By Vicki Little
College promises to be one of the best times of your child’s life. New experiences, new friends, and newfound freedoms create the perfect equation for a fresh start, complete with memories that will last a lifetime. Those first few years can also bring some uncertainty and homesickness. While those feelings are completely natural, they can be alleviated a bit by making sure your child’s dorm room is as comfortable and home-like as possible.
1) Make the most of the bed. Your student will end up spending a lot of time there – either sleeping, studying, watching TV or hanging out. Good sleep is important, so make sure their bed is both comfortable and stylish. Invest money in a good pillow, a mattress topper, and a comfortable blanket. Add some pillows to lean against and a throw blanket to curl up with while studying. You can even help your student make a simple headboard for less than $20. Check out this one.
2) Add personal touches. Personal touches are what makes any place a home. Encourage your child to bring a lot of pictures, a favorite wall hanging, and something special that always makes them feel better – such as a stuffed animal, blanket, or favorite well-worn sweatshirt. Instead of just taping up a lot of pictures, find some cute frames, or hang a string across the wall and use clothespins to display pictures.
3) Cover the walls. Dorm walls tend to be very bland, usually painted plain white or made of cinder blocks. You can change the look of the whole room with some framed prints. It doesn’t have to be a boring landscape print. Find a great print of their favorite band or team, or a hang a unique poster like those found at DormCo. Posters will look less messy if they are framed on the wall.
4) Soften the lighting. Florescent lighting isn’t good for anyone. Stay away from harsh lighting by flooding the room with soft lights. You will need more than a desk lamp to fill the space with light, so enhance it with hanging rope lights, lanterns, pendant lamps, and faux candles for a homey feel. You can also use a Cozy Shade to mute the harshness of the overhead light
5) Use a diffuser. Not only will a diffuser make a dorm room feel more cozy (along with covering up unpleasant smells), but keeping different essential oils on hand will be useful in many situations. Rosemary, peppermint, and lemon are great for studying and concentration. Diffuse lavender, chamomile, or cedarwood for relaxation or sleep, and keep tea tree and lemongrass on hand for killing germs.
6) Make it inviting. It won’t be long before your child will meet his or her “family” away from home. Help your student create an inviting space for new friends with floor pillows and soft rugs for comfortable seating. Pillows can be easily stored under the bed or in a corner when not in use. Soft rugs will complete the look!
Vicki Little is a preschool teacher with two children. A Colorado native, she spends her time writing, sitting in the bleachers for her daughter’s gymnastics, and engaging in spirited debates with her son. In her free time…well, she is still waiting for some of that.
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