Do This, Not That: Keeping Your Stuff Safe On Campus

When you move to campus, you bring very few things with you. So, the stuff that you do end up bringing is valuable in both price and sentimental value. Having those things stolen from you can cost a pretty penny and peace of mind. Don’t let anything put a damper on your semester. Avoid being a victim of burglary with these steps.

Do This: Get a safe.

Avoid theft on campus by getting a safe.

FabrikaSimf /

Not That: Leave your stuff out and about.

A boy laying on the couch, eating popcorn, and wondering how to keep stuff safe on campus greets his roommate.

Rommel Canlas /

Having a place to lock your things up will be useful, especially if you share your space with a roommate who always loses the room key. Truth is, you can’t rely on anyone but yourself. If your roommates leave the door unlocked, your belongings are at risk just as much as theirs are. At that point, there’s not much you can to do besides scold them. Lock up valuables, such as cameras, laptops, money, and jewelry, before that no-good, dirty-rotten dorm thief comes along!

Do This: Keep your dorm room locked when you leave.

Locking your doors can keep stuff from being stolen.

NakoPhotography /

Not That: Let your classmates know your door is unlocked when you leave.

Adele singing.

Adele / Giphy

Burglary in college housing is fairly common, unfortunately. Locking your door is necessary. If you need to leave the door unlocked for a friend or roommate, however, keep that as clandestine as possible. If an ill-intentioned person finds out and wants to get in, they can and will. Security isn’t as tight as your tuition costs might lead you to believe.

Do This: Put your name on it.

A nametag reading "E. Cartman"

South Park / Giphy

Not That: Expect that your MacBook that looks identical to half the student body’s won’t be confused with someone else’s.

A young boy looks very confused.

Family Matters / Giphy

Personalize it. Bedazzle it. Put a pretty sticker on it. Get your name engraved. If your school supplies are stolen, the best way to prove that the item is yours is to have your name on it or, at the very least, some kind of design that makes it stand out against similar products. For electronics, it’s important to backup your work on a hard drive. And it should go without saying that you need to have a complex password.

Do This: If your things are stolen, call campus police ASAP.

A close up of police lights

Rob Byron /

Not That: Whine until your stuff magically appears back in your dorm.

The Fairly Oddparents hovering in front of Timmy

The Fairly Oddparents / Giphy

By telling campus or local police members that there has been a burglary on campus, you may luck out and get your things back. That isn’t always the case, but let’s at least call it good karma. By reporting the crime, you can bring awareness to the situation and potentially prevent future thefts. You could be a hero!

Listen, we’re not telling you what to do (or are we?). It’s your stuff, you can do what you want with it. But on campus with a ton of strangers, the safety of your things is not guaranteed. The only way to protect your belongings is to take precautionary steps. Good luck!

About Katelyn Brush

Katelyn likes learning, good health, traveling, and pizza on Fridays. Her mixed education, composed of SUNY the College at Brockport, a semester at a community college, and one abroad at the University of Oxford, helped her earn a bachelor’s degree in English. College also gave her a few lessons in Taekwondo and sleeping in a hostel dorm with total strangers. She’s a yoga teacher, author and illustrator of the children’s book, “Signing Together: A Guide to American Sign Language for Everyone.” As a Student Caffé writer, she hopes to help you through the highs and lows of college with a laugh ... or 20.

Leave a comment