By: Karen

As anyone who has ever moved into a dorm room knows, it’s not the room that is exciting. The concept, of moving into a building with all of your friends down the hall, or just a walk away, knowing that you always have someone to study with, watch tv with, or have a good time with is really what makes it enjoyable. Not necessarily the room with cement walls, generally painted white, plain oak colored furniture (honestly I think every dorm in America has the exact same furniture), and usually a huge window (that may be okay for an 8am class, but is really not appreciated on Saturday morning).

But what do you do? You’re only going to be living there for about nine months, possibly less if you get sick of your roommate – but coming from home where you had made your room your own for your last 17/18 years of life, you need to bring a little bit of home with you. Starting with the furniture – live with it. It is not worth the money or the hassle to deal with that – so work around it.

The one thing that often has a great impact is a rug – and its useful – no one knows how clean those floors really are – and it can have a large impact on the look of the room. You can choose a bold color – because you want to make a statement – and chances are you won’t be taking it with you when you move. You can then choose your bedding to match – any pillows or blankets you add on are all an accent – so don’t be practical – be fun and bold. You also have to dress up the walls – of course there are the typical prints that you can get at the campus bookstore – but bring in some color with cheap canvas paintings or wall art – different shapes that can be adhered to the wall without worrying about how to hang a picture (try not to damage the walls too much when you hang things – they will find a way to charge you).

The other thing to tackle would be the window – chances are aside from the look, you don’t want to wake up early. The best way to tackle it would be to get a blackout shade – if the window is big you may have to go custom – but if you shop around there are good deals, and stores that guarantee low prices – so as long as you don’t get to fancy you may be okay. The other option would be to add curtains. You can get some reasonably priced black out panels that you can mount on a simple rod that you can just pull open and closed.

But at the end of the day – just have fun with it. Take risks you would never take if you were investing a lot of money into a space, or things that your parents never let you do when you lived at home. You are going to spend a lot of time in the room – studying, aside from the fun that I mentioned earlier – and you want to be comfortable doing it!