10 Tips For Staying Safe At College

Regardless of what college you decide to attend, there’s one factor that is extremely important—safety. While location, campus size, and other demographics of the area will play a part in the safety ranking of the school, there are ways that you can be prepared as a student when attending any of these colleges.

I can’t speak for every college, but I do know that there are some overall tips that apply to safety on any campus that you attend or visit.

Lock your dorm room door at all times.

If you are running down the hall to meet a friend or headed out of the building, make sure to lock your door. Especially in the freshman dorms since they seem to be larger than the upperclassmen dorms. It would only take a few minutes for someone to walk into your room and grab something.

Know when the residence hall door is locked.

Depending on the college, some residence halls are locked at all times and require your ID to get in; others only lock the doors at night after a specific time. Regardless, it’s good to know when this door is locked and how the building is being secured.

Don’t let random people into your residence hall.

This only applies to residence halls or apartments that require the outside person to buzz up to the specific room, but it’s still important to know who you’re letting into your building. Obviously if your friend is coming, they will buzz up to your room.

However, sometimes a person will buzz up to a room and ask to be let in to see their “friend” or “son/daughter”. You never really know if these people are telling the truth or just trying to get into the building. This is why I suggest just denying them access. If they truly were there to meet someone they would buzz the correct room/apartment number.

Be careful with your keys and student ID.

If you lose your keys, buy a new set. While the fine will be unfortunately expensive, you definitely need a set of keys at college. Your roommate won’t always be there to let you in. The same goes for your ID, this card is extremely important to have with you at all times. So if you misplace it, get another copy.

Lock your car.

If you have a car on campus, it’s really important to lock it. There are at least a couple thousand people that could walk by your car at school (maybe much more if you go to a larger university). Be sure to check up on your car often too. The weekend festivities on a college campus sometimes result in damaged property, so just be sure to check up on your vehicle.

Watch your belongings at the library.

I constantly see students who leave their laptop and personal belongings sitting out at the library while they go to get coffee or use the restroom. This is a very bad idea. The library is an incredibly busy building on campus and anyone could walk by and take your stuff.

So, be prepared by locking up your laptop or taking your belongings with you when you have to leave. Another suggestion is to study with a friend so they could watch over your belongings while you’re gone.


I can’t emphasize this enough, DO NOT GO ANYWHERE ALONE ON CAMPUS. Always take a friend with you or use the campus escort services.

Make sure you know where your roommates are.

You’re not being a nosy roommate by being aware of where they are going. In the case that anything should go wrong, it’s important that you know where they are. The same goes for you, tell your roommates or another friend where you’ll be and who you’ll be with in case of an emergency.

If you see something, tell someone.

This tip applies to any situation in life, if you see something suspicious or another individual who needs help—CALL SOMEONE. Being an active bystander could prevent something even worse from happening to that person or more people at the college.

Know the number for campus safety.

After orientation, put the campus safety number in your phone. At the time it may seem like something you’ll never need, but it’s always better to be prepared. You never know when you may need it for yourself or to report something for another student.

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Stephanie Vlk

Stephanie Vlk

Stephanie Vlk is a junior at the University of Dayton pursuing a degree in communication with a concentration in electronic media as well as a minor in English. While not in class, Stephanie is involved in a service fraternity, Alpha Phi Omega, and a honors professional fraternity, Phi Beta Chi. Outside of academic and community activities, she enjoys dancing hip hop, reading, spending time with friends, and doing yoga.