Keeping Your Private Things Private at College

College has a funny way of keeping you on your toes. You’re living with people you don’t know (even if you think you do), yet you feel bad for not trusting them. After all, they’re your roommate. If you can trust them enough to sleep in the bed three feet away from you, you should be able to trust them not to steal your mac’n’cheese, right? Not quite. As many experienced college students will tell you, your mac’n’cheese isn’t going to last a week in that house.

And as for more important things, like your computer, your ID, your birth certificate, or even your journal, you’re not going to want to leave those things out in the open. Sure you and your roommates are friends now, but after the first fight she probably isn’t going to hesitate to read your journal, and depending how bad the fight is, even post its contents online. Don’t forget, college is often only one step higher than high school…you need to protect yourself.

1.) Don’t leave your stuff out. It’s rule #1 (on this list and on every other list you will ever read). And why? Because it’s stupid. It’s not too tough to go through someone’s stuff when they have it on display. Even worse, with a certain kind of roommate, it’s like you’re openly tempting them. Put your stuff away.

2.) Write your name on things. If your name isn’t on your things already, you’re just asking for trouble. My sophomore year I had a really expensive pan that I used to cook everything on, and when my roommate moved out she tried to take it, saying it was hers. Her mother even agreed that it was her pan that she got from her mother. Thank God my name was underneath the handle or I would’ve been out a seriously expensive frying pan.

3.) Log your stuff up when you’re not there. Just because you leave the room for a few minutes doesn’t mean something couldn’t go wrong. Password protect everything on your computer, and have a spot you can put things when you leave for longer. A dorm trunk (like this Launcher Trunk) is an awesome (and stylish) way to make sure all your things will stay exactly as you left them.

4.) Have a backup. Backup your files. Your pictures, your music, your papers and assignments (read: the hours and hours and hours you’ve put into your research paper). Starting from scratch would be miserable, and trust me, there’s no better way to get revenge on a roommate than to delete that 12 page paper they’ve been working on for the last 2 weeks.

5.) Don’t brag. It can be tempting to tell everyone about that sweet iPad you got for your birthday, but it’s a bad idea. You never know who might be listening, and you never know who is going to find out. You have no idea who the phrase, “Oh man, you should see my roommate’s new iPad, it’s ridiculous!” could be uttered to.

Don’t forget to visit for dorm trunks, laptop safes and more!


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