Living in a dorm was not something I felt very excited about when I started college last year. My room at home wasn’t much larger than your average dorm room, but I didn’t know what it was like to share a space. I didn’t know how I could create a space I’d actually enjoy living in.
I spent my nights viciously searching through Pinterest to find out “how to dorm.”
These nights paid off because I transformed my dorm into a home, and I learned a few vital things about myself in the process.
After living at school for a few months, I realized I liked to do homework and relax in my dorm. Some people need separate spaces to do different things, but I learned something really important about myself while using this one space as my home base.
Before college, I never enjoyed being alone. I always felt the need to have something going on. Whether it was wanting someone around, listening to white noise, playing music or working with the TV on, I hated the feeling of solitude.
My dorm room changed that. I loved my space because it reflected me as a person and my interests. Everything had a balance; I simply felt at ease when I chilled in my room, so I spent a lot of time there. By the end of freshman year, I found that I didn’t mind being alone anymore. In fact, I learned to love my alone time while living in a dorm, which improved my mental health, motivation and organization.
As simple and odd as it may sound to some, decorating my dorm made me happy and gave me a sense of relief and peace. This year and last year I chose tapestries, lights, wall decor, bedspreads and more that all associated with someone I found peaceful.
The setup of my room mattered to me, and the happier I was with creating my own space, the more I loved working on it. In my dorm room last year, I had the freedom (well, on my side at least) to create a space. Even though it seemed simple, I didn’t get the chance to really build my own space until college.
It gave me a sense of individuality.
But I’m not some lonely hermit who doesn’t like people and likes to hide from social engagements. I do, indeed, have friends and leave my room often. Nonetheless, my room became a sanctuary freshman year and a place where I made some of my best friends.
I hung a beach tapestry on my walls. I kept dim lighting. And most importantly, I kept the clutter to a minimal. My bed was comfy and everything about it was puffy. My friends told me the room felt peaceful and inviting. All of my freshman year, it became a central place where friends would come to hang out, relax, do homework and even take the occasional nap. Sharing my sanctuary fulfilled me (and it sure made The Bachelor nights lots of fun).
This year, I plan to do the same thing. Yes, I am kind of a neat freak and a creature of habit, but I created a sanctuary similar to last year. It’s helped me adjust to changes in college and in my daily life. So much goes on while I’m at school and it is hard to find an escape from it all when you live on campus.
Creating my dorm room with details that please me gives me that escape, even though I am not technically away from school at all. Someday, I’ll look back and remember all the little intricacies about my dorm room that made me smile. Hell, I am already doing that, and I’m thrilled to continue my dorm decorating traditions in my remaining college years.