Dorm Raiders: When Photo Albums Come to Life

About the Dorm
Welcome to Willow A.

It’s one of the four communities that make up Tulane’s sophomore dorm Willow. Suite style living houses sophomores in either double-double, double-single, or single-single rooms connected by a bathroom. Those lucky enough to reside here have access to their own study lounge, social lounge, kitchen, balcony, and laundry room on each floor. Freshman—it’s never too early to look into dorms for next year and this is definitely a dorm to rank high up on your list. The rooms are double the size of my Sharp home last year, meaning I actually have enough room for my roommate, my wardrobe, and myself in one room! Cross your fingers for an early timeslot come dorm selection—you definitely aren’t the only one hoping to live here.
About the Residents
This room is where Yael Ginsburg from Houston, Texas and Isabella Lara from Caracas, Venezuela call home. They were lucky enough to snag the corner suite on this floor: basically, it’s a bit awkwardly shaped…but bigger! Both students are bilingual so don’t be surprised if you happen to hear Spanish while walking by their door. Yael is a business major while Isabella is considering a major in math.
Now Come On in—Abre la puerta!

Yael Goes Photo Crazy
Whenever I walk into this room—which is pretty often considering Yael and Isabella are my suitemates—the first thing I always notice is Yael’s closet. If you’re wondering why, you probably have yet to realize the montage of photographs in the above picture is actually decorating a closet. Head to toe this closet has been disguised as a photo album. I usually don’t leave the room without noticing a picture I hadn’t seen before. “I’m always the one with the camera among my friends and, so naturally I have a ton of pictures,” commented Yael.
Of course, the photographs don’t stop there. Above Yael’s bed, hang even more of her memories. A simple bedspread insures the room isn’t overwhelmed with so much going on elsewhere. Remember balance is always important when decorating your own room! Above her desk Yael switches from photos to posters to show off her love for Taylor Swift and Train. It’s always fun to show off your interests to dorm visitors. In Yael’s case, this clutter of poster warns anyone who stops by that if you are friends with Yael you will hear every Taylor Swift song ever made while in her car. And of course she hopes to see each and every one of you at the Taylor Swift Concert….

And the Photos Don’t Stop with Isabella’s side!

Learning from her roommate, Isabella has printed some photos to hang up as well.  Her creativity is displayed in the form her photographs are hung up—an I! Butterfly mirrors dance out from the I, making the wall look less bare without making it as busy. Since Willow has a lot of wall space Isabella was also able to hang up an artsy poster, adding some color to her side of the room.  “I made my side a bit more simple to balance out Yael’s busy walls, which reflects my personality because I tend to be a more orderly person. In general I love our room, it’s so much better than living in JL like last year!” says Isabella.
Make it Your Own
1. Mirror shapes from Bed, Bath, and BeyondI actually have bird mirrors hung up above my room similar to the butterflies Isabella and Yael have in their room. You can find many different shapes here.

2. Isabella suggests you do your online poster shopping at or

3. Print photographs easily online from Walgreens then stop by a local store (there’s a bunch scattered around Tulane) and pick them up. You can hang them on corkboards, put them in frames, or make letters or shapes (like a heart) out of them on your walls.

4. Unless you’re as short as I am…high beds are the way to go! Isabella and Yael have plastic drawers under their beds for extra storage.

5. Pottery Barn has a bunch of cute desk decorations to make your study space more fun. Can you find Isabella’s yellow I and Yael’s LOVE sign on their desks? Both from! 
Remember Tulane…Defend New Orleans, Defend Your Dorm!

Rebecca Shinners is a Her Campus Chapter Advisor and Photo Intern/Freelancer at O, The Oprah Magazine. She graduated from Boston University in 2014 with a BS in Journalism and concentration in Photojournalism. She got her start in magazines writing for Her Campus and was previously an Editor for both Her Campus BU and Her Campus Tulane. Her work has also appeared in Seventeen Magazine, Teen Vogue,, Hamptons Magazine, and Newsday. When Rebecca isn't busy writing and taking pictures, she can be found shopping, petting puppies, wearing the color mint, and going to concerts.