When you transfer from community college, you will likely move into a dorm. For those of you wondering, yes, transfer students can live in dorms. In fact, living in dorms as a transfer student is a great way to get quickly acclimated to your new university.
However, this is something that is very different from the comforts of home. The most important part about living in dorms are the safety tips. You need to be safe when you are living in a dorm so that you can easily enjoy the fun stuff that comes transferring to Ivy League, Tier 1 or anywhere else (as you can learn how to do in this community college guide).
Lock Your Door
If you are not in your room then your door should be shut and locked. Dorm thefts are not uncommon and many of the thefts occur because people do not lock their doors. You want to protect your belongings. It is also important to lock up when you are in your dorm and heading to bed. Someone could easily creep in when you are sleeping and grab something like a laptop.
Think About Insurance
If you are bringing something worth quite a bit of money to school consider getting insurance for it. Some examples include jewelry and musical instruments. While jewelry can be hidden, a musical instrument will be setting out where anyone can see them and know that you have them. Instruments are commonly pawned at pawn shops so they do get stolen. Expensive electronics are something else you may consider getting insurance on.
Know the Dorm Rules
Most dorms do not allow things like smoking and candles because they pose a fire risk. Not knowing these rules could get you booted out of the dorm. You should also report those that are breaking the rules. For example, you may be safe with candles, but a dorm mate may fall asleep with a candle burning and then a fire could erupt.
Watch Your Laundry
It is a habit to toss your laundry in the washer and then head back to your dorm while it is going. This could lead to theft. Yes, people will steal clothes. Bring your books down with you and knock out some studying while you are washing and drying your clothes. This may not be as comfortable as your dorm room or library, but it will ensure that you have clean clothes for the week.
Have Your ID Card Available at All Times
Many schools have a card that allows you access to your dorm, the library and other buildings. You want this available at all times so you can quickly get around campus. This is especially important if you are out at night and need to get into your dorm building quickly.
Know the Guest Policy
Some dorms are more liberal than others when it comes to guests. More people in a dorm means more chances for bad things to happen, so you want to know what to expect in terms of people around who do not live there, and may not even attend your school. If there are often strangers around do not be afraid to say something to the hall leader. Your dorm is your home while you are in school and you should feel safe and comfortable there.
Know the Evacuation Plan
All dorms have evacuation plans for fire and natural disasters. Know exactly what these are and how to get out safely. This is something most will never have to worry about, but if a situation does arise, you want to be prepared because things will be chaotic and it is easy to sort of lose your head a bit.
About the Author
Jim Klossner is a home repair professional who works closely with college campuses to help insure student safety. When he’s not working, you can find Jim consulting for John J Cahill Inc. in Evanston.