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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 San Francisco chapter.

It is about that time! The smell of cinnamon and pumpkins, the sight of candles glowing, and that numb feeling that bites the tips of your fingers and nose from the cold. Fall is just around the corner, if not already waiting at your doorstep– ready for embracement. Although, in college, Fall is a little different than it might be back home. Living in a dorm can change those favorites, yearly, Fall traditions and routines. 

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That beautiful smell of Fall traditions, now replaced with the haunting of last night’s Ramen noodles and an overflowing sink. Most dorms don’t allow candles, so bye-bye ambient-mood lighting and comforting smells. That melting of a cold chill you would feel on your fingers and toes right after turning up the heater– not so easy anymore. Many dorms don’t have heating or cooling; if they do, don’t count on them to always work. So, how do you make it feel a little homier in your dorm this Fall? I’ll tell you how…

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Fall Dorm Decoration Examples!

  1. To get that yummy smell that makes your mouth water and eyes tear from joy– turn to air scents. While they may not be as authentic as a sweet smelling treat or candles, air scents are just as fulfilling. They bring back those smells, and give the delightful illusion of Fall scents. Find air fresheners such as  pumpkin, cinnamon, and anything at Bath and Body Works Fall collection. Familiar smells give a Fall atmosphere– just like home.
  2. To create a new kind of ambient-mood lighting to replace candles (even though nothing can fully replace candles), fairy lights are the best go-to. Small, twinkling lights to turn on on those cold nights. Sometimes, the lights even have pumpkins on them– even more fun! They shine a warm glow, and can make even the darkest dorm a little more bright.
  3. Feeling chilly? Do you miss that sensation of the heater filling your cold room, soothing your body to sleep? Try an electric blanket, or big, chunky, knitted blankets.  Not only do you get a cute aesthetic, but you get back the feeling in your body and shield on cold days. 

Decorate! Carve pumpkins with your roommates, dress up on Halloween, watch your Fall-favorite movies on those overcast days, make yummy smelling treats (if you have access to an oven) or buy them. Do things, such as these, to recreate that sense of home in your dorm this Fall. If you have the opportunity to, try bringing things with you to your dorm from previous Falls at home. These mementos can make your dorm feel more “Fall-like,” and can create a homey, comfortable feeling.  


Fun Fall Treats!

Fall, Winter, Spring, and Summer. It can be hard– not surrounded by those once familiar faces of family and friends. Although, with each passing season, faces of new family and friends will fill the void of old ones. New traditions, routines, and ideas can be created incorporating memories of old– even in a college dorm. 

Kaitlyn Cassidy

San Francisco '26

hi my name is kaitlyn and I am first year at SFSU! :)