While everyone else at the School of Communication and Media (SCM) was focused on immigration last week, my focus was unfortunately skewed toward a more urgent issue that needed to be resolved.
I was looking forward to collaborating with my fellow students and showing off all of the hard work we have done throughout the semester, but last Monday, my world was turned upside down.
As a member of The Montclarion, I am well aware of the many crimes on campus featured in our weekly Red Hawk Rap Sheet, and one of the most common offenses I see is theft. Little did I know that I would be in one of those situations that day.
Watching Your Wallet, August 31, 2012: Jennifer Kushinka on the growing threat of theft on college campuses.
— WSJ Podcasts (@WSJPodcasts) August 31, 2012
I am usually very cautious of my surroundings, making sure I triple check my bag to see that everything is in its little designated place. One of the first items I check for is my wallet, which I usually keep in my bag unless I need easy access to it, but that morning, I made the stupid mistake of leaving it somewhere in the SCM and someone happened to pick it up.
After noticing that it was gone, I immediately retraced my steps, and as usual, triple checked every spot I could have left it, but it was nowhere to be found.
My heart dropped when I received a text message from my mom later that afternoon saying there was a $2,000 charge on our family’s credit card. That was when I knew it was stolen. I couldn’t help but feel responsible.
It was the start of one of the most stressful and depressing weeks of my life – and, it had nothing to do with my studies. Instead, it was a stupid decision I made that left me sitting in a stall of the women’s restroom for 45 minutes during class as I wiped the tears off my face and called my credit card companies, hoping to prevent future purchases. I was lucky enough to catch them in time.
What really broke my heart was that it happened specifically in the SCM, a place where almost anyone I talk to is very friendly and always ready to help someone in need. I never thought that someone here could be so heartless as to take someone’s belongings and go on an online designer shopping spree.
To the person who stole my wallet, I hope you get caught and arrested for identity theft. Broke college student out here.
— Jordan 🍫 (@LoveJordan_) August 16, 2016
I still filed a police report because what this person did was a felony. I believe that everyone should be held accountable for their actions. I also understand that I am just as accountable for the decision that I made, and I have no excuse but to take responsibility for half of this problem.
If there is a lesson to be learned from this situation, it is that no one is immune to theft, no matter how obsessive and compulsive they are.
I cannot change the fact that this happened to me. All I can do now is learn from it and help others not to make the same mistake. In the end, this is a valuable lesson that no one should have to learn firsthand and what it cost me was a week from hell and about $100 in cash.
Kids & Money: The cost of campus theft: Your college freshman tosses his gym bag — stuffed with his wallet, iPod a… http://bit.ly/aXfBNo
— Faye Davis (@Fayeluvskids) August 21, 2010