Let’s Talk About Personal Safety…

The transition from high school to college was a huge leap for me. I went from being someone who lived and attended schools in small and quiet towns all my life to moving to my nearest city for college.

There was a lot I had to adjust to with time: the noise, being surrounded by more people than I was used to, larger class sizes, a lot more walking from place to place, and most importantly, I had to develop a whole new level of caution when it came to personal safety.

In the fall, I’m going into my senior year of college and I guess you could say that I’ve learned quite a few things along the way about personal safety in these last few years.

I felt it would be important to share what I’ve learned to my fellow college students who follow me and read my blog because personal safety is something that never hurts to take caution of.

Here’s what I’ve learned:

Utilize personal safety apps

We live in a digital age and there’s one thing that remains true about many of us: we often tend to have our phones handy.

Nowadays there are so many apps that guarantee personal safety, but the one I trust and favor the most is the iWitness App. Here’s why:

This app turns your smartphone into your very own personal safety device. Whether you are heading back to your dorm/apartment after a night class or a night out, heading to an exercise class or on a jog outdoors, you are guaranteed to have strong layer of safety right at your fingertips.

This app works in just a few simple steps:

It Records

If at any point you want to an extra level of safety, you just open the iWitness app and it will immediately begin recording video and audio of your surroundings via your phone’s camera and track your GPS location.

It Gets You Immediate Help

If you begin to feel endangered or need some more help, you can tap anywhere on the screen in the app where it will sound an alarm and will initiate a call to 911.

Alerts Emergency Contacts

When setting up this app, iWitness asks you to provide emergency contacts that you can add so that they will be contacted via text and e-mail informing them that you feel endangered and need them to call immediately. The app will also send them your GPS location and the video that was recorded of your surroundings.

Save/Review Videos

At any point needed, the videos that you have recorded can be reviewed through the iWitness app on your phone.

iWitness has been my best friend now more than ever. I’m currently on summer break and one of my goals this summer is to devote more time to fitness and spending time outdoors.

Lately, I’ve been discovering new trails in my area to go walking and jogging on. It’s simple situations like those where my iWitness app can be life-saving especially if I go by myself.

I feel so much better knowing that if anything were to happen, I have a powerful, yet easy-to-use personal safety device right by my side.

Always let a family member or friend know your location

Whenever you go out, whether that be to a party, the store or to class, make sure that at least a roommate, friend or family member knows about your whereabouts.

An easy and effective way to do this is by sharing your location on your phone with them. Such a simple action can make all the difference and can even save your life.

Walk with other people (if you can!)

Walking with other people gives you some more power in a threatening situation instead of walking alone.

I’ve witnessed  a lot of people feel awkward asking another person to accompany them on a walk (I’ve definitely been there,) but I’ve come to realize that it actually isn’t an uncommon thing at all! You have to remember that your safety is a top priority.

Stay in areas that are well-lit & surrounded by other people

This is something that I love to do especially when I happen to be walking on my campus or anywhere else at night.

I have a much better peace of mind when I take paths back to my destination where I know the area is brightly lit and there are going to be other people in that same area as well. It makes me feel less alone especially if I don’t have anyone to accompany me in that moment.

Lock your dorm or apartment when you’re not there

No matter how friendly or inviting your dorm building or apartment complex seems, it never hurts to lock your doors when you’re not there. This not only keeps you safe, but it can prevent any potential or harmful situations in the future.

No matter where you are in the world, it is important to be cautious of your surroundings.

The world can be a scary place, but I hope you realize that with the right tips and tools, fear doesn’t have to hinder you from enjoying the beauty that life has to offer.

What are some of your personal safety tips? Let me know in the comments. You could be helping someone else!

To learn more about the iWitness App, click here.

To try the iWitness App for one month free, you can download it on the App Store or get it on Google Play.

Spring break essentials for your BEST break yet

Who else is excited for Spring Break?! Whether you’re traveling or just relaxing at home, spring break is a wonderful time to unwind especially after working endlessly during the semester.

I’m so excited to be heading to Miami in just five days to temporarily escape this cold weather here in PA. If you’re headed anywhere fun, please share!

I thought it would be fun to share some spring break essentials that will set you up for an amazing spring break this year that you absolutely deserve.

Cute & Trendy Sunglasses

Sunglasses are a MUST during spring break and what’s so great about them now is that you really don’t need to break the bank to pick up a nice pair anymore. My Ray-Ban aviators are my go-to sunnies, but you can find much cheaper and similar ones from places like: Quay, H&M, Zaful, Forever21, Lulu’s and Amazon.

Good Book or Journal

A lot of people (including myself) who love to read usually blame our busy schedules for preventing us from leisurely reading throughout the school year. Spring break is the PERFECT time to catch up with reading. If you’re not into reading as much, I recommend a journal so that you can reflect and capture your spring break adventures. Between free time at home or in between travels, reading and writing are awesome ways to kill time.

Spring Break Playlist

Spring break is not complete without a good playlist. The music industry is on fire right now in terms of new songs and albums that are out; there are so many great things to listen to. I don’t know about you, but creating playlists and sharing them with my friends in my free time is such a fun thing to do!

Tote Bag

With traveling (and these spring break essentials of course,) you’re going to need something to put all of your stuff in! I love a good tote bag because they are stylish, yet hold everything you need! H&M, Madewell and Target are all great places to get one.

Swimsuit

When it comes to spring break, a swimsuit is a core essential! Yes, while I do have swimsuits from the summer, spring break is the perfect time to begin your new collection to sport at the beach or pool. Target will ALWAYS be my #1 for suits!!

Tinted Moisturizer

I typically wear tinted moisturizer all year long, but I find that during spring break, the lighter the makeup the better especially if you are going somewhere hot. I love my Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer because it feels like I’m applying nothing more than a moisturizer on while it still gives me a good amount of coverage. On top of that, it has SPF in it which you’ll need a lot of!

Reusable Water Bottle

Reusable water bottles are definitely in right now and you can pretty much find them anywhere! I’ve been seeing Hydroflasks everywhere I look lately, but World Market (one of my favorite stores,) has a lot of cute ones for even cheaper! Besides, hydration is ALWAYS key, spring break or not.

A Camera

With the cameras that we have right at our fingertips, actual cameras don’t seem to be as much of an essential like they used to. During spring break, plenty of memories will be made. Grab your camera and capture it all!

How are you going to be spending your spring break this year? Whether you are going away or staying home, I hope you’ll make sure to do something you absolutely love!

5 Tips for a Stress-Free Holiday Season

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Christmas is in two days, and we’ll be entering the new year in less than two weeks! Time has flown by so quickly.

So let’s be honest. Sometimes the holiday season in reality doesn’t feel as glamorous as it is portrayed in movies, TV shows, commercials and social media.

Maybe you’re finalizing travel plans, or you’re in charge of wrapping gifts. Maybe you still haven’t picked up all of your gifts yet, or you still have to make final preparations for a holiday dinner or party.

If any of the above describes how you’re feeling right now or if you’re experiencing any form of holiday stress large or small, just take the time to breathe. Right now.

Being surrounded by portrayals of situations opposite to yours may make you feel like you’re the only person in the world going through this, but let me be the first to tell you that you’re not!

I’ve had my fair share of holiday stress this year, but I’ve come to terms with the fact that the true meaning of the holidays and how I should be spending this precious time outweighs all of the stress that I have been experiencing.

I want to offer some tips to combat holiday stress because at the end of the day, everything will get done even though you have no idea how.

Disconnect

The holidays are the perfect time to break away from social media, TV, or anything that is distracting you from getting what you need to get done. Sometimes seeing what is portrayed online or on the screen can worsen your stress and make like you feel like you don’t have it all together!

Don’t give your attention to that. Instead, use your time of disconnect to spend more time with family and loved ones or give yourself some time to just unwind and relax after a long day of crossing off tasks from your to-do list.

Ask For Help

Never be ashamed to reach out for help if you need it! This goes for decorating, planning or picking up something that you may have forgotten to grab at the grocery store.

I know you may want to get everything done by yourself, but simply asking a friend, family member or significant other for help can lessen your stress significantly. Maybe for your dinner party you can ask guests to bring a meal to lessen the load of cooking everything. Or, you can ask a friend or someone who is free to help you clean and prepare for guests that are coming over.

Make Time for Self-Care

Whatever your favorite form of self-care may be, make time in your schedule for it. Self-care is something that is necessary to implement into our daily routines. It allows us to listen more closely to our body and mind.

It doesn’t matter how long of a day you’ve had or how much left you still have to do. A few minutes dedicated to your favorite form of self-care won’t hurt. In fact, it’ll make you feel better and give you energy to tackle your next task.

Be Kind To Your Body

Of course during the holidays we are surrounded by so many delicious sweet treats all around us and it is absolutely fine to treat yourself!

But, it is also important not to lose sight of continuing to nourish your body with the proper nutrition that it needs. Doing so will keep you moving and full of vitality.

Along with a treat here and there, make sure you are staying hydrated, and continuing to eat fruits and vegetables. It is so easy to lose track of what you are consuming this time of the year, but if you remain mindful of it all, you can notice a positive difference in your mood throughout the rest of the season!

“Gratitude is the BEST Attitude”

When in doubt, practice gratitude. Think of everything you are grateful for! Appreciate all the good and bad that you are going through because at the end of the day, you will become so much stronger because of the challenges you may be facing at the moment.

Continue to spread generosity and kindness to everyone because everyone is going through some kind of battle whether it is apparent or not.

While the holiday season may be stressful at times, remember to be easy and kind to yourself. No one is perfect and not everything goes according to plan which is fine because that is a part of life. Taking care of yourself is the most important and remember that all of this will pass!

Camille Rose