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9 Common Emergencies You May Face in College


College life can be full of the unexpected, and being prepared for emergencies – both major and minor – can help reduce stress and allow you to focus more on your day-to-day experience. Here are 9 emergencies college students sometimes face and how you can prepare to handle them.

Misplacing Your Student ID

Your student ID is essential for accessing buildings, dining halls, and other campus resources. If you lose it, report it immediately to campus security and check your school’s policy for missing IDs to see what to do next. To avoid this situation, carry a digital copy of your ID on your phone if your school offers this option. Also consider keeping your ID on a lanyard or in a phone wallet to minimize the risk of losing it.

Losing or Breaking Prescription Eyewear

Losing or breaking your glasses can be a major hassle, especially if you rely on them for daily activities. Make sure to keep a spare pair of glasses in a safe place, such as your dorm room or backpack. Additionally, make sure you have a copy of your prescription on hand so you can quickly replace them if needed. If you wear contact lenses, be sure to keep an extra set and solution in your dorm room as well. Find out where you can quickly order a replacement pair online or from a local optometrist. Some companies provide overnight delivery, usually for a fee.

Not Budgeting enough money for food Or Supplies

You might find yourself studying late at night after the dining halls have closed and realize you are hungry. Or maybe you have used up your meal plan before the semester has ended. Stock your dorm room with non-perishable and healthy snacks like granola bars, nuts, dried fruit, or instant noodles. Having a small stash of easy-to-prepare food can save you from late-night hunger – or from spending extra money on Door Dash or other food delivery services. Additionally, locate vending machines or campus convenience stores that you can rely on in a pinch.

Unexpected costs for books, fees, or equipment can strain your budget. To avoid these surprises, research courses early to identify required materials, use online resources likes Amazon, Chegg, or your campus bookstore for used or rental textbooks, allocate extra funds in your budget for unforeseen academic expenses, and utilize libraries and equipment rental services to reduce costs.

Technology Troubles

Tech issues like a broken, lost, or stolen laptop or phone can be devastating and disruptive. If your laptop is broken and you need one right away for school, you can find the campus computer labs and libraries where you can access computers or even check out laptops. When you have the time, find the nearest Apple store or tech repair store to get your technology fixed or to buy new technology. Make sure to report lost or stolen technology to campus security.

Not Getting Financial Aid on Time

Delays in financial aid can create significant stress. According to U.S. News, the main reason that financial aid is delayed is because there is missing documentation or information that is needed. Asking the financial aid office if they can provide support, through emergency funds or scholarships, can potentially help, but experts say budgeting and saving accordingly is most likely going to be most helpful in this situation.

Medical emergencies

If you chip a tooth or have recently developed a rash, knowing where to get help is crucial. Make sure to familiarize yourself with what services your health center on campus offers and nearby urgent care facilities. Understand your health insurance plan and what your general co-pays are so you can budget wisely. It may be helpful to have a basic first aid kit on hand with items like bandages, pain relievers, and antiseptics.

You should also think about how you might handle more serious medical emergencies such as trips to urgent care – and how you will pay for things like medical insurance copayments and prescriptions. A credit card or an emergency fund can cover co-pays for these unexpected medical visits or urgent care costs.

Car Repairs, Parking or Traffic Tickets

Unexpected car repairs or receiving parking or traffic tickets can be costly. To reduce the likelihood of unexpected car repairs, make sure to have regular maintenance, like oil changes, tire maintenance, fluid checks, and brake inspections, and regularly wash both the interior and exterior of the car. Also, to reduce the likelihood of getting parking or traffic tickets, make sure to understand the parking restrictions on campus, read signs carefully, obey road signs and speed limits, and try to avoid using a phone while driving.

Stuck Without a Ride Home

Finding yourself stuck at a party or event without a ride home can be risky. Sometimes your designated driver may have had too much to drink, or you might need to leave a situation for any number of reasons. Having a credit card, especially if you manage it wisely, can come in handy when you need a taxi or ride-sharing service, like Uber and Lyft. Additionally, let friends who are not attending the event know where you are and call them for a ride if needed. Familiarize yourself with campus ride services or other security options, such as a walking buddy. Remember to always prioritize safety.

Natural Disasters

Being prepared for natural disasters is crucial for your safety on campus. Staying informed by signing up for campus alert text messages to receive real-time updates, programming emergency numbers into your phone, prepare an emergency kit with non-perishable food, water, flashlight, batteries, first aid supplies, medications, and extra clothing, and knowing the locations of shelters on campus are all good ways to be ready in case of a natural disaster. For more detailed safety advice and emergency procedures, refer to your university’s website.

Running Out of Cash

Running out of cash can be stressful, especially in emergencies. A credit card can be a crucial safety net, providing access to funds when you need them most. Whether you need to cover unexpected costs, like books, fees, or equipment, or find yourself without a ride home, having a credit card can be helpful. By preparing for these potential emergencies – and understanding how you will pay for them ahead of time, you can navigate college life with greater confidence and financial security.

Being proactive about safety and financial preparedness allows you to handle unexpected situations effectively, so that you can focus on your studies and enjoy your college experience. Always prioritize your well-being, stay informed, and utilize available resources to keep yourself safe and secure. With these strategies in place, you’ll be better equipped to tackle challenges that come your way during your college journey.

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