For as long as I can remember — in my short twenty years of life— I have always loved the back to school season. It meant all sorts of new — new pens, pencils, notebooks, and teachers. Now that I am in college, I realize that I miss that back to school energy! Unfortunately, in college there are no new lunchboxes or first day jitters. However, though college may seem more and more like “real life” and “adulting” there are still ways we can embrace the back to school spirit. Additionally, with the current times, back to school is going to look different for everyone. While some will be going back to school in person, others will be attending school from their homes, either way we can appreciate the back to school spirit!
Whether you are living in a dorm or in an apartment, creating a space is important – and it doesn’t take much effort to make your “house” your home! As a college student these living spaces are often just a 15x20 foot room, probably with a roommate, which have to act as a living, studying, sleeping, changing, and eating space all in one. But don’t fret, we can embrace the small space and make it just as cozy as home! Here is a list of things I have found have made a notable difference in my different dorms and living spaces.
As a college student, moving to a new city probably means new weather, temperatures and probably lighting! When I left Miami to head off to college in St. Louis, I would have never thought that I needed really good lighting, but I noticed my first year that as the fall approached I really started missing the bright sun. The lighting in a room sets the atmosphere and the tone. If your dorm or apartment just has overhead lighting, I recommend buying a floor lamp for brighter light for when you need to study or hang out in your room as well as some christmas or fairy lights to lighten up the mood and have a more casual and homey ambiance. Your dorm will turn into a home instantly!
I was so overwhelmed with the different options for decorating my room that I really tried them all — tapestries, posters, photos, corkboards, you name it, I had it! Though it can be difficult to choose just a couple of things, decorating a space that is so small means you have to plan it out slowly. Don’t rush! You have a whole 9 months at your first year of college, so decorating will be a slow process. Once you (or your student, hey parents!) arrive in your new room or apartment, I recommend looking at your wall space and visualizing the sizing of each wall and what can fit where. Odds are, there is less space than you imagined, but that’s college! You can measure out or use painters tape to plan what will go where. I recommend adding a few mixed media decorations, some pictures, some posters, maybe some small tapestry and mixing everything up! If you choose pieces you really like, odds are your space will come together naturally.
We are so reliant on our vision in our daily lives, that we often aren’t able to fully embrace the feel of a space just by what we see. For some, this means creating a space by adding lighting or vibrant colors, for others it means adding music to set the space. However, scent is rarely the first thing that comes to mind when we imagine a space, but that’s just what makes it so powerful and memorable! We correlate certain scents with really specific and usually very happy memories — Christmas smells anyone? In my freshman dorm, I remember having a complete mess of clothing and makeup products everywhere (sorry mom!) and having a single reed diffuser on my desk. When friends came over unexpectedly, I was frankly embarrassed, but my visitors seemed to only notice how GOOD my room smelled. From then on I stopped folding clothing — just kidding! But, it did change my attitude in how I created my space and home. I wanted a scent that people could smell and remember me by; they could remember my space and feel comfortable and warm in my 15x20. With Doctor Aromas reed diffusers, I was able to do that! Products like the Doctor Aromas hand sanitizer are also ESSENTIAL for cleaning surfaces on the go such as shopping carts, handles, and of course, our hands!
This September I am off to decorate my brand new apartment and though I definitely remember the struggle of decorating my first dorm room, I remember to keep it to the basics and it makes me excited to make my house my home. Something bright and illuminating, something visual and colorful, and something to make my space smell like my home. Now that I have access to my air conditioning unit, I will be setting up a Doctor Aromas’ system through the AC, but if you aren’t able to access the unit — stick to the basics!