Slice of home: Students personalize dorm rooms
| Caitlin Martin reporter |
Walking into Thomas Myers’ dorm room, it is easy to ignore the industrial feel that comes with living on a college campus.
“I have a carpet,” Myers, senior in biology, said. “I have two different countries’ flags, I have my own fridge, a lamp, I have mats in my bathroom, I have posters about field biology and ornithology and I have a rack for my books.”
Myers has the decor for a dorm room all right, but the trend of decorating dorms is not simply for aesthetic taste. Students tend to make their dorms reflect their personalities and where they come from.
When in an unfamiliar place, such as college for the first time, making things comfortable is important.
“[We decorate] to make it seem more like home,” said Erika Sumner, sophomore in biology. “You’re far away from home and you’re at a school. It’s a more comfortable atmosphere.”
For most freshmen, living in the dorms is mandatory. The campus is unfamiliar, and starting a new school year, meeting new people and joining campus organizations can add to the stress. Until freshmen find their niche, most turn to their dorm room.
“I have my mirrors up in my room at home, and bringing them here definitely makes it feel more comfortable,” Allison Tracy, freshman undeclared, said.
Many freshmen have not lived out of their parents’ home before, and therefore find the utilitarian walls and furniture to be a bit intimidating.
Bringing comforts of home such as pictures, a favorite pillow or posters of their favorite music groups not only allows creative expression, but also makes for a sanctuary where students can forget the distance between PSU and their homes.
“I’d say guys decorate less than girls. Definitely less,” Myers said.
Though the men on campus typically give their dorms some touch of personality, it is the women who are notorious for going all out when it comes to dorm décor.
Tracy said, “My [male] friend upstairs brought a lamp and a blanket.”
Thanks to the Internet and social media apps such as Pinterest and Wanelo, “Do It Yourself” or “DIY” projects have become increasingly popular in the rooms of young women and men alike. Many of the Resident Assistants (RAs) plan creative craft-like projects for the entire floor to spruce up the drab beige walls, giving the rooms more decoration and helping residents of the same floor bond.
“My favorite colors are blue and purple,” said Brianna Seiler, freshman in biology. “I’m a really crafty person, so it was fun just painting canvases and making them look cool to coordinate with the room.”