When you had a tough day in elementary school, you could come home and talk to Mom or Dad while they made dinner in the kitchen. When you had a rough time in middle school, you could spend the evening sprawled in front of the television, unwinding in safe security. When you had a challenging day in high school, you could retreat to the familiar serenity of your bedroom.
Now that you’re in college, though, everything is new. Your workload likely feels enormous. Your social life is constant. And when you feel overwhelmed? Well, you want to have a safe place where you can withdraw to recoup and recover, right?
Here are a few tips and suggestions to help you turn your dorm life into a sanctuary that’s as calming as your childhood home.
Don’t Neglect Nostalgia
First and foremost, if you want to quickly establish a sense of comfort in your dorm, it’s important that you purposefully bring some of your home along with you.
You can do this by packing things like:
- Photos of your family.
- Wall-hung art/pictures from home.
- Your own bedding with the smell of home.
- Mugs, silverware, and any other daily items that can remind you of home.
The more small reminders you can have of the home front, the easier it will be to introduce a sense of familiarity with your new living space.
Think About Physical Comfort
Before we get to the decorations and setup of your dorm, it’s important to address the physical comfort of your space. The three main items in question are:
- Your bed: Do you have a good bed to sleep on? If not, can you bring a memory foam mattress, good bedding, or anything else to improve your sleep?
- Your desk: Do you have a comfortable, spacious area where you can work on homework or study for hours at a time?
- A chair: You don’t want to literally break your back while you’re working in your dorm. Make sure your chair is comfortable and has good lumbar support.
While all of these are important, you don’t need to break the bank for them. There are many ways that you can thrift and repurpose older furniture for your own use. You may even be able to bring some furniture from home.
The important thing is that you keep an eye out for quality items that will make your space more inviting.
Steer into a Warm, Cozy Feel
Once you have your basic furniture needs tended to, it’s time to start focusing on a comfortable feel to go along with them.
Start by identifying a few words that embody what you want your space to feel like. While each person’s taste is different, if you want a comfortable space, you’ll probably want to include words like cozy and warm in there somewhere.
When it comes to creating a cozy bedroom, you may not be able to do bigger projects, like paint the walls, but it’s still easy to tap into those fuzzy feelings with small details, like getting a headboard, setting up a few potted plants, or plastering a lamp.
Don’t Forget the Ambiance
Along with the decor, it’s also important to remember the ambiance of your room. Of particular interest are:
- The smell: College dorms can be especially rank, and it’s important to fight that tendency. Try setting up a diffuser and some essential oils to claim a positive, predictable aroma for your space.
- The sounds: Make sure you have a good way to regularly pump your dorm full of comforting sounds. A smart home device and Bluetooth earbuds are both excellent college student gifts, whether you request them from someone else or give them to yourself as a house warming present.
- The lighting: Don’t surrender to those stark dorm lights. Bring a lamp, hang Christmas lights, and generally look for ways to get some mood lighting set up in your space.
Dorm, Sweet Dorm
From a comfortable workspace and bed to a cozy ambiance and a warm decor, there are plenty of ways to easily turn a stark dorm room into a comfortable paradise. Refer to the list above, brainstorm how you can apply these ideas to your own dorm, and then start cobbling together the most comfortable dorm on the campus
AUTHOR BIO: Sam Bowman has a passion for learning. As a seasoned professional writer, he specializes in topics about people, education, tech and how they merge. In his spare time he likes running, reading, and combining the two in a run to his local bookstore.