Hi again everyone! Lydia here. As we all know, embarking on the university journey marks a significant transition, often requiring students to step outside their familiar cocoons of home, friends, and surroundings. This change can stir a mix of excitement and anxiety – it sure did for me! However, embracing discomfort and exploring new possibilities is a crucial aspect of personal growth. In the vibrant city of Exeter, where the friendly atmosphere complements a low crime rate, a few simple steps can help ease the worry and foster a sense of confidence in your new surroundings. One pivotal aspect is personal safety, where taking charge becomes paramount, which is what I am going to talk to you about today!

Personal Safety Measures: Take Charge 

Awareness is Key 

Exeter is a very friendly city with a low crime rate, but in any public place, it’s always sensible to stay aware of your surroundings. Whether you’re on campus or in the city, remaining observant can prevent potential hazards from becoming serious. Trust your instincts and be conscious of the people around you, especially in unfamiliar places.  

Buddy System 

The age-old buddy system is a reliable strategy for staying safe. If you are attending a late-night study session or hitting the town for a social gathering, having a friend by your side provides an added layer of security. It also makes for great company for the walk home! I have so many fun stories shared on those strolls. It’s not just about shared laughter but shared responsibility for each other’s well-being. Looking out for each other is really important, so make sure you ensure that your pals get back to their flat or home safely! 

Secure Your Belongings 

Whilst Exeter is generally a very safe city, there’s always things you can do to protect your belongings, wherever you go. Invest in a sturdy backpack, keep your valuables secure, and be cautious of your belongings in crowded places. I always wear a bum bag when I am out and about so my valuables are on my body. It’s simple to do but makes such a difference to my peace of mind rather than having my keys and phone in my pocket. Prevention is the best protection. 

Treat Others With Respect 

Generally, people are very caring towards each other around and about Exeter. To keep safe, it’s crucial to uphold the golden rule: always treat everyone with respect. Remember, a night out is not just about your enjoyment but also about creating positive nights for those around you! By prioritising respect, you contribute to safety and consideration, ensuring everyone can relish their night with comfort and peace of mind.  

Equally, if you feel you aren’t being respected, move away, make your friends aware, and speak to security around you if you feel the need to do so. Maintaining awareness of your personal space and comfort levels is vital. If someone’s behaviour crosses the line or makes you uneasy, remember to assert boundaries and speak out. A useful tool is the service ‘Speak Out’ at the University of Exeter where you can report anything you see or experience which makes you feel uneasy.  

Take care of yourselves – and each other 

So, I hope I have reassured you how friendly and safe Exeter is! But, as with any city, taking these simple yet effective precautions empower us and others to make the most of the university journey, creating positive and memorable experiences throughout our time at Exeter. Stay safe, be vigilant, and enjoy the adventures that Exeter has to offer!