How to Make Your Dorm Room Feel Like Home
You’re super excited to move into your dorm room, I know. You’ve been dreaming about since you were a kid, and now it’s finally happening. And then you actually get there, and the room is a lot smaller and much less glamourous than the ones you’ve seen all over Pinterest and Tumblr. Once you move all of your stuff in, your dorm room feels slightly bigger than a cardboard board. The white cinder block walls will make it feel more like a prison than a place to live. Your parents drive away, and suddenly it hits you: you miss home, and this tiny room sure doesn’t feel welcoming.
It’s totally okay to get homesick in your dorm. You’re living there for nine months, though, so why not try to make it feel as home-y as possible? It is possible to create a space you’ll actually want to come back to every night, and I’ve got some tips to help you do just that.
1) Bring over some touches from your room at home.
Do you have a favorite poster? Maybe a lamp that’s been in your room since you were a kid? Bring these to your new dorm! You probably don’t want to copy your old room exactly, but having a few familiar pieces can make the whole room seems more welcoming. Go through your things, and decide if there is anything you can’t live without. And don’t worry if it seems childish. A lot of the girls that I’ve met have a childhood stuffed animal on their dorm bed. You won’t be alone!
2) Hang up pictures.
You don’t want to fall into the trap of only missing high school and not living your college life, but having some pictures up of your friends and family can help you feel less homesick. Be sure to add some new photos of your college adventures as they happen!
3) DIY your own decor.
This way, you can personalize it to fit your tastes exactly. Making your decor yourself will help it feel more personal, and having something on the walls will help with the prison feeling a lot. Plus, browsing Pinterest for the perfect craft and making it will help distract you from your homesickness for a while!
4) Hang up your favorite quote.
If you have a favorite song lyric or a quote that brings you comfort, put it up on your wall! You can buy premade letters, or cut out your own from cute paper or magazines. When you start to get lonely or homesick, your quote will always be in plain sight to lift you up.
5) Bring in some light.
Open up your windows and let in some sunshine! Or bring in some twinkle lights or a lamp. Dorm rooms are typically dark and dreary, and combating this will instantly make them feel more welcoming. Just be sure that anything you bring in meets your school’s fire and safety code. Sometimes twinkle lights don’t. Getting a violation will not help you feel more at home.
6) Add as much color as you can.
You can’t paint the walls or change the furniture, but you can add pops of color. Hang up a fun tapestry on your wall! If it’s allowed, you can use washi tape to decorate the edges of your shelves or desk. Get creative and decorate your door too! Any color will break up the mind numbing white (or, worse, slightly yellow like my dorm walls had).
7) Make your room cozier.
I like to drape a soft blanket over my chair to curl up when it gets cold. Bring in a lot of pillows so your bed is a soft and welcoming place to sit. Touches like these will make being in your room a lot more enjoyable.
8) Stash some of your favorite comfort food in your room.
If you always ate goldfish crackers a kid, bringing some into your new place will help it feel more like home. At the very least, this will make you want to come home because your favorite food will be waiting for you!
9) Keep it clean.
A tidy room is much more welcoming than a room with dirty clothes and dishes everywhere. Your room doesn’t have to be absolutely perfect and spotless (that can be unwelcoming in itself!), but tidying up a little every night will make the place feel more comfortable.
10) Make some new memories in your dorm.
Invite people over. Play games, watch a movie, or just talk! If you think of your dorm as a place where fun things happen, it’ll feel a lot more like home. You don’t want your room to be the prison where you only study (that’s what the library is for!).
Don’t worry if you get homesick at first in your dorm. If you add your own touches to the room, you’ll grow to love it and not want to leave when the years ends!
If you’ve lived in a dorm before, how did you make it feel like home and combat homesickness? If not, what are you bringing to make your dorm feel more like home when you move in?