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Succeed in College

Staying Safe on Campus

Information adapted from The Naked Roommate.

Crime is part of life—the extent and type of crime on your college campus depends on what school you go to. But here are some general tips:

Lock your dorm room door when you’re sleeping, napping, or not in it.

Watch your stuff while you’re at the coffee shop or library—if you have to step out to take a phone call, go to the bathroom, get more coffee, etc., don’t leave your valuables unattended. It’s easy to walk by and pick up a laptop, cell phone, iPod, etc.

college safety

Be aware of your surroundings when you’re walking around, especially at night. Most colleges have blue light emergency phones, so figure out how to use one before an emergency happens.

Save the campus and city police phone numbers in your cell phone.

Know the campus and city bus routes, how often buses run, and what time they stop running.

Know what safety measures your school provides—colleges or campus police departments often provide free student-only buses or safety escorts to walk students home after dark.

Try not to walk alone after dark.


While it is illegal, the truth is underage students sometimes drink, and the consequences can be more than just a smudge on your record.

See what Harlan says about alcohol use in college.


Between recreational drugs and illegally buying and selling prescription drugs, you'll probably at least know of people getting busted for drugs of the smoked, snorted, injected, or swallowed variety.

See what Harlan says about college students and drug use.

Sexual Assaults

Sexual assaults can happen whether you're sober or drinking, but it's never the victim's fault. Most schools offer support and counselors for sexual assault victims, so seek help if you need it.

Read Harlan's tips to help you stay safe on campus.