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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UNH chapter.

Being a freshman in college, this is my first experience with dorm life, or any life living away from home. As the holiday season quickly approached, I found myself not in my usual holiday spirit. With nobody else here to put up the decorations and buy the festive food I am used to, I have decided to take some initiative to get in the holiday mood before I go home for break. Here are five easy things I’ve done to keep the holiday spirit alive while living in a dorm.

1. Decorations

This is the most obvious and debatably the easiest step to take, however, it is easy to put off or decide it is not that important. I made sure to take a mini Christmas tree and some other little decorations back to school after Thanksgiving break. If you didn’t do this don’t worry! Amazon and other websites have super cheap decorations you can buy and get shipped to you quickly. And if that’s not exactly in your budget, try something as simple as making snowflakes out of printer paper as we did in elementary school, little things can make a huge difference!

2. Holiday food

Although some of my friends at other schools were blessed with a kitchen as a freshman, that was not the case for me. Even without a kitchen, simply go out and find some premade sugar cookies or whatever your favorite holiday treat is. It also never hurts to buy some hot chocolate mix to sip on while watching movies, leading me to my next point…

3. Movies

It can be easy to just keep watching the show you’ve been binging and put holiday movies to the side, but they are one of the best parts of this time of year! Set a few nights aside to finish your homework early and put on a holiday movie (or if you’re me- watch all of the Christmas episodes of Friends). Give yourself a nice snack or drink and relax!

4. Holiday Music

I know I said movies are one of the best parts of this time of year, but music is THE best part. Personally, I’ve been listening to Christmas music at the gym since November 1st, but Mariah Carey isn’t exactly your go-to workout artist, listening in the dorm is just fine. As long as it’s being played somewhere.

5. Seasonal scents

Peppermint, gingerbread, pine tree, sugar cookie. The list of holiday scents goes on. While most dorm buildings prohibit candles (and I’m sure everybody follows that rule…) there are countless other ways to ensure your room is smelling the part this season! There are oil diffusers, plug-in air fresheners, and wax melters- all of which offer a variety of holiday scents and are dorm approved! 

This December has been different for me than past ones so far, but I’ve found both comfort and fun in taking these steps to make my dorm feel a little more like home. :)

Freshman Social Work major at University of New Hampshire!!