Students decorate to feel at home and also to express their interests

Photo: Brianna Giusti
Students decorate their rooms to make them their own and remind them of home.

By Brianna Giusti
Contributing Writer/Spectator

Trying to find inspiration for your new dorm room may be hard, but it can be a big part in making your first-home-away from-home your own.

Creativity sparks inside all of us. Whether you come up with an idea yourself or borrow it from someone else, dorm decorating comes down to the way you want the room to look.

For many college freshmen, entering a new environment can be a terrifying and nerve-wracking time period. To ease the discomfort, numerous people find it helpful to decorate their dorm as a home rather than a bare room that is just temporary. Choosing the right feel for the environment can help with homesickness and anxiety.

When entering college, students start a new life. The same people that they knew in high school won’t be found surrounding them in the bigger halls of a university. When there are so many things students can’t change about college life, choosing how to decorate their dorm is all their own.

“I just honestly took everything from my room at home and tried to make it as homey as possible,” resident assistant, Patricka Berkman said. “My first semester everything was pink and white like my room at home, and now things are definitely more people oriented and more (focused) around my future and my interests that I’m no longer a freshman.”

Berkman now decorates her room with a variety of posters and collages, one for each semester that she makes herself.

There are tons of websites online that aide in the decorating process, making finding inspiration and ideas easy.  From websites, like Pinterest, to teen magazines with the latest styles and helpful tips — students have an endless supply of ideas for the dorms.

Suitemates and students, Emily Bond and McKenzie Jay, can attest to this, as they both found most of their ideas on Pinterest.

Browsing online, these two have found stores with popular items available or followed instructions to create their own crafts.

Now a sophomore, Jay has collected a lot of creative items in her room.

“My ‘big’ made a lot of stuff herself for me,” Jay said.

Also, in Bond’s room are many different crafts. “I did a lot of things myself,” Bond said.

Jay and Bond, who live in a Single Suite style room in the highlands with two other suitemates, found that creating a serene and hippie-like environment keeps them calm.

Both girls enjoy freedom to decorate however they want, but the residence halls do have some rules about decorations.

According to Berkman, students can decorate their dorms with Christmas lights as long as they aren’t hung on the ceiling.  In fact, nothing is supposed to be hung from the ceiling. 

Posters hung on the wall shouldn’t display anything involving alcohol or drugs.  Curtains are also not allowed.

“Since they are so flammable if a small fire starts on the ground, the whole wall can become lit up,” Berkman said.

Yet, figuring out where to go and what to buy in order to make decorations can be tricky for those who haven’t done it before. Retailers like Target, Walmart, Hobby Lobby and Michaels sell do-it-yourself project necessities. Online retailers like Vera Bradley and Lilly Pulitzer offer a lot of bedding ideas.

For those on a budget, doing it yourself allows for not only creative control but also budget control. Buying affordable paint supplies from a craft store and a bundle of canvases won’t cost more than around $20. Thrift stores are also popular for some students looking cheaper prices.

There are many places online offering assistance for dorm decorating. The Internet plays a big role in helping find ideas. Simply going online and searching for ideas for your dorm will offer often a million results and counting. Looking for ideas isn’t just fun—it’s so easy anyone can do it

Brianna Giusti is a contributing writer for the Spectator. She can be reached by