of the car and the kid. The very next time they tried it they were caught.

It’s the same at college. Communicate with your fellow students (and RA’s and campus security and whoever else you feel needs to know. When everyone is well prepared and on the same page it makes for a much safer environment. Issues may still occur, but with great communication you can help ensure that they won’t occur again and again and again and again.  

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