How To Make Your Dorm Room Feel Like Home

Going to college is a huge adjustment. You’re leaving your home, your room, your family and friends and moving into a stuffy closet with a complete stranger. You’ll most likely walk in, look around and instantly want to jump back into your big, comfy bed at home. To make the adjustment easier, here are some little things you can do to bring pieces of home with you, helping turn your dull dorm room into a second home.

1. Create your own space

First off, if you have the option to loft your bed: DO IT. Lofting your bed makes the room look and feel more spacious. Now, you can either be practical, and put your desk and set of drawers under it, or you can be fun and creative, and create a little hang out area; a woman-cave, if you will. Find a little bean bag chair, hang some fairy lights and a tapestry and break out those polaroids you’ve been planning to put up for years. Your little spot under the bed is perfect for studying, relaxing or entertaining guests.

2. Decorate the walls

Wall decor is another great way to hide any evidence that this is actually a dorm room. Add a calendar for organization – it will get you motivated to plan your days and keep busy! Add some art to remind you of home. My friend painted some canvases for me: my name to remind me who I am and the blues of the ocean to remind me where I come from. Stick some cork boards up there! What else are you going to do with those endless photo booth strips? Plus, every time it catches your eye, I guarantee you’ll smile at the memories. Wall art doesn’t always have to be organizational or sentimental either! Hang a fun tapestry, cute decorations and even some curtains on the windows to tie your room together! Every time you walk into your room, you should forget you’re in a dorm.

3. Make your workspace fun

Your desk can have multiple purposes. The obvious one is for studying and working, but it can also be a space where you get ready. A great way to make your desk not seem like a stressful environment is to combine it with something fun— makeup! Get some drawers or desk organizers and display your collection proudly! Get a mirror, maybe a desk lamp for the books AND that perfect makeup lighting, and you’ve created a work and play station all in one.

4. Bring mementos from home

Your desk is probably where you spend most of your time in college, so it’s a good place to have little reminders of home to look at. I have a little coaster from California, and it reminds me that my beautiful beaches will be waiting for me in winter when the blizzards are covering the windows of my dorm room. I also have a picture of my parents, reminding me to call them more often. Looking at these little remnants of home every morning when I get ready, and every night when I’m studying, makes me feel like home isn’t that far away.

5. Make your bed comfortable

When you’re not studying or hanging out in your awesome woman-cave, you’re probably in bed. It is IMPERATIVE that your bed is comfortable, but having it be cute and sentimental as well can really make it feel more homey. For example, I spotted my sheets at a Home Depot, the city print immediately drawing me in. Even though I’m pretty sure it’s New York, I thought it would be the perfect detail to symbolize my first time living in a city. The duvet is cute and comfortable, a neutral color that allows you to add decorative pillows to spice it up— so I did! My fluffy, dark blue pillows give me immense joy. Do I ever use them? Of course not, but stroking their fur and looking at them gives me all the satisfaction I need. I also have a little something from home, a blanket my best friends from California gave me. It will be perfect for when I need a warm hug on those freezing Boston nights.

Your dorm room is the first time you’re living away from home. It’s your first address that you don’t share with your parents, it’s the first time you have sole control of the decorations and color schemes and it’s the place where you come to relax at the end of a long day. You need to love it. You need to be comfortable enough to forget that it’s a dorm room and be brave enough to make it your own. Once you’re comfortable in your room, you’ll find fitting in to your new college life much easier.