This is technically called a home invasion, but let’s be honest, no one ever calls it that in college. I can actually remember quite a few stories from friends of mine where they were awakened in the middle of the night to find a stranger in their dorm. And to tell you the truth, it really is an honest mistake most of the time. Think about it; you pull 4 all-nighters in a row, arrive at your dorm, walk up to the 3rd floor and find your dorm room is already open so no need to use the key. You walk in and fall asleep on your bed. Except in a few minutes someone wakes you up to tell you you’re in the wrong room. You’re not on the 3rd floor you’re on the 4th floor…see how easy that is?
And let’s not forget the countless times a group of friends drops their drunk buddy off at the main floor. Hey, as long as he’s in the building he’s not their problem anymore (or so they say). A drunk college kid trying to find the accurate dorm room in a sea of hundreds is going to yield some misses.
So I’m going to say something that may seem a bit strange: you need to almost expect a few interesting visitors throughout your semester, and the steps for scoping one out are a bit different than if you live off-campus.
1.) Don’t investigate. I’ll admit, in my home off campus if I heard something go bump in the night there’s no way I’d take it lightly, but in my dorm room I’ll investigate close to any random sound. I always figure it’s a roommate in the kitchen making a midnight snack or something. But if you have it on good authority that there’s a stranger in your dorm (your roommates are all gone for the weekend), don’t go wandering out to confront anyone.
2.) Get out. If you have a clear shot at the door, get the hell out. If you can alert your roomies then great, but you don’t have to go through your whole place right now. Step 3 is coming up.
3.) Call the front desk. Not campus security and not 9-1-1…not yet, anyway. The front desk guy only has to walk up a couple flights of stairs to get to your room, so the effect is immediate. Plus, if you do have someone that is in the wrong room by accident, the front desk clerk can take care of everything right away. If things are iffy, they will decide to call campus police. Of course if you call the front desk and no one answers, call campus police. If it’s a serious emergency, like you know the intruders have a gun, call 9-1-1.
4.) Use your wits. If you don’t have a personal alarm near you (which you really should in college), use your keychain. Most car alarms can reach a lot farther than you think, and pressing the panic button on your keychain will signal your car alarm. Besides just scaring the intruders away, someone is going to investigate who’s car it is and someone will be knocking on your door shortly to tell you to turn it the hell off.
And don’t forget; for dorm safety items (like pepper spray, safes and personal alarms), check out our store at www.secureoncampus.com, and for dorm decorations (like dorm lighting, fun drinking games, and wall decals) check out our store at www.thegoodlifeoncampus.com!
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