Playful advice for making a res hall room your own

By Hayley Devitt

Students this week have been settling in to their new class schedules, making friends and buying school supplies. In the midst of all this excitement, one must not neglect one’s living quarters.

In other words, I would advise NIU’s young adults living in residence halls to decorate their rooms for optimal visual appeal as well as practicality. Many of our readers are perhaps familiar with do-it-yourself projects and interior design ideas on websites like Pinterest and Apartment Therapy.

While these projects are compelling, they don’t always cater to a college student’s needs or budget. Here are a few of my style tips to make sure you have your dream room and a personal living space that is conducive to academic excellence without having to spend a fortune.

Living in a residence hall, one problem you will most likely run into is where to stash dirty clothes. My advice to you is to forget all about laundry hampers.

For a whimsical yet functional seating/study space, take your dirty laundry and arrange it into a human-sized bird’s nest on the floor. Your floormates will love coming over to kick back in your cozy nest, and it didn’t cost you anything. Maybe you can even create a nice autumnal wreath out of your dirty socks.

To expand on this idea, I got to the heart of our residents’ concerns and asked some new students what they thought about living in the hall.

“I live in Neptune North and it’s pretty small and I have a roommate,” said Daniela Trinidad, freshman studio art major. “Space is an issue for me.”

An easy fix for this would be to take all the textbooks you’ll end up buying — but not reading — and build a wall between you and your roommate. That way, you at least have more privacy.

“I come from Douglas and the biggest issue is everything seems cluttered,” said freshman English major Carlos Galvez.

True, clutter can appear maximized in a tiny space, but what you can do is tape all your little scraps of paper, writing utensils and other knick-knacks onto your dorm walls.

According to Sean Nadeau, community adviser for Stevenson Hall, nails and thumbtacks are not allowed for hanging wall art.

But, you can use masking or painter’s tape to arrange your clutter into funky patterns for a genuine one-of-a-kind look.

You know I’m just kidding, right? These are by no means good room decorating ideas.

I do, however, have some real advice for you: Don’t stress over creating the perfect room.

While I think DIY projects and decorating are really fun ways to get creative and clever, don’t feel bad if your home doesn’t look like the ones you see online.

Instead, bring possessions from home that remind you of family and make you happy when you see them.

However you decide to spruce up your little living space, it’s all about making the most out of what you have.

Be comfortable and be efficient.