Dorm Sweet Dorm

First things first, it is time to get excited: not only are second semester classes just beginning, but also my mom and I have reserved our tickets to fly to the UK in August! My anglophiliac heart is glowing with joy. We found an incredible deal on flights flying from Toronto to London, so we are going to spend a couple of days in London before heading north to the little town of St Andrews on the coast of the North Sea, where I will be spending two of the next four years. Let the hyperactive trip planning begin!

Well, now I am back in Williamsburg. Imagine my surprise when I left chilly Ohio laughing at and pitying my poor fellow Northerners as they shivered away only to find snow and temperatures of 18 degrees and below in Virginia! It is particularly strange to find myself walking everywhere again because I got used to driving again while I was home. That is one more small step in my very slow journey toward admitting to being an adult. At least when I get in from a walk I have plenty of tea to ward off the cold. Nevertheless, I can’t help but miss the comforts of home and the wide open space of a house while eyeing the characterless white walls of my teeny dorm.

How does one make a dorm room homier? There lots of things you do to make your dorm a cozy refuge. Sadly, none of those involve bringing your cats to school. If I had my cat with me, I could be perfectly content in a cardboard box. Since my cat is not here, I have had to make do, and I don’t think I have done too shabbily, if I say so myself. Here are a few ideas:


Try a Tapestry!

There is a good chance your room will feature oh so exciting plain white block walls. If that is the case, steal a page from the kings of old and festoon your walls with a stately tapestry. You can hang any fabric or drapery that suits your fancy with 3M command hooks, provided that your housing agreement doesn’t forbid such decorations. Make a canopy for your bed or add some much needed color to a wall. Bonus: a canopy may lead your hallmates to compare your room to a Hogwarts dormitory, which is always a mark of success.


Create a Photo Constellation

Print out your favorite family photos or images of your favorite artwork and frame them with black washi tape for a chic finish. Make sure you have a fair variety of sizes and subjects.


Bring Real Dishes

Yes, you can buy those cute plastic polka-dot plates from Target if you would like to, but for even less you could buy yourself some perfectly good glass plates, bowls, and such from a second-hand store. Additionally, be eco-friendly and bring reusable silverware instead of using the disposable variety. Just don’t be like my uncle who used all of his metal silverware once when he went off to college and then threw it away and bought more because he didn’t want to wash it.

Tidy Up

Fight clutter with abandon for maximum dorm-zen. Clearing off your desk every night before going to bed can help you clear your mind before turning in, and making your bed every morning is a great way to start the day right. No one is going to keep your room neat for you, but you can keep your room tidy for your own sake.


Bring a Few Knick-Knacks, Only a Few

Decorate a shelf with some of your favorite souvenirs or objects.


The Epitome of Comfort: Hot Beverages

Bring your own coffee maker or electric tea kettle to enjoy a cup of comfort in your own room. Check your housing agreement to make sure those appliances are permitted. Bring your favorite mugs or teacups: finding yourself drinking the same lukewarm cafeteria coffee out of a paper cup every morning won’t feel very homey.

How will you make your room “dorm sweet dorm”? The possibilities are endless.


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