Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
Life > Experiences

Four Things You Can Do To Make Campus Feel Like Home

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Illinois chapter.

Everyone says that moving to college is like restarting. You are transported four years back in time and are, yet again, a freshman, finding your place in a seemingly huge world. Except now, you aren’t looking for your locker in a high school; instead, you are embarking on a journey full of new beginnings and experiences. You are on your own now.

To many incoming students, this may seem like a scary thing, but it really is exciting! There is so much to do and so much to know, and this is exactly why I am giving you a guide to making campus feel like home.

1. Decorate your dorm

When I first stepped foot into my dorm room, I was greeted with blank walls, an uncomfortable-looking mattress, and about three feet of space to move. I immediately began to miss my bright and colorful room which was now three hours away. Instead of feeling uncomfortable in your own living space, you have to make the most of it! You can make the room adorable by picking out a bedspread in your favorite color, hanging photos of loved ones, and placing a fuzzy rug over the vinyl flooring. By filling the space with items that you love, you are bound to feel more comfortable and at home!

Anna Schultz-Girl Sitting On Bed Facing Wall
Anna Schultz / Her Campus

2. Make friends

Making friends may seem difficult, but you have to remember that everyone is in the same position. On my first full day living in the dorms, a girl decided to knock on every door with hopes of meeting new people. The girl who decided to do this has become one of my best friends. Keep in mind that it is not embarrassing to want to meet people. It sounds cliche, but you meet some of your best friends during your freshman year of college. So if you take any advice from this article, have it be to always go for it!

3. Explore activities

The start of a school year brings so many exciting opportunities and activities! My personal favorite was Quad Day. At UIUC, along with many other universities, Quad Day is the day when all of the RSOs (Registered Student Organizations) give information to possible participators. This allows you to see all of the many interest groups, sports, and social groups you can join! Personally, it felt like I was in the beginning of Pitch Perfect (minus the acapella).

4. Create a balance

When moving to a new place, it may seem easier to focus solely on academics, but by doing this you are destined to have a miserable time at your university. Going away to college, while it is dominantly to begin your pathway to a career, is also to develop and grow. It is impossible to do so if you are stuck in your dorm 24/7 staring at a computer. Go out and have fun, too! Enjoying being in a place is what truly makes it feel like home, so it is so important to spend time outside of your studies! There is so much to do and so much to see… So explore!

College may seem like a scary place with scary adults, but every student at your university was a freshman once. Every student showed up on move-in day with a car stuffed with the entirety of their room and wardrobes. Every student waited alone nervously in their dorm, most likely with their door open, hoping for someone to come in and say hi. Every student came to begin their new journey.

My dad always says that his college years were the best years of his life, and by following this guide, they will be yours too.

Hi! My name is Hazel Polanco and I am a freshman at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. I am majoring in political science on the Pre-Law track and am minoring in legal studies and journalism! In my free time, I like to go to the gym, read, write, and experiment with different hobbies.