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How to Make Your Space at Home Feel More Like Your University for Your Online Semester

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With the COVID-19 pandemic throwing a wrench into all of our plans, it’s time to come up with new ways to bounce back and learn to live in this “new normal.” 

For most people, school inevitably becomes a pretty big part of your life, whether you go on to look back on it fondly or not. It’s where you spend the vast majority of four years of your life, where you meet your lifelong BFFs, and maybe even where you finally find your calling! But when school as you know it no longer exists, what can you do? How can you jazz up your space to feel more like your educational home away from home? Here are five tips to help you make your childhood bedroom feel more like school. 

Maintain the same aesthetic

If your dorm room or apartment had a specific vibe to it, make sure you’re bringing that home! Whether that means getting rid of your pink walls and princess decor or getting a fresh set of sheets that suit your mood better, you’ve grown as a person and it’s only natural that over time your aesthetic has changed, too – so update your childhood bedroom to match your college dorm aesthetic.

Most of your college decorations are probably packed away in your basement or garage anyway, so dig those out and get to decorating!

Put up pictures from your university life

Collect whatever photos you have with your college friends at school games and events and put them on your walls! Let them serve as a reminder of all the good things you’ve gained from school, and all the good things that are yet to come. Let them be the motivation for you to get through the difficult days, and look forward to better ones – like the ones you see in your photos!

Maybe you can buy a corkboard to double as a photo and memorabilia wall, or perhaps you can purchase some fairy lights with clips to hang up your photos, all the while making your room look a little magical. Also, if you’re looking for an easy way to do it, ShutterFly tends to have pretty good deals, and lets you print on practically anything! Seriously, if you’re looking for fridge magnets or you want your besties on your morning cup of coffee then look no further.

Alternatively, you could also splurge a little and have a photo printer at your disposal for the rest of your life! The Instax Fujifilm Printer is a crowd-favorite, printing any photo from your phone out in a mini Polaroid style.

Don’t have very many photos? You can still have (safe) photoshoots! Get creative with your local friends by setting up a socially-distant get together in your backyard or have a FaceTime photoshoot with your whole group!

Decorate your room with things that remind you of school

Alright, now let’s show off some school spirit! Embellish your room with your best school memorabilia, maybe a good ol’ pennant or a stuffed toy of your school mascot. It’s important to still feel connected to your school, and having little commodities in different areas of your space will serve as an aide-memoire!

You can also put up things that you associate with a good time at school; maybe a flyer for that school musical you were in or the superlative you won at your student group’s end of semester banquet? Go wild! Nothing is too silly or small to have memories attached to it; trust me, I have a poster of me posing for my university’s housing department hanging up in my room! #RyersonResidence

Rearrange your furniture

Regardless of whether you have the means to redecorate or make permanent changes, rearranging your furniture is a great way to create a change without spending any money. Maybe you can adjust the direction in which your bed faces, or swap the decorations from your dresser to your desk! 

Whatever you decide to do, it can help you feel like you’re in a new space and can prevent you from associating your room with your past memories, instead helping you focus on your present and future.

Create the perfect study space

Although it can be effective – not to mention fun – to switch up every aspect of your room, it’s extremely vital you set up your study space to your liking. Since you’ll be spending the bulk of your time during the day in that one spot, make sure it’s comfortable, motivating and that everything you would usually need is easily accessible to you.

My personal favorite thing to do is look up free printables online that can help me organize myself and study. I love using weekly planners, time-blockers for studying, and cute to-do lists! You could also put up a motivational poster to get you through the day, or a snazzy desk lamp to elevate your workspace vibes a little. 

Adapting and having to start anew, especially so abruptly, is understandably difficult. But hopefully, a little room spruce up can help alleviate some of your worries, and perhaps even give you a little something to look forward to! Happy transformations, folks!

Zainab is a 4th-year journalism student from Dubai, UAE who is the Editor-in-Chief of Her Campus at Ryerson. When she's not taking photos for her Instagram or petting dogs on the street, she's probably watching a rom-com on Netflix or journaling! Zainab loves The Bold Type and would love to work for a magazine in New York City someday! Zainab is a feminist and fierce advocate against social injustice - she hopes to use her platform and writing to create change in the world, one article at a time.