Classes have started up again for colleges across the country, and millions of students have moved into dormitories for the semester. Whether it’s your first time living in a dorm or you’re a veteran dorm dweller, it is exciting to have a space of your own to decorate. Here are five accessories that can bring a room to life.
Keir Wilson is a self-described “plushie hoarder.” His room is filled with plushies — on his desk to keep him company as he studies, piled on or under his bed to snuggle with at night, and even a few stray ones on the floor that simply do not fit anywhere else in his room. The stuffed companions come in all shapes, sizes and species. They are Wilson’s source of comfort in a busy, stressful and foreign college environment.
“My stuffed animals are what I use for comfort back home, so it makes me feel safer,” Wilson said.
To some, the bare walls are a canvas. One can paint a picture of their personality by hanging up a variety of decorations: fairy lights, tapestries, rows and rows of photos, drawings, stickers, postcards. If there is no more room on the walls, the canvas expands to include the ceiling and door.
Sophie Norton is a student who likes hanging up “Karen signs,” as she calls them. “Don’t give up!” and “Today is a good day to have a good day,” they read. Norton said the signs are a good source of inspiration and motivation in her stressful life.
Apart from stuffed animals, Wilson’s room also has many photos of her favorite people, animals and fictional characters. Some, like photos commemorating her cat who passed away, are even framed.
“Once (my room) is decorated I kind of forget how many other people have also spent nights here,” Wilson said.
Wall decorations can help personalize a room to encompass all of one’s fondest memories, deepest interests and most inspiring quotes, as long as a fire inspector doesn’t come in.
The gamer’s room is filled with tech: a full PC that they probably built themselves, multiple monitors, a TV, a couple of game consoles, all emanating the soft glow of a myriad of colors. The snack wrappers and empty soda cans stacked neatly along the edge of their desk leave little room for school supplies.
Tech may provide many outlets for entertainment. However, to Jacob Crawford, a TV-radio production student, technology also serves a practical purpose. “I’m just a bit extra and need to have a bunch of devices, because it’s slightly more convenient than doing everything on one,” he said.
Cameron Greaves and Sara Brunell simply disassembled their rooms and brought them to college. Their room hardly looks like a mere college dorm, instead resembling a fully-furnished apartment: it has extra furniture, posters, decorative pillows, rugs and lights, and a vast enclosure for Greaves’ emotional support bunny Mochi. Greaves joked that even Brunell is in her own right an accessory to the room.
“Going the extra mile to make my dorm feel cozy and comfortable makes the being away from home a lot easier,” Brunell said.
Greaves echoed Brunell’s sentiment: “I spend a lot of time in my dorm, and it’s nice having a space that feels like my own. College really takes over most aspects of your everyday life, but when I’m in my dorm, I’m in control.”
Comfort and familiarity help the two relax, especially when they aren’t home for about 9 months of the year.
OR NOTHING AT ALL!
On the other hand, one may choose to bring nothing with them but the bare necessities for surviving college. Their belongings are few and get so much use that there is no need to organize — they just occupy a spot on their empty surfaces. The barebones resident values practicality and convenience above all else. Sometimes, as in the case of Shunya Okazaki, modest interior is a choice made for financial reasons.
Okazaki said, “I’d love to decorate my room with posters and other good stuff, since I am an Otaku (a fan of Japanese pop culture). But I’m worried about damaging my room, and I don’t want to be charged for the dorm damages.”
There are as many ways to decorate a college dorm as there are students, and the best way to decorate your room is the way that suits your needs and personal tastes best.
“Decor that screams ‘me’ makes the room my own, rather than some room lent out to me for a little bit,” Wilson said.