Best Places to Relax on Campus (That aren’t your Dorm Room)

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Living life on campus can totally get stressful really quickly.  Between class, dealing with the roommate, and trying to manage a social life, you can get worn down and stressed out pretty quickly.  And if you can’t manage to get your dorm room to yourself often enough, this can increase tenfold.

Finding the right places to kick back on campus without worrying about everything weighing you down can really help keep your stress level in check.  Whether you’re kicking back on a lazy Saturday or looking for something to do to relax between classes on a Monday afternoon, you need to find the right location to really get the most out of it.

Here are our favorite places to hit up (that aren’t your dorm room) when you finally decide to take some time to relax.

#1 – THE LOUNGE

If you’re living on-campus in a dorm, chances are that there is a lounge somewhere in the building for students to use.  This is typically a pretty under-used location, even with the number of people living in the building, and you can easily sneak in and kick back without being interrupted.

#2 – THE LIBRARY

Not just a place to go to study or read, the library is definitely one of the best places on campus to relax.  It’ll be nice and quiet most of the time and is probably packed full of comfortable chairs and couches that you can kick back on.  There’ll definitely be Wi-Fi available, so you can totally catch up on your favorite shows or listen to some tunes while you relax (as long as you have headphones – duh).

#3 – THE QUAD

Perfect for the more outdoorsy types among us, the quad is one of the best places to get some sun and chill in the great outdoors.  If you’re on a campus where it’s still warm enough to hang outside that actually has a quad area that you can use, you can totally take a blanket to sit on and just hang out and enjoy yourself.

#4 – THE GYM

When you really need a kick to help you relax, try hitting up the gym on-campus (if you have one).  This is the perfect way to blow off some steam and get a little bit of physical activity in, too.  If you’re a little self-conscious about going alone or prefer to have a group with you, invite some friends to play basketball or run some laps with you.

#5 – THE ART BUILDING

If your college doesn’t have one of these bad boys on campus, you can totally ignore this option.  For those of you with an art building at your school, chances are that there are some art classes open that you can join that are free to students.  Ask around to find out what you can get yourself involved in for an easy and active way to help you relax and take your mind off of everything else.

How to Keep Your Room Summer-Y All Year Round

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As the summer comes to a close and the cooler fall and winter months slowly creeping come in, it can be hard to hang onto those happy carefree summertime feelings. As the days get darker and colder, so can your spirits.

And, what’s the easiest way to keep yourself feeling bright and active as these hazy days drag on and on, you ask? By keeping your room the same way, of course. Here a few of our favorite ways to keep your room looking and feeling totally summer-y all year round.

TIP #1 – Lighting is Your New BFF

What’s the quickest way to make your room feel like you’re living the good summer life? Up your interior lighting game. Adding more or warmer lighting to your room can really open it up and give it that authentic summertime feel.

Rather than using that (horrible) overhead fluorescent lighting that your dorm more than likely has, look for a floor lamp or even a desk lamp that you can add to your room to warm it up a bit. After all, the brighter your room, the more inviting and open it seems.

TIP #2 – Go for the Brights

One of the quickest ways to add a little summer back to your room is by throwing in some bright, summery colors. Think about it – if your room is all hospital white and navy, you’re not going to be feeling too bright or happy. By dropping a few bright hints here and there, you can totally take your room (and style) up a notch.

Try adding in some vibrant blues, yellows, or oranges in various places and go from there. Little touches, such as a turquoise throw pillow or an electric blue desk lap, can really bring a little summery oomph back to your room. Just avoid overdoing it with the colors or you may start to feel a bit overwhelmed.

TIP #3 – Keep it Scent-Sual

Still not feeling the summertime vibes? Try adding some tasty summery smells to your room! Something as simple as a reed diffuser or a scented air spray in one of your favorite citrusy or tropical scents can really add some vibrancy back to your digs.

TIP #4 – Add a Little Pattern Play

If colors and lighting aren’t doing it for you, you can always add some cool summery patterns to your room to bring that carefree feeling back. Something as simple as adding a poster to your wall with a bold wave pattern or a playful black and white print on your bedding can really add some visual texture and vibe with the whole summertime feeling you’re working to create.

TIP #5 – Throw on Some Tunes

If you really want to liven up the mood, add in some music while you’re chilling in your room. Simply throwing on what you’d typically listen to in the summer can bring back those lifted feelings and have you kicking back. Just be sure to clear it with your roommate first – not everyone may be a fan of your – ahem – unique music tastes.

CLOSING THOUGHTS
Remember, when you’re starting to feel the blues from the darker days and cooler temperatures, you can always turn your room into a summertime oasis. You can totally capture the carefree feelings of the summer all year long with the right lighting, bold colors and patterns, tropical scents, and the right tunes.

I Hate My Roommate!

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Roommate playing video games

Maybe you were expecting it, or maybe not. The roommate seemed like such a nice person on move-in day…! They say you never truly know someone until you live with them. There is no harsher reality then moving into your freshman dorm with a complete stranger. You can hit the lottery and find your best friend, or it can seem like a living hell.

Schools use a very flawed system  to make the best matches possible. Information provided on student housing questionnaires just scratches the surface of what it will really be like living with someone. But inevitably — rules will be broken, limits stretched and established habits discarded. Some personalities just don’t click even when everything looks good on paper.

It’s a life lesson.

An annoying roommate can be the first time that young adults have to deal with conflicts that cannot be immediately changed. In the past, if conflict arose, our room at home may have been a safe space where you could get away from everyone for a while. However, with a troublesome roommate this is no longer the case where the small dorm rooms provide little privacy and personal space.

Here are our top 5 roommate conflict tips:

  1. Remember this is a time of transition and adjustment for both of you. Things may work themselves out, if you give it the chance to do so.
  2. Examine your own expectations. Focus on the positive aspects of the situation. This isn’t forever — next year you’ll have more choice and control about where you live and who you live with.
  3. If an issue comes up with your roommate, try to open up a dialogue that can lead to resolution. You may both need to budge a bit. Compromise is a great skill to learn.
  4. Establish clear boundaries in terms of your space and your stuff. It’s a good rule not to share clothing and expensive items.
  5. Get to know your RA (Resident Advisor). They are there to help mediate conflicts and keep the residence hall running smoothly and it will be easier for your RA to support you if you have a friendly relationship.

Ongoing interpersonal conflict in what’s supposed to be a “safe space” can wreak havoc on your academic and personal life. If your roommate situation becomes hostile or causes emotional or physical problems, it may be time to request a new roommate or explore the possibility of a single room.

The good news about roommates

Even with bumps along the way, most roommate relationships are successful or at least tolerable. Stress and drama will be minimized if both parties are willing to communicate and respect one another. The hated roomie may become a dear, lifelong friend after both have grown up a bit during the challenging early months of college.

How to Last-Minute Prep for the End of the Year

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Woman posing after graduation

The end of the year is coming around, along with all the unavoidable stress. Even if you can put aside finals (which is a big if), the whole situation is already stressful. You’re probably moving out of your dorm or apartment for the summer, and even if you’re not, your friends probably are. How can you best handle all the non-school related stress that comes along with the end of the school year, so that you’re free to stress over finals?

Plan Out Your Living Situation

Hopefully where you’re going to be living is already figured out (if not, get on that ASAP), but you still need to make a plan for the specifics. There are some great sample moving plans online, but you might need to make your own if your situation is unique.

If you’re moving out of the dorms, where are you going to store all your things? Most college towns have storage facilities available, and the university itself probably has some sort of free storage space available. Ask your RA about it! Be aware, though, that space is likely limited, so compact your personal items as much as possible.

If you’re moving out of an apartment, then it gets a lot easier and more complicated at the same time. On one hand, you’ve got some free storage if you’re renting the apartment all through the summer. On the other hand, a lot of college kids only rent their apartments through the school year in order to save some extra money. So then you’ll have a lot of extra stuff that needs to be put somewhere safer than the side of the road.

Decide if it’s even possible to take your stuff back home with you. If not, you’ll have to fork over some cash for a storage unit or ask if you can fill your friends’ garages over the summer.

A lot of students spend the summer at their parents’. If you will be, establish some ground rules with them before you even cross the threshold. Summer can be a strange time because you might not have a lot of responsibilities to keep your busy. Discuss with your parents exactly what they expect from you beforehand before you get pumped for three months of vacation.

Plan Out Your Connections

During the school year, it’s easy to maintain a connection with your friends or significant other, since you all see each other nearly every day. You probably even live with some of them. However, once summer rolls around, it can introduce a different dynamic into your relationships.

Despite all the ways to keep connected long distance these days, young people are more worried about losing relationships than other generations. We have more nightmares about our significant other leaving us and it’s harder than ever to maintain meaningful friendships with the proliferation of social media.

Make sure to put a plan in place with the people you really care about staying close with. We all know life happens, but there’s nothing wrong with promising to exchange emails weekly or Skype usernames. This not only puts the framework in place for your friendship to flourish, but it lets the other person know that you’re interested in maintaining your relationship. If you can, plan a trip together!

These steps can help you stay connected over the summer. You don’t want to come back to school and not know where to pick it up again.

You’re supposed to be focusing on finals, but that can prove impossible when you’re worried about preparing for the end of the semester. Check off these big worries so that you can move on to acing your exams and nailing your presentations. Once your living situation is squared away and your relationships secure, you’ll be ready to knock both of them out of the park.

How to Add Splashes of Color to Your Bedding

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dorm room styles with splashes of color

You don’t have to be an HGTV design star to transform your dorm room or bedroom. In fact, all it takes is a little creativity and a good eye for color — especially for accent colors. Accent colors are the shades that pop out against neutrals. They brighten the room and help tell a story. To help you get started with building an accent palette, we’ve compiled our favorite accent color combinations we know you’ll love.

OCM Pink and Black bedding set

Hot Pink and Black

Almost every girl we know has rocked this combination at least once in their life. It’s fun, it’s flirty, and it’s oh-so-easy to do. The trick to upgrading this look from your high school bedroom to adulthood is not going with any crazy pattern combinations. Toss out the zebra print and say goodbye to damask. Solid black with flashes of hot pink is the way to go.

Fire Engine Red and Cream

There’s something about red that reminds us of our favorite beach towel. It’s bright and bold, and it has that little bit of fun that makes it a great bet for your linens. We especially love it in stripes and chevrons. By not going with white as the base, it’s a tad more muted and perfect for a sunny day or a warm night.

OCM Blue and White bedding sets

Vintage Blue and White

Do you remember your grandmother’s teacups? More than likely, they use a shade of blue we could only call “vintage.” It’s a pale sky blue that makes us instantly relaxed. When used in throw pillows or a fluffy blanket, it’s practically inviting the best sleep ever.

Grassy Green and Beige

Get your nature on with grassy green that sings. Green’s not a color that you see around much, especially in the bedroom. But we promise this color is a hit. Go more emerald in accent pillows for a luxe look. Use it in pillowcases or flat sheets and feel like you’re sleeping in a fresh field.

Rose Gold and Pink

We can’t have a post on accent colors without mentioning at least one metallic. Rose gold is the hot color of the year. And outside of your iPhone, it can certainly work in your diva-style bedroom. Go glittery with sequins like in an oversized pillow or add it to a bedside lamp. You’ll feel instantly more luxurious for it.

Burnt Orange and Purple

We’ve never been to India, but this color scheme puts us there. The pop of orange on purple is unexpected, and it takes careful attention to the right shades to work. You’ll want orange in smaller items like vases or desk accessories. Add orange silk sheets or a deeper orange toss blanket. Against the purple, it will surely make a statement.

OCM White and Yellow bedding sets

Sunny Yellow and White

Who doesn’t want to wake up with a smile on their face? A bright yellow room does just that! We love it when white is the only other color present. Think minimal. Then, add yellow in the big pieces — like a funky chair, a set of picture frames, or a lighting feature. This is a look you’ll love.

So there you have it! A list of a few of our favorite looks this year. Do you have another combo that you are looking to pull off or a favorite one from our list? Let us know!

Universally Stylish Linens

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When you’re in college, life can go by in a blur. With all the hustle you’re going to put in, the last thing that you want to do is worry about if your sheets match or if your bedspread is coordinated with your comforter. Instead of fretting over what’s in style or panicking that your room will never look cool enough, go neutral with color these bedding color schemes perfect for those who want basic — not boring.

Modern Minimalism

For all of us non-decor savvy folks, we’re in luck. This season, minimalism is totally in. The whole “less is more” means no dramatic colors, no clutter, no weird pattern coordinates. Instead, minimalism favors white. If you do add color, go with a throw pillow or blanket in gray or tan. It may sound boring, but it’s a look that looks and feels crisp and modern.

Stylish bedroom with blue hues

Earthy-Neutrals

One step up from minimalism is earth-centered color schemes. Think of the ground, sand, and sea when selecting linens. Every color is muted, but because nothing pops out, it’s easy to coordinate and interchange. Some key colors are sandy tans, rusty browns, hunter or grassy greens, and pale blue.

Vintage Calm

Take a deep breath and relax with a color combo that emphasizes relaxation and simplicity. French blues (a blue that’s a few shades deeper than a traditional sky blue) on white is classic and classy. If you want to modernize it, pick out jersey-type linen in blue and pair it with a softer white blanket or pillow. The mix of textures adds a bonus look to the scheme.

OCM bedding with touches of jewel tones

Touches of Jewel Tones

Some like it hot — hot pink that is! For those who want to keep it interesting and lively, selecting a more modern, simplistic color combo is just not going to get the job done. But instead of going elaborate and making a mess out of your coordinating linens, grab a neutral shade of either black or white. On top of that, add small items to your favorite jewel tone. For instance, we’re digging pastel pink of white or turquoise on black. Have fun and play around!

Royally Goth

Speaking of black, it never goes out of fashion. You can mix black with almost any color, but where it rocks is when it’s matched carefully with its polar opposite — white. Black with white accents (such as black comforters with white lining or black pillowcases with white piping) gives a bed a regal look. It’s a rockstar look at its finest, and you can always layer on a pattern like damask or chevrons to spice it up.

Ocean Inspired

A beach themed bed can be tricky to pull off. It’s a color combo that can go wrong real fast. The trick is to, again, go neutral as your base. White or tan is key for fitted sheets or pillowcases. On top of that, go ahead and layer on the blues. Don’t worry if they’re not exact matches. In fact, go with blues that are far away from one another on the scheme. A light seafoam bed skirt looks great when paired up with a royal blue quilt. Throw in gold or silver touches, and you’ve got a bed to drift away on.

 

Do you like to keep your bed linens a bit more muted? Or do you go all out with splashes of color? These are some of our favorite universally stylish bedding themes. Let us know your favorite looks!

Tips to Stay Healthy This Semester

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Getting back into the groove of school can be challenging after winter break. You just spent a few weeks kicking back, enjoying the holidays, hanging out with friends without a care in the world. You’ve conquered finals! Nothing to worry about until new classes start! You earned a bit of relaxation.

Except now that break is over, you’re back in the real world: back to hectic schedules, walking across campus, and constantly braving the cold. The average undergrad student spends about 3 hours getting ready and walking to and from class. There’s hardly any time to focus on school work, let alone think about staying healthy — and I’m not talking about hitting the rec center.

We all get sick this time of year, but there’s a reason that college campuses get hit particularly hard. Freshmen, in particular, are vulnerable. It wouldn’t have been that bad to get sick over break — but now, just when you’re starting to get back into the swing of things? A bad cold can make it difficult to study, and bad flu can set you back a few weeks. How can you stay healthy this semester?

What Everyone Knows But Doesn’t Do

Stop it before it even starts … Diseases spread more during winter months because everyone holes up indoors. That means that all those communal surfaces have more germs than you’d think. The average desk has 400 times more bacteria than a toilet seat. In order to prevent getting sick, follow some common sense advice!

  • Wash your hands thoroughly, regularly. If you live somewhere with cold, dry air, make sure to moisturize afterward.
  • Carry hand sanitizer for sticky situations. Many schools will give small containers out for free, so be on the lookout at career fairs and the like!
  • Don’t share straws, silverware, or pencils that have clearly been chewed on.
  • Don’t touch your mouth or face after spending time in class, the library, or any high-traffic area.
  • Get a flu shot. Most colleges offer these for free! Since this year’s flu season is going to be particularly bad, make sure you get yours.

Yeah, you might know all this already. This is just a friendly reminder to actually follow the advice this year.

Advanced Advice

Alright, those are the basics, but what else can you do to prevent from getting sick? Well, there are a couple of habits that make college students particularly vulnerable.

Are you getting enough sleep? And, no, in class doesn’t count. You probably need around 8 hours a night. That might sound like a dream, but without proper sleep your immune system is vulnerable. If you just can’t make it to 8 hours during the night, though, don’t be ashamed to take a nap. Better you lose a few hours of studying than a few days of class.

Naps can also lower your stress level, which is hugely helpful towards maintaining a healthy immune system. Make sure you are taking time to relax. Too many college students are too busy multitasking and resume-building that they work themselves to bed.

Be aware of your surroundings. This is one of the hardest things to monitor but by far the most helpful. Many college dorms are cramped spaces filled with as many people as possible. This is the perfect environment for bacteria and viruses to spread. If your roommate says they are not feeling well, stock up on antibacterial wipes and vitamin C!

Know When to Get Help

Too many college kids are so worried about saving money that they spread disease and get worse when they should’ve gone to the doctor. Your college probably has a clinic on campus, and they will work with you to cut down on the cost! There’s no reason you should continue to languish in misery when there are medications and treatments to help you get back on your feet.

If you’ve been sick for more than a couple days, consider that you might have something more serious. That sore throat might be strep — the differences between the flu and pneumonia aren’t as obvious as you’d think — and having a fever for multiple days is a definitely a cause for concern. If you’re worried that this could be something more, go to the doctor and encourage friends to do the same.

Staying healthy in college is more challenging than most people think. Between classes, work, and juggling a social life, you’re stressed enough as it is. This is just one more thing to think about. However, if you’re health lags behind, you can’t really juggle anything else. Staying in tip-top shape needs to be a priority this winter. So bundle up and use your head!

Winter Themed Desserts to Make in Your Dorm Room

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Winter is the perfect time to snuggle up in your comfy dorm room getting cozy with some delicious sweets. From chocolate and berries to whipped cream and powdered sugar, there are plenty of winter desserts to indulge in. But the best part is that most of these don’t require an oven and are so easy that you could make it in your dorm room! Here are our top picks for winter-themed desserts.

Cookie-in-a-Mug

Party for one? No problem. You can make a delicious single cookie that goes great with a scoop of ice cream or a cop of hot chocolate. You’ll love it because you only need a mug and a microwave to make it happen.

  • Ingredients:
    • 1 tbsp. butter
    • 1½ tbsp. sugar
    • ½ tbsp. vanilla extract
    • 1 egg
    • 3 tbsp. flour
  • Directions:
    • Spray mug with cooking spray.
    • Melt butter in mug for 30 seconds to soften
    • Add the rest of the ingredients one at a time, stirring until well-mixed.
    • Microwave for intervals of about 20 seconds until cookie has risen and is done.
    • Top with sprinkles, chocolate syrup, powdered sugar, etc.

Chocolate chip cookies

No-Bake Chocolate Cookies

A favorite from childhood, no-bake cookies are perfect for those who are die-hard chocolate fans. These cookies give you a burst of energy and make a good breakfast treat. This recipe makes a dozen.

  • Ingredients:
    • ⅔ cup sugar
    • 1½ tbsp. cocoa powder, unsweetened
    • 2 tbsp. milk
    • 2 tbsp. butter
    • ¼ tbsp. vanilla extract
    • 3 tbsp. smooth peanut butter
    • 1 cup quick oats
  • Directions:
    • In a larger-sized microwave bowl, add sugar, cocoa, milk, and butter. Microwave for about one minute or until bubbling. Microwave for another 30 seconds.
    • Stir in the rest of the ingredients one at a time.
    • Drop spoonfuls on a plate and refrigerate for about 3 hours. Best served cold.

Puppy Chow

Another childhood favorite, puppy chow is a favorite guilty pleasure. It’s such a mess to clean up, but it’s worth it for its chocolate-peanut butter goodness. Your friends will want a bag each.

  • Ingredients:
    • 3 cups rice squares cereal
    • 3 tbsp. peanut butter
    • ⅓ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
    • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • Directions:
    • In a microwave-friendly bowl, melt chocolate at intervals of ten seconds (stirring each time you take out).
    • Add peanut butter and microwave for two-30 second intervals, stirring until well-mixed.
    • Add cereal and mix. Pour into a plastic bag and then add powdered sugar. Shake bag until evenly distributed.

Banana Pudding Jar

We always found banana pudding to be uber-sophisticated, especially when done up all fancy in a tall, glass dish. But did you know you could make expensive-tasting banana pudding in a jar with only a few ingredients and a mason jar (or regular bowl)? Seriously!

  • Ingredients:
    • Vanilla wafer cookies
    • 1-2 bananas, sliced
    • 1 packet of banana or vanilla pudding, prepared (or use 2-3 cups of pre-made banana pudding)
  • Directions:
    • Line bottom of your bowl or jar with vanilla wafer cookies as a base.
    • Make another layer of bananas
    • Add prepared pudding on top and alternate with layers of sliced bananas and cookies until at the top.

fruit parfait dessert

Berry Good Fruit Parfait

Berries are all we want come wintertime. Thank goodness there are plenty of berry-themed recipes for us to enjoy. This recipe uses pre-made cake (think leftovers) and blends our favorite fruit and loads of whipped cream.

  • Ingredients:
    • Pre-made cake (including cheesecake) in small chunks
    • Variety of berries such as blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, and strawberries
    • Whipped cream
  • Directions:
    • Add a layer of cake chunks to bottom of jar or bowl.
    • Add a second layer of fruit and then top with whipped cream. Repeat until full.

These are just a few of our favorite desserts to make when we are stuck inside on a cold winter day. Make one of these (or all, we won’t tell!), binge your favorite Netflix series and let us know which one was your favorite!

Christmas Decorations for Your Dorm Room

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Christmas decorations on a tree

Seasons greetings! The holidays are almost here, and we are so excited! And sure, we’ve got our minds on vacay, but we’re also dreaming of all the fun ways we celebrate. One of our favorites is decorating. That’s right — just because you live in a tiny dorm room doesn’t mean you can’t get into the spirit. Here are 8 ideas to make your dorm room festive and bright.

Twinkling Lights

The easiest way to give your dorm room a makeover is to change up the lighting. Grab a few strands of Christmas lights and go nuts! Line the ceilings! Make a cool ceiling display above your bed. They’re so inexpensive and easy to find that you can do just about anything with your favorite lights!  

Mini Trees

Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without a tree! Grab a mini-sized one from your favorite store and add on tiny ornaments. If you’re more of a DIY-er or want a fun party game, you can cut out a large-sized tree and ornaments using felt fabric. Play pin the star on the tree or make ornaments featuring the faces of your friends.

Door Decor

If your residence hall encourages you to customize your dorm door, this is your time to shine! Grab some rolls of wrapping paper and gift wrap it up. Add stockings full of treats for your neighbors or make a chalkboard snowman for friends to write messages on.

Fake Fireplace

You can’t beat a decoration you just turn on! While you can’t have a space heater, mobile fireplace in your dorm room, you can bring in the ambiance by turning your TV into a cozy hearth. Netflix and Youtube offer countless different versions of hours-long fireplace videos complete with soundtracks and carols — perfect for parties or long nights studying.

Snow on the Windows

If you’re a transplant from colder climates or you love the look of snow in the winter, you can make your own using snow spray or frosted aerosol that wipes clean when you’re done. It gives the room a cool, chilly glow, even if it’s still in the 70s or even 80s outside.

Nothing rings in the holiday season like the smell of pinecones

Smelling Like the Season

You can’t talk about the season without discussing all the awesome smells that make you think of holidays at home. From cookies to cinnamon, everyone’s got their favorite holiday scent. Bring in a few flameless candles or use a wax warmer to bring in that homey vibe.

Custom Wreaths

Wreaths are an easy way to decorate your room while also allowing you to show off your personality and creativity. Purchase a base wreath from a crafting store and then use a glue gun to add tinsel, ornaments, pictures, wooden monograms, ribbon, etc. It’s your look, so make it reflect who you are!

Christmas wreath decorations

Burst of Christmas Color

When we think of Christmas, we think of red, green, and white. You can add these pops to a dorm room with throw pillows, area rugs, window hangings, and wall decor. You can also add jewel tones like silver and gold with ribbon wreaths, desk accessories, and lighting. Visit Pinterest for even more color-based inspiration!

Finals can take their toll on your holiday spirits. Ensure that you enjoy some holiday activities and keep the spirit alive by decorating your dorm room. You can keep it within a budget and have the best room in your hall!

The Nine Things Every College Student Should Have On Their Desk

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Female student taking notes from a book at library.

All you need is a computer, right? Wrong! Unlike high school or living with your parents, office supplies do not magically appear. Living on your own means stocking up on essential desk items. To make your shopping list easier, we’ve come up with nine things every college student should have on their desk in order to get through the rest of the semester.

     1. Stapler and Staples

Here’s a lesson all freshman learn real fast — your teacher will not have a stapler on them, and they will expect you to turn in stapled copies of your twenty-page paper! Come prepared by having a stapler and extra staples at your deskside whenever you need it.

     2. Printer, Paper, and Ink

Sure, you could print at the library, but that’s going to cost you, and there’s no guarantee the library will be open when you need it. A small-sized printer can run you around $30 on sale and ink can be cheap if you subscribe to regular refills.

     3. Pen and Pencils

We love the convenience of a computer, but you have to have a pen on you at all times. There’s no telling when you’ll want to make a quick note or write a letter yourself. And pencils are essential for majors that require a lot of drafting or revisiting of work — such as musicians, artists, engineers, mathematicians, architects, etc.

4. Paperclips

Like staples, you need to keep your paper in order or they’ll become a mess on your desk. And who wants that? With paperclips or larger file clips, attach and go. No fuss, reusable, and cheap to buy — you have no excuses not to have a small supply.

Planner with post it notes and highlighters

5. Sticky Notes or Journals

Sticky notes are great for telling your roommate to pick up more milk or that they need to clean their side of the room. But when you really want to get something out, a journal is a must-have. Check out these school-themed journals if you really want to impress.

6. Stamps and Stationery

Sending a letter may seem so old fashioned, but thank yous written by hand are impressive and classy. Grab a stack of cards, like these vintage university ones, for when the occasion arises. And don’t forget Forever stamps from the post office.

7. Organizer

You’ve got the little things down, but what about where to put it all? An organizer for the tiny desk objects that get all over the place can be a lifesaver — especially when you’ve got five minutes till class starts and you can’t find your favorite pen.

desk lamp illuminating

8. Desk Lamp

Your desk may come with a lamp attachment already, but those industrial bulbs can lead to migraines or poor study habits. Find one that matches your style and has the right kind of light for your work. This dimmable, portable one is the perfect size and look for most college students’ needs.

9. Power Cord

While technically for under the desk, a safe power cord that can support your laptop, printer, chargers, and a lamp cannot be forgotten. Get one that has a surge protector in case of electricity going out.

If you have these nine items, and a few more that we may have missed, you’ll be ready to tackle those study sessions and ace all your exams!