Happy hump day, collegiates! Regardless of if you’re a college freshman or not, you have probably experienced (or will experience…brace yo’self) the ridiculousness that is moving into a totally new and arguably strange place. Living in a dorm has gotten a less-than-stellar reputation over time, not including roaches in the showers or mice in the industrial size Ramen pack under your bed. Sometimes, all you want is to telepathically transport back home to your own bed and snuggle in for a night of Netflix. You still have Netflix, but snuggling in at night is less-than-likely – especially around exam time – and your own bed…yeah, don’t even need to go there.
Since this is RA year 1 for me, I went from on-campus apartment life allllll the way back to freshman dorms. I had to get real good real fast at making my dorm feel like home sweet home. So, I figured out eight ways to turn my humble campus abode into my true home away from home.
One. Collect anything that makes you think of home.
Obviously you have your possessions, but go more for sensory triggers that transport your mind back. I’m a hugely scent-oriented person, and I’m all about the cushy and cozy life. So…
Two. Prepare for a smelly life.
I’m talkin’ good smells here, people. Use candles on warmers, wall spritzers, air fresheners, Scentsy, bobo beads…the works. Speaking of works, Bath & Body Works has killer sales on all things that smell nice, so embrace it all and go a little bonkers in there. No judgment. Just get allllllll the candles.
Three. Cover your room in memories (but leave room for new ones).
The easiest way to reminisce is by sifting through oodles of photographs. Save yourself the sifting and just deck the walls with memories. Throw things on the walls and PRESTO – home. For the past two years, I had a full wall of photos. It looked awesome and was definitely a statement, but by the end of the year, my wall had enough Handytak to plug the holes in the Titanic. This year, I got craftier-ish and made a scalloped string of photos, using nothing but string and paper clips. Easy, breezy and beautiful.
Four. Put a squishy shaggy rug on your hardwood floor.
When you come home late and collapse on ze floor (…microeconomics tests are you-know-whats), you’ll want that shaggy rug. Trust.
Fifth. Make your bed a haven.
This is nearest and dearest to my own heart. I’ve always had loads of pillows on my bed. Loads. Weirdly shaped ones, furry ones, fluffy ones, and my longtime fave – a ginormous, bubblegum pink fish with bright metallic lips. (Still have it, still love it.) But, your bed is your sacred space in college. Sleep is precious, and it’s oh-so-important to treat your head to some fabulous nighttime (or anytime, let’s be real here) comfort. Kathryn from Satin Swank sent me this ridiculously pretty and trendy pillow case, and it’s been the absolute perfect addition to my collection. Can we just acknowledge the fact that the trim of the pillow case perfectly matches my zebra print throw and pillows? (It’s not pictured, but I also have a zebra print bath mat that I use as a seat cover on my wooden desk chair…I mean, this zebra thing is rockin’ in room 304.) Naturally, I got a new pillow to put IN said pillow case, and I’ve been obsessed with the cool feel of the satin against my head. Especially since the summer is dead set on moving forward and 90 degree September is apparently a thing now, it’s been so nice for me to come home and wind down on cool, black n’ white Victorian/zebra bliss. Kathryn’s handmade pillowcases come in a bajillion and one fun prints, patterns and colors, so read on to see how you can win your own…
I mean, what more is there to say? You like Brookside dark chocolate Goji berries and those sugary vanilla wafers, so you should most definitely stock up on them for late nights where Greek yogurt and chia seeds just won’t cut it (spoiler alert: they never do).
Seventh. Inspire yourself.
If you don’t know already, I live with the help of quotes. I might be the biggest inspirational quote freak you’ll ever meet, actually. If I’m not pinning them or tweeting them, I’m just staring at the wall.
Eight. When all else fails, remember Christmas.
Because what better way to think of home (and winter break!) than by decking the halls and walls? String Christmas lights everywhere. Seriously, everywhere. You’ll feel like a Christmas tree for the next four months. Is it overkill? Absolutely not.
The key to making college home? Just take anything that makes you think of home and make it happen. Try to think of all the senses and please them all – you’ll need it after a ridiculously long day in the library or a ridiculously long night on the town. Think about what makes you happy and smile. Add that. Think about what you crave most after a long, stressful day. Add that, too. Keep some of your oldies but goodies, but add new touches to reflect your improved, next-step college self.
Now, it’s time to #win. Special thanks to Kathryn for setting you up for sweet dreams!
How do you make your dorm a home? What’re your best tips for decorating and lounging in style?
Also, to get even MORE into the spirit of college, you probably could use some extra cash, amiright? I’m now a campus rep for The Campus Job, an online marketplace that gives you easy access to jobs on your campus as they open up. We’re not just talkin’ cafe barista jobs and library desk gigs…we’re talkin’ everything from brand ambassador spots to graphic design jobs (but no worries, the barista gigs are still posted, too!). Just click here and mark “Erica Ligenza” as your campus rep, and you’ll get immediate access to quick cash opportunities to boost your resume and wallet. Sweet, right? Even sweeter? It doesn’t matter what university you go to! All you need is a .edu email address and you’re golden. You’re welcome.
See you soon…stay fabulous.