Where to Get Condoms in College

From Roommates to the Campus Health Center, There's No Reason to Go Without

Lots of multi-colored condoms
Deborah Gilbert / Getty Images

You might be interested in a one-night hook-up or you might be in a relationship with the love of your life. Either way, if you're having sex, you need to use protection. And there's simply no excuse for not having condoms available when you need them during your time in college.

While most students know, however, that having sex in college is pretty common, not everyone knows where to go to get condoms. So just what are your options?

Buy Them Yourself

You don't have to know exactly when and where you'll be sleeping with someone to be prepared. If you think there's a chance that you'll be having sex, be ready. Take a walk, catch the bus, ride your bike, or otherwise get your tush to a nearby grocery store, drug store, Target, WalMart, or any other major store that sells condoms. Additionally, if you're at a big school, chances are good that there's at least one store nearby that caters to the sexually-active college crowd. Go see what the buzz is all about and take a walk to the condom store or sex shop right down the street. (Embarrassed to go in? Think about it: You should be embarrassed not to if you're sexually active but not being responsible.)

Ask a Friend

It can be your best friend that you met on the first day of Orientation. It can be someone you kinda know from your Chemistry class. But if you're in need of protection, ask a friend. They can either hook you up with condoms they have access to or direct you to someone or somewhere else that does.

Ask Your Roomie

In a good roommate relationship, roommates share all kinds of stuff, from clothes to basketballs to printer paper. If you know your roommate has a condom stash and you don't, see if you can have a condom or two until you can get your own supply. Note: Make sure to ask before taking your roommate's condoms, however. Your poor planning now shouldn't result in your roommate's awkward situation later.

Check the Resident Hall Bathroom

Many campuses have a supply of condoms in the residence hall bathrooms for residents to use as needed. If you think you're going to be needing a condom in 5 minutes or in 5 months, grab a handful. After all, if they're there and you need 'em, there's nothing wrong with taking them. The wrong choice in this situation would be to not take them when you should.

Check With Residence Hall Staff

As a former hall director, believe me: Your request for condoms will not be the first, nor the strangest, request that your hall staff has ever received. Ask if there's a supply for the hall that you can have access to (such as the infamous candy-and-condoms bucket that often is brought by the RA while he or she is doing rounds). After all, what's more awkward: Asking your residence hall staff for a condom or dealing with an unexpected, unplanned situation later?

Your Campus Health Center or Health Promotions Office

Have a few extra minutes on a lazy afternoon? Stop by your campus health center and grab a few condoms from their stash. Chances are they will always be in full supply -- and the condoms will most likely be free. Spending a few minutes in the health center can save you a lot of time, stress, and problems later. That's what they're there for, right?

Stop in at the Student Health Clinic

You know the place you head when you have a nasty flu? They're called a student health clinic for all kinds of reasons -- and because they help students deal with all kinds of situations. Be proactive about your health and get some condoms when you next stop in.

Ask Your Partner

Practicing safe(r) sex is the responsibility of both partners in a relationship. If you don't have access to condoms, ask your partner if he or she can bring some. And even if it's a random, unexpected encounter, you still have the same responsibility to yourself to be safe. If your partner doesn't have protection and you don't either, find some. Doing so is a lot easier than dealing with the consequences of unprotected sex.