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.

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!

What to Do When You Don’t Trust Your College Roommate

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padlocks-597815_640

Living with someone else is always a difficult experience.  Remember living with mom and dad, or, worse, siblings? It’s definitely not easy, even when it’s your family.  So living with a relative stranger can be especially rough, even more so because it might be your first time living away from home.  If you and roommate just don’t see eye to eye, that’s one thing, but what about when you really don’t trust them?

For whatever reason, you’ve been paired with this… sketchy person.  Maybe you used to get along, and now not so much.  Maybe you were trusting, but last semester they showed you that that was a mistake.  Maybe you’ve switched dorms only to discover that that was a mistake.

Talk to the School

The first thing you need to try to do is convince the school that it was a mistake.  Approach your RA and explain the situation.  It’s important to communicate that you do not trust your roommate, not just that you don’t get along.  They need to understand that this isn’t normal roommate squabbles; this is a whole other level. Your RA will definitely have steps to take to hopefully be able to separate the two of you.  There is likely a vacancy in another dorm, or you might be able to switch with somebody.

However, if you can’t afford to move to another dorm, or perhaps you signed a lease for an apartment off-campus, then you might need to take a different course of action.

Protect Your Items

You might not think that your valuables are safe, either because your roommate will use your things without your permission or worse.  Try and organize your things underneath your bed, conceal them in a trunk, or even in storage lockers. If necessary, make sure that you get a good combination lock.

Don’t leave cash lying around, or let them have access to your credit or debit card.  Luckily, you should have a chip card now instead of a magstripe one, so it will be harder for them to strip your information, though they can still copy down the numbers.

Keep Yourself Busy

Alright, this may sound counterintuitive, but it’s actually probably better that you keep yourself occupied.  As long as you make sure that all of your items are safe, then you don’t want to interact with your roommate more than you have to. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself in more messy arguments and the target of ill will.  Keep busy with homework, and if that’s not enough then there’s plenty more you can do.

  • Get involved in clubs or athletic groups.

  • Make new friends.

  • Find internships in your major; the career center should be able to help you no matter if you’re majoring in a STEM fieldcounseling, or even art.

  •  Get a part time job, as long as you believe you’ll be able to balance those responsibilities and school.

College campuses are abundant with activity.  You should have no problem finding activities that occupy your time.

Set Things Up for Next Year

Make sure that you get an apartment or some other housing accommodation for next year.  There are certainly challenges to living with your friends, but it will certainly be a better situation that what you’re currently going through.  If you don’t have any options for roommates next year, hold interviews or make sure that your school matches you up with someone better.  They need to understand that a repeat of this situation is not an option.

Overall, this sort of situation is unpleasant but bearable.  You will get through this.  The light is at the end of the semester, which seems so far away, but I promise it will be the end before you know it.  College roommates are always a unique situation, but there are ways for you to get around it.  Just make sure that next year you’re in a better place.

 

How to Do Laundry in College

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Laundry in College

It’s finally happened: you have a bag full of dirty clothes and an empty closet with no options. You can’t put it off any longer. It’s time to learn how to do laundry in college. This walkthrough will show you how to get your laundry done the right way.

Step 1: Set Aside the Time

Laundry doesn’t just magically do itself for you. You’ll need to budget some time to get each step done. For most college-style laundry machines, you’re looking about two hours per load for sorting, washing, and drying.

Step 2: Sort and Separate

If you care about the quality of your fabrics or if you rather just not risk a bright color “bleeding” onto others — you have to separate. (If you’re not that picky or are in a rush, skip ahead to step 3 and look for the **.)

To sort correctly, go first by fabrics. Check the tags for anything that has to be washed a specific way (such as wash cold, air dry). These are delicates. Then, sort the rest by color. The usual method is lights, darks, and brights. Again, if you’re in a rush, condense and combine darks and brights.

Step 3: Wash Cycle

Head down to the laundry room and select your washer. Go for an empty one as no one likes others touching their things, even if it’s been there for awhile. Follow the instructions on the lid in terms of pouring your detergent before or after you put in your clothes. Load in carefully, making sure no straps get tangled in the drum of the washer.

When setting the wash:

  • **In a rush? Set the machine on cold wash. This will keep your colors and prevent bleeding, even if you don’t separate.
  • For stinky, stained clothes, go with a rinse cycle on hot first WITHOUT detergent (unless the tag says cold wash only). You’ll have to pay for this wash, but it’s so worth it. After the rinse, wash cold with detergent. You may also want to consider cleaning any stains via a stain pen or spray (pre-treatment) or washing by hand in cold water.
  • For the clothes you sorted with special instructions, follow the tag and use the “delicate” or “fragile” settings.

Step 4: Drying

Here’s where tag reading comes in again. Lots of clothes can’t actually be dried, especially your dressier clothing. You can save money by air drying in your dorm room using a pop-up drying rack.

To use the dryer, first check the lint rack (usually on the inside of the machine) and remove all the fuzzy, linty pieces. This will prevent your clothes from pilling or even starting a fire! Then, add your clothes, along with a dryer sheet or dryer ball. There’s also liquid fabric softener which can be risky if you’re new to laundry as they can sometimes stain.

Follow the instructions on your dryer. Some will be timed (the more stuff, the longer the dry) while others will have dry qualities (such as delicate dry, low heat, high heat, etc.). Drying in a new machine is often trial and error, so don’t get frustrated if your items don’t come out too warm. The worst thing you can do is overheat, so start on the moderate side of drying.  

Don’t go too far while washing or drying. It’s a foul to leave your wash in too long and hold up any lines.

Once done, you’re officially a laundry rockstar! Start getting a schedule down so you know the best times to get your chores done. You’ll soon forget what it is like to never have done laundry before!

How to Hang Wall Art in Your Dorm Room – Without Getting in Trouble!

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hanging art on dorm walls

We all want the best-decorated dorm room in the building — which often means hanging posters and decor from the walls and ceiling. But this gets tricky when we need to follow strict rules on how and what we hang on our walls. Luckily, there are some easy ways to hang wall art in your dorm without getting in trouble. Here’s how to do it without costing a fortune or creating damage.

Learn the rules first!

Before you buy anything, wall art included, it’s important to read through your dorm room rules. While most will let you hang just about anything, others have restrictions for items made out of flammable cloth or even string lights that could start a fire. Heavy items, such as wood pieces, may be out as well as dorms try to keep you from nailing large holes into their walls.

Secondly, learn the rules on the use of hanging materials. Many hardware stores have practically invisible hangers that make as little as a pinpoint in walls, but even those can be a big no-no if the school has a strict no damage rule. And with some dorms doing inspections or being strict on returning security deposits, you’ll want to avoid the risk as much as possible. One of the best ways to do this is to just ask. RAs who live in the dorms must be versed in the rules, but they probably also have tips and tricks to share.

How to Hang Wall Art Without Damage

Mounting Putty

The quick way is to do it with mounting putty. The putty is meant to hang only light weight items such as unframed posters, maps, and pictures. But on the bright side, it is mess free and easy to remove. The only thing you should know before you go with putty is that it may cause damage to the actual wall art when you try to remove it. Only use it to hang items you’d be okay if it rips or that can be easily replaced. Also, do not hang on wood or uneven surfaces as it can be a pain to get out of the nooks and crannies.

Double Sided Tape

Like putty, double sided tape is perfect for lighter items that you won’t mind damaging during take down. What makes double sided tape a better option is that manufacturers have made it even stronger and more durable. For example, heavy duty tape can hold up roughly a pound for plastic framed items or message boards. Avoid hanging on wood or plaster as tape can sometimes take paint with it.

Hanging Strips and Hooks

One of the most popular ways to hang these days is the latest versions of hanging strips and hanging hooks. These were practically made with college students in mind with it’s easy to install directions, ability to take down with just a pull tab, and its durability. You can even buy heavy duty hooks for larger wall items such as decorated letters, wood pictures, or oversized clocks.

Press and Hook

If small holes are allowed, search your hardware or decor store for press and hook wire hangers. These kits don’t require any tools, can be removed quickly and efficiently, and create just the smallest hole in the wall. Just press into the drywall, hang, and you’re done. They are best for awkward sized or shaped items or for ceiling hangings. In fact, some of those hooks hold as much 150 pounds!

College Move-In Series: Day Of

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Move in series day 1

Welcome back to the move-in series! For those of you who haven’t been keeping up with the series, allow me to explain: this is the last part of a five part series that gives step by step instructions for high school grads preparing for move-in day at college. And it’s finally the day you’ve been waiting for all summer: freshman move-in day! Here’s everything you need to know about your first day in the dorms and on campus.

Step 1: The Walk Through

Before you leave, take one last look around the house. Run through the check list and eyeball your surroundings. Make sure you have everything you need and leave no space unchecked. It’s easy to forget about common everyday items such as toothbrushes and chargers.

Step 2: Last Minute to-do’s

How do I get my room key? Where do I check-in? Where is it safe to park? To find the answers to these questions, look no further than your college’s website. You may be responsible for other tasks such as room inspection upon arrival. So reference you college’s website for more information on move-in day instructions.

Step 3: Leave Early

Beat the traffic by leaving early. Speed through the security lines at the airport by leaving early. Catch the first train by leaving early. No matter how you plan on getting to college, leave early! You’ll have more time to unpack and relax on move-in day.

Step 4: Recruit Movers

Moving in without any help is not an impossible feat. But who wants to make twenty back-breaking trips from the car to the dorm? Text a few friends around campus and ask for some help. If your parents are dropping you off, recruit a sibling or two to help out. Still struggling to find help on move in day? Hire some movers to lug all your stuff for you!

Step 5: Unpack and Explore

As tempting as it may be to start rearranging the furniture in your dorm, don’t. Unless you have a room all to yourself, you need to check with your roommate(s) before moving things around. You definitely don’t want to start off on the wrong foot with your roommates. Also, be respectful of their space by placing all of your boxes, bags, and luggage out of the way. After you finish unpacking your things, take a trip around campus. There’s bound to be some type of move-in day meet and greet. Go out, meet people, and have fun!

Step 6: Final Goodbye

Saying goodbye is always the hardest part, especially for mom. Show your family how thankful you are for their support with a nice card. Consider going out to eat with them for one last meal.

Step 7: Meet the Resident Assistant (RA)

Introduce yourself to the RA and see what they have planned for the start of the semester. It’s never a bad idea to make some friendly conversation with the RA. They are there to enforce school policy, so don’t get on their bad side.

Step 8: Get to Know Your Roommate

Spend some quality time with your roommate. Take them out for a cup of coffee or a bite to eat. Invite them out if you have any plans on campus. Consider joining a club together if you share similar interests. On a more serious note, take a minute to discuss what the house rules will be. For example: leaving dishes in the sink is forbidden. It’s important to set up a cleaning schedule right off the bat. Establishing these rules now will go a long way.

Step 9: Find Your Way Around

Familiarize yourself with your residence hall – check out the bathrooms, kitchen, rec rooms, etc. Take a trip to the gym, explore the quad, or just take a walk around the block. Another smart move is to figure out how long it will take you to get to your classes, by pulling up your class schedule and starting the stopwatch on your phone. Walk to each class and record how long it takes to get to each one. While this may seem foolish to students on a small campus, it can be hard to tell how far away a building is on a large campus.

Step 10: Unfinished Business

Take care on any unfinished business before the day is up. Store any important documents, cash, and credit/debit cards in a safe place. Turn in any paperwork that you may have forgotten about. Go pick up your textbooks and school supplies from the bookstore, and take care of any financial aid and/or scholarship obligations.  If anything else comes to mind, you’ll thank yourself later if you take care of it before the end of the day.

Step 11: Food Run

Make a trip to the grocery store to stock up on food. Only buy what you can easily prepare and store. If you do not have a fridge, avoid buying large amounts of perishable foods like fruit. Here are some great dorm food ideas: energy bars, chips, trail mix, and all things canned. Keep an eye out for anything on sale. If you have room in your dorm, such as under your bed, buy in bulk whenever you come across a decent sale.  This is where having a rewards card (or using your parents) comes in handy. You’ll be surprised at how much money you can save with a rewards card.

Advice for Freshmen: How to Survive Co-Ed Bathrooms

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Communal bathroom

The newest trend in dorm life is to make living spaces more friendly to those who wish to live and work with the opposite sex. While it’s awesome in getting you used to real adulthood, it can be really intimidating for most freshmen to share a bathroom with someone of the other gender. But have no fear, incoming freshmen. You can prepare for a co-ed bathroom by following these simple tips.

Come Prepared

When shopping for dorm supplies, you’ll probably focus on decor and bedding. We don’t blame you. But if you’re not too excited about the initial awkwardness of a co-ed bathroom, we suggest taking some time to really think through your college shopping list.

One thing we highly recommend is to invest in an awesome robe or two. You’ll want one you’re perfectly comfortable walking around in and being seen in frequently. Think not too revealing, not too short, and one with sturdy ties. Try them on, get the right size, and make sure you feel comfortable.

Secondly is the towel situation. Bath towels may be too small to circle all the way around your torso, so we suggest purchasing long towels known as “bath sheets,” which are made like sturdy beach towels. You can always use them in a pinch to get from the shower to your dorm room if your robe gets wet or you forget your change of clothes.

Finally, think about where you’ll be doing the majority of your bathroom routine. Some girls and guys prefer to wash their face, prim, and prepare in the comfort of the bathroom. Others want to keep that part of their beauty secret, well, a secret!  If you are okay with doing it out in the open, make sure you have a waterproof bathroom caddy. If you are the opposite, plan out some creative, compact storage options for your dorm room.

Get Situated

There’s no denying that the first few days or even weeks are going to be a bit weird. You may be afraid of what worst case scenario may happen. But the best thing you can do is not chicken out. From day one, go in with confidence. Act like you’re okay with the new living situation, and eventually, it will feel natural.

The other case for getting your feet wet right away is that you can quickly make a bathroom schedule that makes you feel comfortable. With dorm room bathrooms, you start to notice that you’ll run into the same people showering at a particular time or the same people brushing their teeth with you. Whether it’s because of your class schedule, sports, or just a normal routine, you’ll become more at ease when you develop your bathroom “tribe.”

And in the end, if you’re still not feeling the whole co-ed thing, you can always recruit a buddy to go in with you. Get ready for the day with your best friend or roommate, or make friends with the RA. Eventually you won’t need that crutch to get you through.

There is a catch for all of this though: if co-ed dorms are not for you, that’s okay too! We’re all different and that’s why most colleges have ample options for a variety of lifestyle choices. Don’t be afraid to ask for a change if you’re set against it. You’ll appreciate living with like-minded individuals and your dorm leaders will love that you let them know what you’re not okay with. After all, that openness is the best part of college!

Tips for Decorating & Organizing the Bathroom of Your Shared Suite

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Tips for decorating bathroom

One of the best features of newer residence halls is a shared suite with bathroom. Instead of roughing it by sharing a bathroom with tons of other college students, you get the privacy and comfort of having your own space. While that seems amazing, it does come with a few downsides, especially in having to share the cleaning duties with your roommates or organizing all your bath supplies in a smaller area. That’s where we come in! With these 6 tips for decorating and organizing the bathroom of your shared suite, you can live it up in your new spa-like bath!

6 Tips for Decorating and Organizing the Bathroom of Your Shared Suite

1. Divide the Clutter

Whether you have 4 roommates or 10, a shared bathroom can become a mess real quick unless you come up with a quick and easy organizational system that works for everyone. One of our favorite ideas is purchasing an inexpensive storage organizer that has enough drawers for each person. Clearly label the drawer and allow each roommate a space to store whatever they may need — makeup, towels, hair supplies, and more. That way there is never an argument over the clutter.

2. Stockpile Smartly

The other challenge with shared bathrooms is most likely having to purchase your own bathroom supplies, including toiletries and cleaning items. Like your makeup and towels, all that can add up, especially if you buy in bulk. Instead of just keeping it in an unsightly and unsanitary pile, consider purchasing removable wall shelves that can keep rolls of toilet paper and cleaning kits out of sight. Shelves are also great for helping you know much of your supply is left so everyone is accountable for keeping the stock going. If installing shelves are out, purchase a door organizer with holders wide enough for toilet paper, shampoo, cleaning spray, and more. It’s inexpensive and adds loads of storage for your bathroom.

3. Buy Extras

Here’s a personal tip you must abide by: buy extra linens. But we’re not just talking about towels. Buying an additional shower curtain, shower rug, hand towels, and cleaning towels can ensure that when these things wear out (which they will do much quicker when shared frequently), you won’t have to make an emergency run to the store for replacements.

4. Bright Accents for Dingy Spaces

When it comes to decorating, keep the condition of your space in mind when deciding on accents or towel color schemes. While dark bathrooms may be in fashion, that looks works when there is natural light or a brighter tile. But dorm rooms are almost always on the more dungeon-esque side. Add a touch of color and happiness with yellow plastic flowers in clear jars, burnt red towels, or a rainbow colored shower curtain.

5. Water Colors

If your roommates are totally indecisive on color schemes, go with what works. Water filled rooms deserve water themed bathrooms. It’s crowd pleasing, gender neutral and low-frill. Turquoise is huge this year and can be combined with just about any counter style such as gold art deco lotion dispensers or funky motivational posters in white frames.

6. Keep it Simple

Having a bathroom to call your own is so adult and being able to decorate it is even better. However, when you’ve got roommates to please, sometimes it’s best to just keep it simple. Go low-key designs and functional uses over high fashion or strange concepts. Make sure it’s also durable as things easily break when many hands and feet use it. Focus on expanding organizing with individual peel-and-stick hooks for hand towels inside the shower and over the door organizers for robes and extra supplies. You’ll be more appreciative of simple when you’re living it!