Leaving home and moving into your very first dorm is a huge step in your life. Being around all kinds of new people in a new environment means new responsibilities. Throughout your childhood, your parents have always had the security in your home covered, but now it’s up to you to keep you and your meager possessions safe. Here are 5 tips to help you protect your belongings in your dorm room.
Always Lock Your Door
It’s a super basic rule, but you’d be surprised how many people forget to do it. This isn’t just about locking your door when you leave to go to classes. Any time you walk out your door, lock it. Even if it’s just a quick run down the hall, to do a load of laundry, or to hang out in the common room, lock your door. It’s better to be safe than sorry—especially when sorry could mean someone stole your Mac and you lost most of your class notes.
Limit Access to Your Room
Even the most secure dorms are hectic at times. Residents come and go, as do their guests. While it would be nice if you could secure your dorm room with a system like ADT Pulse, that’s a little impractical for most college students, and it’s also not completely necessary. A little vigilance about who has access to your room goes a long way. If there’s no good reason for someone to be in your room, take the conversation to a common area instead.
Don’t Leave Things Out
At home, you don’t think twice about leaving your laptop, money or textbooks out in the open. In your dorm, however, it’s a little different. Many college thefts are crimes of opportunity, so don’t give anyone lingering around your space the opportunity to make off with your stuff. Put valuable items out of sight in a drawer or in your closet. Want to be even more safe? Get a footlocker and stash valuables away. Don’t forget to keep it locked.
Follow the Dorm’s Rules
They might not be very fun, but rules are there for a reason and following them can save you a lot of stress. Pay particular attention to the rules about not loaning your keys to others, not letting strangers into your dorm and not propping locked doors open for temporary convenience.
Make Sure Your Roommate Complies
None of the previous tips work if you and your roommate(s) aren’t on the same page. Make sure they lock the doors, keep their stuff put away and aren’t letting someone neither of you know well have access to your room. Open and honest communication about things like this with your roommates will enhance the relationship and lead to a positive dorm experience.
Living away from home is a new and exciting chapter. You’re experiencing life for the first time not under your parents’ roof. Don’t make it more stressful than it needs to be, though. If you remember these 5 easy tips, you’ll be on your way to having a great college experience.