“A Space to Call ‘Home’ On Campus”

Move in day is quickly approaching, and there is a lot to think about. The transition from home to college will definitely be tough, but something that may help is having a space to call home on campus. That place for many of us will probably be our dorm room, so how do we make such a new space feel like home? The idea of walking into a bare room on move in day is immensely intimidating, but also a challenge I feel we can all be well-equipped to tackle. I have come up with a few ideas from current college students, to make your very first dorm room feel like home.

First, cover your walls with photos! Print off as many pictures as you can that remind you of every smile, laugh, and comfort that is home.  We captured every important moment in high school (homecomings, prom, and graduation) with our phones, so it makes sense to bring all those good times to your new home.  All those pictures hold precious memories and will bring every feeling of home into your room. In those tough moments in your first semester, it will be incredibly comforting for you to look at your wall of photos, pick out that one of you and your favorite teacher, and remember the advice they gave you to be excited about all the changes happening in life. Surround yourself with people you love, even if it is just a picture! To have the faces that encouraged and supported you all your life is just what you need to make your room feel like home.

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Second, bring blankets and pillows that kept you warm and comforted in all the difficult and exciting times of your life back home. That outdated (but cozy) blanket that was there during late night studying and Friday nights under the football lights and that pillow that you cuddled with after a hard day at school carry  a lot of memories . As we move on to dorm life these blankets and pillows can continue to be a wrap of security.  The necessity of pillows and blankets is obvious, but pillow and blankets from home will not only keep you nice and toasty in the winter months but will also remind you of home with its comfort.

Finally, decorate the room to look like you and your childhood home. You will be spending so much time in your room, that you want it to make you happy by reflecting your personality. Some ideas might be to hang a tapestry or a poster of your favorite band. This allows the space to feel like you, preventing you from feeling like a stranger in your own room. This room should also reflect that place that you have called home and have the same familiarity. This might be a clock that reminds you of your mom or a plant you always had in the house growing up. For me, it will be having posters of the scriptures that my mom made sure I knew by heart growing up. It may not be all of the things that made home special, but a lot of the things that made it home can definitely be brought into your room.

It is so necessary to adjust to this new environment with as much ease as possible. Once we feel secure in calling our new residence halls our homes, everything else will follow. A place becomes home by the little things that remind us that life can be filled with laughter and smiles, while reminding us that everything will be okay. There is no reason to be left in a room for two semesters and wonder when you will get to go home, when it is so easy to transform such a place into a second home. Your residence hall may be empty when you enter it, but you can fill it with love and happiness just like home!

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