Dorm

7 Do’s & Don’ts for Decorating Your New Dorm Room

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As a college freshman, there are so many different things to plan for when preparing for the big move to your new college dorm room.  When I was starting freshman year, I knew I wanted to bring a little bit of home with me, to remind me of all the things that got me where I was, as well as start off fresh and introduce a fun and energetic style to my new living space. Many college dorm rooms seem to be so bland, cold and drab…but they don’t have to be!

You may think that your college dorm room has no decorating potential but there are many savvy design and storage techniques to make your new place into a home away from home.  It isn’t easy to look at your dorm and be able to envision all of its potential, but with a few tips and some creativity, you will be able to turn your space into a comfortable and cozy home.

DORM DO’S:

DO think of your dorm room as a home away from home. You want to feel comfortable coming back to your room after a long day of classes, and feel that your dorm is your safe haven.  Bring items that are familiar to you from when you lived back at home such as pictures, stuffed animals or blankets—anything that brings comfort in order to make the transition easier.

DO collaborate with your roommate.  If you and your new roommate are willing to coordinate a theme, the two of you can have a lot of fun with it! Themed rooms are a simple way to pull a small, bland room together, and getting your roommate involved will make the decorating process easier and more fun, and hopefully will help the two of you to get to know each other better. It can also be a big help to coordinate ahead of time the items you plan on bringing so you avoid bringing the same things.

DO be creative as possible when decorating your room…but be aware of building safety codes and regulations.  Some universities have restrictions on what you can bring into your dorm room such as hot plates and candles, as well as restrictions on what you can hang from the ceilings.   But other than that, be as creative as you want! Color-coordinated linens and curtains, decorative rugs, entertainment centers and consoles, books and posters are all an option, and just the starting point.  There are many DIY projects online that can help you add some creative design to your walls if you want to go even further.

Fun tip—instead of taping a bunch of photos to the wall and cluttering your space, consider blowing one picture up to poster size to make a bigger statement.

DO consider bed risers if you want to maximize under-bed storage space.  Seeing that the space is limited in most dorm rooms, you have to get creative in order to maximize your storage space.  Simple things such as raising your bed will create space you never knew you had! Wait until you’re on campus to buy storage and organization bins so you can get a better idea about the space you’re working with.

DORM DON’TS:

DON’T over pack and bring so much that move-out will be a huge pain.  Remember everything you bring into that dorm room is going to have to leave in only a years’ time, and you also accumulate things as the year passes.  So be careful on all the stuff you decide to keep in your dorm room because eventually it will be your responsibility to move it out. A long move-out process is the last thing you’re going to want to do when you’re on your first summer break as a college student.

Don’t bring items that heat up, it’s best to leave them at home.  Items such as lava lamps, candles, grills and toasters are most likely going to be forbidden in your building and frankly they are a big hazard that you don’t want to have to worry about.

Don’t panic about the things you forgot.  If you forget anything you can always buy it at a local store in your college’s town.  And don’t worry, there will be plenty of other college students in the same boat as you.

Have more DORM DO’S & DON’TS? Please share them with us in the space below!

About the Author: Trae Lewis is a recent graduate from the University of Colorado at Boulder, where she majored in journalism. She is currently a staff writer for CollegeFocus and an active community blogger. You can find CollegeFocus on Facebook at www.fb.com/collegefocus.

The Ultimate Dorm Essentials Checklist

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Freaking out about moving into the dorms this fall, or know someone who is? I know when I was moving into the dorms I was a mess. When I was making a list of everything I needed I kept leaving things off. It’s really hard to think of all the stuff you are going to need. Thankfully, this checklist has all the essentials on it and you won’t have to worry about whether or not you have everything. Makes everything so much easier! Take it with you when you go dorm shopping, share it with your friends, or just share it in general! It will come in handy when you get that feeling that you’re forgetting something. You can also download and print the PDF version of our Dorm Essentials Checklist here.

Embed this Checklist on your Blog!

10 Benefits of Living Off Campus

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In all of my six years in college (be nice I am working on my third degree) I have never lived in a dorm.  I never saw the appeal of living in the dorms.  I just saw them as small, generally smelly spaces that hundreds of people have slept in prior to me arriving.  So I always chose to live off campus.

Sure there were some drawbacks including parking passes and paying rent, but there were also a lot of perks.  I have my own space, my own room, and my own bathroom.  I had a roommate in my first apartment, but at least I got to choose who they were.  I believe that the biggest perk of living off campus was that it taught me how to be responsibile.  I had to work to pay my rent and bills, so I quickly learned how to multi-task.  This also taught me about the art of money management and budgeting.  Trust me, living in Florida and having your electric shut off in the middle of summer will really teach you to pay your bills on time!  Here are some of the reasons that I think it is better to live off-campus while in college:

Reason #1 – You are in charge of every aspect of your living situation.  If you want to leave dishes in the sink and come home drunk at 3am you can.

Reason #2 – It teaches you economic responsibility.  You are in charge of paying rent, bills and all the other expenses.

Reason #3 – You get to have pets (If your landlord allows it).

Reason #4 – If you need to, or choose to, have roommates you are the one selecting them not a college admission counselor.

Reason #5 – You get your own kitchen and bathroom.

Reason #6 – If you have odd living tendencies (like needing to mop your floors three times a day) then you are free to do it without judgment in your own space.

Reason #7 – You are always accountable, again teaching you even more responsibility.  It is your job to get up and head to class, there is not a friend down the hall who will bang on your door to make sure you are awake.

Reason #8 – FREEDOM! There is no RA overseeing your behavior and there is no need to sign in or out.

Reason #9 – You learn the reality of how much things cost.  Buying dishes, towels, curtains, etc. gets SUPER expensive quickly and it is better to learn that lesson sooner than later.

Reason #10 – You get to have a car that you don’t have to walk a mile to get to.

Can you think of any other benefits of living off campus? Sound off in the comments below!

 

Lovejoy

I’m reading Human Resource Management

Preparing For Your New Roommate

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Many high school seniors are finalizing their college decisions and getting their living arrangements settled. College comes with many ups and downs. Sometimes your new roommate will cause ups, downs, or both! Living with a new person or a stranger is not always easy but we have some tricks to keep the peace in the dorm room.

  • Try communicating via email, phone, or Facebook. Sometimes it can be hard to reach people but it is not impossible. Your university should provide you with at least one form of contact information for your new roommate. Trust me, you will want to talk to your roommate before you first meet them.
  • Be open. This experience could be really great for you and your roommate! You may even walk away great friends! Be ready to find out somethings you never thought you would know about a person, like their snoring patterns or their sleeptalk habits!
  • It is important to remember that your roommate is in the same situation you are! You are new to each other. Take some time to meet and know your new roomie. You may have more in common than you think! Don’t act like you are the only one going through the drama. You can look down your hall and find a handful of girls who are going through the same thing!
  • Discuss your dorm room rules and how you would like the room to be. If you need to be in bed at a specific time, kindly tell your roommate that you would appreciate it quiet at a certain time. Lay down the law before it’s too late, or you will be fighting in no time. Don’t expect your new roommate to think the same way you do.
  • Understand that your roomie might not have all the same beliefs and opinions you do. Be flexible with your roommate. They cannot read your mind, so don’t expect them to! They might think that it is acceptable to stay up until 3 a.m. every night. If you think differently make sure you discuss it!
  • Establish who is bringing what for the room. If you are not willing to share your refrigerator space make sure your roommate knows that. The need for two TVs seems ridiculous, but if you aren’t willing to share that is something your new roommate will need to know beforehand.

I had a good experience with my roommate but know some people whose experience was different. It is important to get along with your roommate because at the end of the day you still have to live with them! Communication is key!

Good luck!!

 

With love,

Kat VonD

I’m reading The Living World