5 tips to make campus comfortable

As a new student, or even a returning one, entering a new residence hall for the first time can be daunting.

The bare walls, lackluster colors and matching furniture mirroring each half of the room usually does not help any pre-semester nerves. For that reason, and also to give the rooms a less sterile and more homelike feel, many campus residents decide to decorate their dorms.

Although it can be a bit time consuming to transform the residence hall space, with a little effort, it can be a place students will not mind calling home. Here are a few tips to make that happen.

1. Stick with what you know.

Think about favorite items from home, and if they did not make it into the car on move-in day, pick them up on the first visit back, or ask a family member to bring them. Those photos from a favorite family vacation two years ago? Hang them up. Posters and other trinkets that decorated the walls back home will fill the new space with the same memories.

2. Color theory.

Another way to make sure the room feels cozy is to pick furniture and items with a color theme. The best bet would be to look for a favorite color or colors, especially when purchasing bedding, lamps, chairs, baskets or storage containers. That way, all the items in the room have that connection that makes it a favorite place to be.

3. Consider Collaboration.

Using decorations that go from one side of the room to the other, such as banners, or decorative lights, adds a playfulness to any residence hall. However, it is important to talk these ideas over with a roommate first, especially before making any purchases. Another option which is usually available in the halls is bunking the beds to make room for more furniture or extra space for guests to hang out. This also gives more room for bringing in small furniture, like beanbag chairs or ottomans.

4. Find a standout item.

Many impressively decorated residence hall rooms have a common feature: A major item that catches people’s eyes and starts a conversation. Examples range from a simple hammock under a lofted bed to a life-size character cutout from a favorite TV show. The items make the room unique so that it might feel less like a res hall room and more like a bedroom.

5. Fill it with friends.

The best way to make a dorm room feel like a home is to fill it with people who feel like family. Going to a Mane Month activity and meeting someone who turns out to be a neighbor down the hall, or striking a conversation in the midst of teeth brushing are common ways to meeting new friends. They might later end up hanging out in your room during Netflix binges or group studying. They could also be the ones sitting next to you at graduation as you move your tassels to the left.