As you head off for the shopping spree before your freshman year of college, you may be feeling lots of things: excitement about having your own space, nervousness about being away from home, overwhelmed about just what to buy!
Planning your college experience comes with plenty of checklists about must-haves. You know what books your classes require, and Res Life probably gave you a solid list of dorm room essentials.
But what about the personal touches that turn your dorm into your home? Here are five tips for making your space uniquely yours from day one!
Tip 1: Get a Plant
Most dorms don’t allow pets, but that doesn’t mean you can’t bring some life into your space. A houseplant can be an excellent way to give your room a more inviting feel. Just Houseplants recommends low-light varieties for dorm room success. Snake plants are a popular choice!
As a bonus, taking care of houseplants has been shown to have positive health impacts, including reducing anxiety and stress.
Tip 2: Mix Art with Photos
Filling your walls with photos of friends and family back home can help ease the homesickness, but if you want to truly make the space pop with your personality, mix your more personal photographs with artistic flair.
Consider collaging your personal photos with artistic prints to set the vibe. Consider specific themes (nature, abstract imagery, cityscapes) and color palettes.
Tip 3: Tack Up a Tapestry
Dorm walls aren’t always easy to decorate. There are often rules about what you can or can’t hang, painting usually isn’t allowed, and the material can be difficult to pierce.
One way to get a pop of your personal style is to choose a tapestry for decoration instead of a heavier art piece. Cloth tapestries are often more forgiving of imperfect hanging technique and weigh next to nothing, making them easy to attach below your loft bed or between windows.
Tip 4: Split the Room
If you’ve got a roommate, making your room your own can be even more of a challenge.
Get creative with a room divider that doesn’t take up much space but helps you set up some privacy so you can each bring your own vibe into your home. Folding panels can be easily tucked away for social gatherings and brought out for quiet study.
Another option is to divide the room with bookshelves so that you combine form and function.
Tip 5: Don’t Forget the Door
A lot of the social life of the dorm floor starts before anyone enters your room. Don’t forget to take advantage of your dorm room door for showcasing your personality!
Many students like to hang whiteboards (or a Magna Doodle for a quirkier take) for notes and messages. This is also a great place to put up comic strips, art, or other signals of your tastes and interests.
You’ll send a signal to like-minded future friends that they should get to know you, and you will feel at home every time you walk up to your door!