Published: April 18, 2016

Dorm room with decorationsMoving into a residence hall can be a big change for some college freshmen. The excitement of staying in a new location on a college campus with (usually) a roommate or two is contrasted by the nervousness for a change in the home environment you are so used to. While homesickness may or may not affect you freshman year, there are a few ways you can turn your new room into a comfortable, relaxing home environment. Here are some dorm room tips!

What things remind you of your home? For me, it is warmth and fresh scents. Even though candles aren’t allowed in residence halls, I used air fresheners and decorative pillows to create a nice smelling room and comfortable bed. The beds are the main focus of each room. Whatever reminds you of home, try to incorporate that into your bedding, and the spaces on the walls around your bed.

  • Put up pictures of your friends and family. This one is a well-known solution for homesickness; bring your loved ones with you, and make them into a wall mosaic you can look at whenever you’re missing them. Christmas lights are a popular wall decoration that change the mood of the room too!
  • Set up a work, sleep, food and toiletry station (optional: makeup station, so you don’t have to do that in the community bathroom). Dorm rooms can get messy fast (I learned this the hard way), and it’s best to separate your items into stations—and then try to keep them there. Use boxes and containers under your bed. Your desk should have enough space to work on. If you loft your bed, you will have a lot more space to work with! Keep your food by your microwave (or a designated corner), away from your bed. Shower Power: If you have one spot to put all your toiletries and towels, quick showers will be a piece of cake!
  • Walls can be useful and decorative, too. Hang purses and jewelry to find them more easily and look Pinterest-y!
  • Make your roommate and hall-mates your family. My residence hall, Buckingham, became a home away from home for me. Obviously it won’t always happen this way easily, but if you get to know the people living with you and around you, you might find that they are actually all wonderful individuals—they will become your new family for the next year (or more)!

Click here for the “10 Commandments of Dorm Room Shopping” to avoid!




Harper Brown