Adjustment is a difficult and sometimes lengthy process. However, every now and then, a little change is beneficial because it allows you to open your mind to new ideas and new people, allowing you to grow. College is no different. When adjusting to the college lifestyle, you’ll have to juggle 1) missing your friends, 2) family back home, 3) recovering from a bad case of senioritis, and 4) learning how to do your own laundry… whilestill hitting the books every night. In order to get through this transition period with ease, it is important to create a relaxing and homey environment in your dorm-room. Here are a few tips to make your dorm your new “home.”
1. Be afraid of the dark: Studies show that the brightness and luminance of your living environment has a strong effect on your mood, energy, and even health. Make use of both natural and artificial light to both visually widen the dimensions of your dorm and prevent it from feeling like a prison block Some tips to help brighten up your dorm room:
- Hang a wall mirror, if possible, on the wall across from your window. It will reflect the light from outside while also visually enlarging your dorm room.
- When picking out sheets and comforters, look from bright hues and vivid colors as opposed to dreary pastels or somber, dark colors. Because your bed will take up the majority of space in your dorm, it is extremely important to pick vibrant colors that will keep your bed looking clean and fresh year round. Try colors like teal, hot pink, or bright purple. (Warning: Don’t mistake bright with neon.)
- Lamps and lightbulbs come in many different shapes and sizes. Along with investing in one tall lamp (per roommate) hang Christmas lights along the border of your dorm room for a fun, festive, atmosphere that you can easily turn on and off.
2. Say goodbye:Any notorious hoarder knows there isn’t anything quite like the frustration of trying to explain just why you can’t throw away that dirty, ripped-up, but amazingly soft blanket that you bought 6 years ago. However, with the start of a new school year, now is the perfect time to finally get rid of-- let’s face it-- useless garbage that takes up too much space. In fact, now you have the perfect storage area, free of charge, to keep that stuff that you don’t use anymore but can’t possibly think of throwing away – your old room.
3. Organize: For those things that you deem “important” enough to bring with you, make sure that you know how and where you’re going to put everything. If you have enough space to walk around your room, you’ll feel much more comfortable and at “home.” Some tips to help you maximize your storage space:
- If you don’t loft your bed; invest in some cheap, sturdy bed risers. A set of four is about fifteen dollars at Target or Bed Bath & Beyond. Risers will create space for plastic storage containers filled with shoes, bags, and accessories to slide underneath.
- Place colored crates in your closet to make more room for all of your new fall jeans, hoodies, and jackets. They’re so bulky, and would take up a lot of drawer space if you stored them in your dresser.
4. Make your dorm your canvas. Self-expression is nothing new to W&M ladies. Everything from your college major to the clothes you wear reflects the person you are, and that shouldn’t stop at your dorm room. Therefore, you shouldn’t rely only on magazines or your older sister’s advice. Whether it’s Zac Efron posters or your personal collages and photos that will adorn your walls, just make sure that it says “you.”
Happy decorating, collegiettes!