A New Year, a New Room, a New You

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Every college freshmen is excited and a little bit nervous about living in a new and unfamiliar place. If you’re anything like me, you’re also worried what that place is going to end up looking like. You buy posters and lights and all sorts of fancy things envisioning the room that you’re going to spend your first year of college in. And usually, if my first year of college was any indication, it doesn’t end up anything like you wished it would. Your roommate’s decorations clash with yours, you don’t have enough (or too much) wall space, and you didn’t think that lights would be so hell bent on agreeing with gravity. (Coming back to a room where the lights are always on the ground instead of on the wall was one of my many sob stories as a freshman.)

The point is, as a sophomore, I learned a lot about decorating a dorm room. I can’t think of a more fitting first-of-the-year blog post than trying to make sure all the mishaps that I encountered as a freshman don’t follow you, too.

My Corkboard

Tip #1: You will get homesick. You should do absolutely everything you can as a person new to a place to remind yourself that you were once new somewhere else too. For me, I bought a cork board and filled it with pictures and memories to remind myself that while I was new to Dominican and I didn’t have many friends just yet, I just have lots of people at home that care about me. And as a sophomore, you’ll end up putting a lot of pictures of people that you now go to school with. Friendship. Progress!

Tip #2: You can never have too many posters. You are a multi-faceted person with many, many interests. You should be able to display every single one of them in a 24 x 36 inches kind of way. A blank, bland, white wall will just bring you down and bum you out. A wall full of the things that you love in the world will inspire you and make you feel much more at home. In addition, they are absolutely a conversation piece. I owe many friendships to the fact that they just came in my room and saw that we had common interests.

Dominican University Dorm Room

Tip #3: As my third and final tip for dorm decorating, I think the best and simplest of rules to bring to the table is the idea of making it feel like home. Yes, you’re in a dorm room. Yes, someone had that room before you and someone will have it after you, but for a year, it’s absolutely and totally yours. It’s a place where you’ll sleep, study and spend time with friends. Memories will be made, and don’t you want to remember them in a place where you felt was totally and completely yours?

A place that represented you as a person that’s always growing and changing? I think a large part of the college experience, especially at Dominican, is finding out who you are, what you love and what you’ve decided to believe. You have an entire room to display the kind of young adult you’re becoming. Take advantage of it!

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dorm room, decoration, freshman, sophomore, Dominican, Chicago, River Forest, college survival guide