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College Advice

Locked Out of Your Dorm Room?

DormEssentials September 12, 2018

Getting locked out of your dorm room: it happens to the best of us! (Or more usually the worst of us when we stumble home and realize we left our keys and wallet on the floor of our hook up’s apartment.)

Either way, know that having a roommate is a huge perk—text them, knock, throw something at the window, they’ll usually be able to get you back in. If you left your phone inside and the room is too far from the outside to hear your knocks or yells, then you’ll probably have to rely on your floor mates who will get you past the initial main doors and gates and back in your dorm hall.

Every now and then, the absolute worst happens: your roommate is gone. They’re in class, or worse: they’ve left for the weekend. You could either go into panic mode and quit college forever, or take a breath and know that there has to be a way to fix this.

First things first: is your roommate free to come back and meet you on campus to borrow you their key? If they’re available and in the vicinity in the next few hours, might as well chalk this up to a learning experience, make it to your next class with out your prized binder and meet them at 4 PM at the Dining Hall.

However, if they’re out of town (eek!) or if there’s something you desperately need in the room, like a final paper due in 15 minutes across campus, you’re going to need other options.

One alternative to getting back in when locked out of your dorm room is finding your Resident Adviser (or other form of floor monitor) available? If yes, wooo! Salvation! If not, can the the RA’s who take shifts watching the main entrance help out? In most situations the answer is yes—there’s no way they only made two copies of every key and expected a bunch of 17-19 year old’s to not lose them.

The downside is that sometimes when you have to ask the RA or hall for the spare, there is a fine—even if you can promise your personal key is just behind that door.  While most dorms prevent you from copying your key, this is also a reason to consider getting your own copies incase you lose them again. Just make sure you keep track of who has access, as you’ll want to keep your valuables secured.

If you don’t have any of these items in the deep depths of your pockets, it might be time to turn to hall and floor mates for help. Are you just missing a scantron or wallet to buy another one before your midterm? See if someone on the floor has one you can Venmo them for it later.

Just know that getting locked out might seem like panic level 10 when it first happens, but ultimately, it’s probably the easiest toss college can pitch at you. But losing your wallet and phone? Oh man that’s a whole other article—and possibly an event that can’t be survived.

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