Student, staff give tips for comfy dorm living

Senior Anna Leigh Rossi loves the convenience of living on campus, but her dorm room becoming a home did not come so naturally.

“I decorated my room to look like a bedroom rather than your typical dorm style,” Rossi said. “Make sure you create a space where you can thrive — whether that’s sleeping, cooking, studying or whatever, you need to be comfortable in your space.”

Since her freshman year, she has lived on campus, she said, but over the years, she has made her living space more “homey.”

“I want to be comfortable because I spend a lot of time in my room,” she said.

Rossi has lived in Appleby East for three years and is calling it home again this year.

No matter where students live on campus, making a dorm feel like home can be a tough task, but not an impossible one.

Where can I get what I need?

Target is the most recommended place to get good quality dorm room products at affordable prices because the company keeps dorm room comforts in mind.

Pinterest is great for creative and organizational ideas, and Linens-N-Things is a must-visit for college students because of its collection of festive colors.

Director of Housing Audrey Mitchell encourages students to take a step back and do some research.

“(Students) don’t have a lot of space, but they have a chance to be creative,” she said.

What can I add to my dorm?

Students should feel free to make rooms their own, but all original furniture must remain in the rooms.

Mitchell said students can hang posters as long as they use an adhesives that will not damage the walls.

According to the Residence Life website, students can bring items such as a mini-microwave that is no more than 700 watts and a mini-fridge that is no more than 4.3 cubic feet. Fish are the only pets allowed in the dorms and must be kept in a tank that is five gallons or less.

“We try to encourage anything and everything that they can bring to make it feel like home,” said Director of Residence Life Kevin Jacques. “We know there are times when people get homesick. Anything that can help them get over that is a good thing.”

Rossi said she brought items from homes that bring good memories to mind.

“The two things from home that I love to have in my room are pictures and my dream catcher from my childhood,” she said. “I love to look at pictures of my family and be reminded of the people who love me (and) I love having my dream catcher above my bed because it reminds me to think positively. It’s a small part of my childhood that moved with me to college.”

Both the Housing Department and Residence Life insist students keep belongings to a minimum.

“Unless you are moving from really far away, you don’t have to bring everything,” Jacques said.

Rossi said it is important to “make sure you have enough personal stuff to make yourself comfortable.”

She recommends bringing a hook to hang on the door for jackets, towels and backpacks, and bringing shower shoes and extra sheets.

“Think of your room as your home rather than thinking about it like summer camp,” she said. “Fill it with creativity.”