Looking at picture perfect dorm rooms on pinterest, or watching youtube videos, I thought I knew exactly how I wanted my dorm to look and what I needed. However, after living here for the last few weeks I have learned a lot of things that work, and don't work in my room.
1. Less is better
You don't have much space, and it will be so much easier to keep your room neat if you don't have as many little things to keep organized. This is especially true for your desk, and any dresser space you may have. The best thing that I have found is having everything in organizers, or drawers. It is easier to keep everything in one place instead of just having it float around.
Going off of that, the less decorative pillows on your bed, the better. With classes early in the morning, most people want to use as little energy as possible to make their bed. I made that mistake and had way too many pillows on my bed that would always fall of and make it difficult to look neat.
2. Keep your side as neat as possible.
You hear those roommate horror stories about how they are always fighting and end up hating each other. Now I know this is rare, but if there are ways to avoid the chance of that happening, then you should try and do that. Obviously, your room won't be spotless all of the time but keeing things relatively neat will prevent any unecessary stress on your relationship with your roommate. I also have found that spending one day, usually a weekend, to clean everything up well will start out your academic week well. Especially with the pandemic, taking time to sanitize or spray down everything might be a good idea.
3. Make your desk a place you want to study.
Having space to spread out your notes, laptop, and whatever else you need will make studying a lot less stressful. You don't want to have to pile up things all over the place and be knocking things over while you are trying to study. If you have a clean area, with little distractions, you will be more likely to stay focused and be productive. Studying in the library or another building is another easy way to stay focused, but sometimes you want to just study in your pajamas late at night and don't want to have to go to another building. A productive study space is important for getting your work done with as little distraction as possible.
The main take away from my first few weeks has been do your best to stay neat. Your own stress levels will decrease, you will probably get along with your roommate better, and you will be more productive. While this is just a small part of having a successfull college life, I think it is one of the most important parts.