College Dorm to Second Home

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Jen Fiengo
A college dorm room with wall décor, a standing mirror, and plushie pillows on the bed.

College living can be hard, especially when you move far from home. While being away from your parents may seem like an amazing idea to most of us college students, no one prepares you for how it feels to be on your own so suddenly. College dorms can be bland, boring, and even smell weird. Living somewhere that makes you unhappy or feel unsafe can drastically harm your mental and physical health as well as interfere with your studies at college. The best way to avoid this living situation is to make your college dorm feel like a second home.

Bring Belongings from Home

One way I made my college dorm feel like home was to bring something unique to my life from home. I own a lot of plants (it’s becoming a problem) and that is what I think of when I think of my room at home. When I moved to college in my first year, I brought none of my plants with me. I felt sad in my living space as it didn’t feel like my own. I went home and returned with a few of my plants, big and small, and filled my space with them. I instantly felt better, and my room felt more like my home. Bringing something, whether it’s big or small, into your space that is unique to your life at home can add a personal touch to your space, helping the transition from college dorm to second home.

You Can Hang Things on The Walls

Another thing I did when I moved to college was deciding to bring NOTHING to put on the walls. I was told no tacks, sticky stuff, or tape could go on the walls, so I brought nothing to put up as I knew it wouldn’t work out. However, that made my room look like an actual prison. Everything was boring and eggshell paint colored. I tested putting wall-safe strip hooks on the walls and peeling them off, and there was no damage! I immediately went to my local dollar store and bought posters, small mirrors, cute lanterns, and much more to hang on the walls. Once they were filled up, the walls no longer felt like a prison, but more like my space. Filling up the walls with motivational posters and cute decorations helped me make my room more like a second home.

Keep It Clean

Finally, the best advice I could give to any on-campus student is to keep your space clean. College is stressful, challenging, and time consuming, but so is cleaning your space if it gets too out of control. I set aside time each night to put things back where they belong, reorganize my desk space, and clear trash off of any surface it didn’t belong on. Then, once a week, I would go through and wipe down surfaces, vacuum, and wash my towels and sheets. Cleaning my room made me feel like a new person and made my space feel more livable. I would also buy wall scent plug-ins to keep my space smelling fresh if candles were prohibited. Keeping your space clean can make it feel safer and healthier while also making it feel more like home.

College living is crazy, but it can also be fun. Be creative when decorating to make your space feel personalized. Bring something unique from home, load up your walls with motivation, and keep everything tidy, and your dorm will start feeling more like a second home.

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