When students walk into their new dorm room for the first time in August, there are a lot of mixed thoughts going through their heads. Some are excited to get out of their parents’ houses, some are looking at the rooms as their new homes and others are thinking it is plain and boring- looking. It brightens up more as students move in their belongings, set up their beds and align their desks. If it still does not feel like home, there is more that one can do to make it seem like home. There are many fads for dorm rooms that are popular to make the changes necessary.
“When I first walked in [the dorm], I thought it was so boring,” first-year Courtney Braderman stated. “I set everything [belongings, posters and furniture] up so it looked more like home.”
One of the most common changes to make in the allotted space is to rearrange the furniture in a way that makes it cozy, easier to do work and makes more space for other necessities. One of the most popular objects to add to your new room to cover up the walls are posters of actors and actresses, favorite movies, scenery, scripted quotes, favorite sports teams and anything that was hanging up on your old walls. Sykes Student Union held a poster sale in late August, giving students an opportunity to purchase their favorite posters and display them in the dorm.
Curtains help form privacy as well as form decorations. To really brighten up the room, lamps are useful to see, but tube lights are used for decoration when on or off. Additional chairs give guests a place to sit down while visiting or hanging out. Television sets provide entertainment and some people bring video game systems to play. Fans keep the room cool to make up for the lack of air conditioning. The most common fad for any dorm room is to have a white-out board in the room or on the door to leave others messages or receive them.
Refrigerators, microwaves and coffee makers are appliances that are not fancy-looking but allow students to keep a drink cool or store left-overs and snacks. These appliances are made more attractive by an arrangement of magnets or drawings. Usually in every room there is a ‘stash’ of favorite snacks and beverages.
“When I first looked into the room, the first words that came out of my mouth were ‘This [room] is small,'” third-year Annie Francis said. Francis and her roommate moved into the room, and together they began to re-arrange the furniture.
Wanting to create more space, the two removed the closet doors and placed their dressers into their closet. The closet doors with mirrors were propped up against the wall. The other doors were placed on top of their desks to create another shelf. The creative use of the doors allowed them to place a television set in a spot for better viewing.
“After we moved everything in and organized it, the room was small, but in a cozy way,” Francis stated.
A photograph of family keeps one close at all times, even when unable to go physically to see them. Pictures of friends help people keep the memories fresh. Collages of everyone special in one’s life are a popular item to bring. The more creative the collage or picture frame, the more colorful and interesting the room can be.
Another material to hang up is Post-It Notes. They come in handy to post reminders on a person’s desk or by the mirror so that s/he will not forget.
Although it is always nice to wake up looking at your favorite poster in the room, another posted item to wake up to could be a study tool. Index cards of the Japanese writing symbols are posted on Francis’s wall so that she has a daily brief study time to memorize them.
Dorm room fads are anything that makes one’s home at West Chester University feel just like s/he is back home, wherever that may be. Objects placed the rooms such as microwaves and fridges make it easier to bring snacks and drinks. Televisions and laptops provide entertainment. Pictures of family and friends let students remember the good old times as they create new ones.
These fads are not just a bandwagon that people jump on; it is what makes home feel like home. There are many different ways to change a room and objects to add, it is just a matter of what works for the individual.
Ginger Rae Dunbar is a first-year student majoring in English. She can be reached at RD655287@wcupa.edu.