It’s so exciting! A room to yourself, outside your parents’ grasp—well, to yourself and two or three other freaked out college freshmen. It’s time to make this dorm room home. So, think about the following:
What do you want your room to look like, for yourself?
There are two sides of this. First, what will make you feel comfortable? If this is your first semester from home, it’s going to be a serious adjustment period, and you should make your new room feel as safe and happy as possible. Pictures of family and friends, your worn out teddy bear, whatever it is. Second, what do you want to cultivate, and what do you want to leave behind? College is a lot about reinventing yourself. Use your space to reinforce the things you want in your life, and leave the rest out.
How do you want to present yourself to others?
Like it or not, this is probably the most visible you’ve ever been. The outside of your door, at the very least, will be under scrutiny, and you may have lots of visitors in your room, too. This is not to say you have to show off, but be discerning about what you want to share with the outside world, and what you’d like to keep to yourself (here we refer you back to the worn-out teddy bear, who may need a happy home in a chest at the end of your bed).
Buy (a few) things you really love
Things you love will make you happy. Things you hate won’t. Invest in a nice comforter, some art you enjoy, etc. Don’t go crazy, though—dorm rooms are excruciatingly small these days, and you really only need one Kanye poster.
Think about functionality
Speaking of excruciatingly small, all choices you make—about what to buy and how to arrange it—should include a plan for maximizing space and storage, and minimizing clutter.
Think about your roommate
Oh, what? This three-foot-square room is supposed to house me, all my junk, AND someone else?
Now that you’ve got our excellent thought-provoking topics floating around your brain, go look at pictures. Of dorms, of design blogs, of small apartments and space-saving solutions. Focusing on the visual aspects will help you get a sense of what you want—and what you don’t.
Tell us how you decorated your college housing here or on Facebook!