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



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.


Transform Your Dorm Room into a Home


Going to college is a huge adventure on its own. You’re separated from your family and you’re being thrown into a whole new world with hundreds of new people. Now, some people find it really hard to leave their home and have a new life for a few years. If you are one of those people, you can actually do something about this sadness, and that something is adjusting your dorm room to fit you a little bit better. And even though you’re going to leave it eventually, you have to make it “bearable”. Here is how to do this.

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Personalize it

You will spend up to 3-4 years there, that means it should look a little cozier than a hospital room, right?



There’s nothing like photos of your beloved ones that bring character and the feeling of home into any space. You can purchase an acrylic desk topper and put all of your photos underneath that layer. Next time you look down at your desk, you will definitely smile, plus, it will be one-of-a-kind desk for sure.


No, they are not just for the preppy folks! If you have monogrammed pillowcases, notebooks, toiletry bags etc. in your dorm room, it will make the whole space feel more like it’s yours. It’s just that they add a special dose of familiarity, even in a brand new room.


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Yes, you’re an adult now. But come on, you definitely still keep that favorite Barbie doll, or that teddy bear you slept with somewhere in your home. If you haven’t brought your toys with you, contact your mom to send them to you, or pick them up when you go home for holidays, and place them on a shelf or wherever you held them when you were home. You won’t regret it.

Add some fun to it

If you really want to revive your dorm room, make sure that you throw in as many colors as possible. Even though you may be a minimalistic type, you have to go wild sometimes, right? I’m talking neon pillow cases, fire red blankets, ridiculous prints etc. Have fun while you’re young.

Refresh your space


The air in dorm rooms can be pretty smelly and stuffy, in other words – nothing like home. This is why you should invest in a commercial air purifier which will eliminate the dust, bacteria, smell of mold and smoke as well. Also, consider putting in some potted plants, or a plant terrarium in your dorm room as well.

Point out your creativity

If you have a hidden artist in you, bring them out and do some DIY projects.

Washi tape your posters

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If you are a fan of posters, there’s nothing cooler than framing them with washi tape. Just tape it around the outlines of your posters.

Masking Tape Deco

This colored paper tape is a perfect and also a cheap way to give some life to your dorm room. It’s also great because it’s easy to remove, so when you get bored of it, you can make something else. Get as many colors as you can and release your inner Picasso!

And let there be light!


You can use Christmas lights to make custom marquee signs, or some shapes – whatever you want.

Make it fluffy

It doesn’t matter if you are a guy or a girl – fluffy things give the sense of comfort, which is exactly how home feels like.



Usually, the floors in dorm rooms are cold and really gross. The best way to fix this is definitely a rug. Not only it will make your room look much nicer, but it will also be a great soft place for your feet.


They add color, as well as warmth to your bed and there’s definitely no better feeling than jumping into an ocean of pillows after a long and hard day of lectures and studying.

Fuzzy blankets

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Another great addition to your bed are definitely fuzzy blankets, a bunch of them. They’re nice to look at and feel great when you snuggle up in them – since they can keep you warm like nothing else.

That would be it. How do you like these ideas? Are you going to use them? Let me know in the comments.

P.S. Have fun decorating!



#DORMGOALS 2016: The Best Dorms Out There



Here at OCM, we know a thing or two about dorm rooms. So when we put out a call to see what our fans and readers were doing to transform their dorms, we were blown away by what you sent in! The #dormgoals submissions that came in gave us loads of style inspiration.

But with a $500 first prize on the line and two $150 OCM gift card and care packages for our runners up, the competition was on. Our Facebook page fans chose, and we couldn’t agree more with these fashion-forward winners!


Runner Up #1

Name: Katy (Instagram)

College: California State University San Marcos

Major: Human Development

Describe Your Dorm Style in 3 Words: Cozy, Lofty + Minimalistic

What’s Your Favorite Thing About Your Room?: “My photos! I love how unique they are. Photos of friends from back home, adventures I’ve taken, or things I’m passionate about.”

What helped her win:

Soft and romantic, we absolutely love how snuggly and warm her bedding looks. She perfectly blends light colors with dark accents along with different textures in her throw blankets. We also love the hanging dream catchers juxtaposed over the DIY lighting headboard. Falling asleep there is literally a dream.

How you can create this look:

We call this the “hotel look.” Add a dark with a light in a minimalist pattern to keep things simple, and focus on comfort. The Total Transition Pak bedding in Deep Pink and Black Lattice is a great example of how to add a dark and light together. The black and white bedding with pink pillow and sheet accents livens the room up but also creates a calm, centering space to come home to.


Runner Up #2

Name: Ken’Nia

College: Southern Connecticut State University

Major: Nursing

Describe Your Dorm Style in 3 Words: Cute, Glamorous, Fun

What’s Your Favorite Thing About Your Room?: “My bedding.”

What helped her win:

Boho is IN! Her bedding is in the mandala style that everyone is looking for these days and the peachy orange is gorgeously fun. But what we especially love is how she continues the theme in her wall decor and pillows. Sassy, hippy-chic, and stylish? We’re loving this.

How you can create this look:

Did we mention that boho style is blowing up right now? OCM has loads of options for the the summer music festival fan or the yoga fanatic. For example, mandala tapestries in navy, orange, and red add a major focal point for over the desk or bed. Keep the colors going with this dream catcher inspirational poster to keep you motivated on difficult days.


Grand Prize Winner

Name: Joseph (Instagram)

College: San Jose State University

Major: Public Relations

Describe Your Dorm Style in 3 Words: Aesthetics, Peaceful, Pride

What’s Your Favorite Thing About Your Room?: “My favorite thing about my room happens to be my desk! I love having small little decorations on my desk that I get as gifts. It really helps make my room feel like home.”

What helped him win:

There is nothing more Americana than a frat-themed dorm room! Joseph’s room practically radiates pride for his organization, Gamma Epsilon, and his alma mater in every single nook and cranny. But this dedication doesn’t go overboard. He manages to balance it so that it looks tidy, professional, and adult while still having his personality shine through on his shelves.

How you can create this look:

Joseph is right — it’s all about the desk! He focuses in on small decor choices that do not look like much alone but add up when combined together. Metal signs, such as this ode to New York subway lines, are a great example of small, but memorable ways of bringing home to your work space. But don’t forget about your school pride! A vintage sports poster featuring your school of choice will give your dorm Joseph’s winning style.

Cardinal Rules for Dorm Decorating


Dorm Decorating Rules

When it comes to making your dorm room your new home, the best thing you can do is make it your own. By adding thoughtful, unique touches to your décor, you can create a space that is a welcoming reflection of who you are. Need a little help getting started? Here is a list of the top five cardinal rules for dorm decorating.

Monotone is Boring

When you walk into an empty dorm room, you’re probably surprised at how sterile it feels. All-white or all-cream walls with outdated tile floors and fake wood furniture make it that much worse. That’s why color is incredibly important when designing your dorm room aesthetic.

The bigger problem is using too much of one color to compensate. While you may have a favorite color that you love to work with, too much of a good thing looks just as boring as all-white. Instead, pick coordinating color schemes that play into the base. For example, add dark browns with hunter green base for a natural look. Mix pink in with purple for a stylish girly look. Combine red and black for a darker affair.

Don’t Neglect Your Windows

It can be easy to forget about your windows, especially since your college most likely provides you with some necessary cover. But like the white walls, your blinds are probably not the most attractive look you can imagine.

If your window allows, purchase a drape pole (or even use shower pole) that adjusts to the size of your window. Then, add fabric in a pop of color that ties you and your roommate’s looks together. If you’re stuck, you really can’t go wrong with a translucent white with a little bit of texture (such as lace). Add string lights and tie off using velcro and ribbon for a classic, homey feel.

Ugly Lighting Must Go

Today, fashionable dorm room décor involves starting with something a little bit fancier than the usual discount store lamps. Sure, you should have some essential bed lighting by your side for late night study session in bed, but that doesn’t mean all of your lighting has to look bland.

What we love is the vintage look. You can make any lamp look updated with a little spray paint. Take the ugliest lamp you can find and paint it a neon pink or scrub off ugly gold for a sleeker silver. Re-do the lampshade with decoupage glue and paper. When dove right, the sky’s the limit!

Focus in on Creating Space

It’s so easy to go overboard with your accessorizing. But let’s be honest — your dorm room isn’t the place for a ton of knickknacks and trophies from high school. Limit what you take when you first move in. You can always go back (or ship back) more.

Instead of loading your room up with all this needless stuff, look to create spaces your guests will love. Lay out rugs under a lofted bed and use giant throw pillows for floor seating. Use small folding leaf tables for dining and study areas. And add lighting or a change of color specific to the area to designate usage.

Don’t Forget About You

Cardinal rules are great and all, but there is something even more important when you design your room — putting a little you in it. If you’re a music major, add some framed sheet music to your wall. Love a sports team? Hang school pendants or scarves from the clubs you support. And if you’re missing home, you can turn your bedroom into an ode to your favorite city with posters and color schemes.


And don’t forget: if you’re in love with your dorm room design, OCM wants to see it! Read more about how you can win big with our #DormGoals decorating contest.

Move in Day Madness! 11 Things you need to bring to college


Dorm Room Packing

Congrats newest freshman! You made it to your first day of college! Welcome to move in day! This might have consisted of crying to your parents about how much you’re going to miss them, or spending 8 hours making your room just the way you want it. Well, I have a few tips on what things you won’t regret bringing from home. How do you envision your ideal dorm room for this upcoming fall? Christmas lights and tapestries hung up? Sofas and canvas wall hangings? Let’s take a look at what I used for my room and what things were really needed.

Dorm Room

My room at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut.

What important things to bring from home: 

1. Mini Fridge

  • Leftover pizza, midnight snacks and your daily dose of Arizona Iced Tea. Buying a fridge is the perfect idea for an on the go breakfast or keeping your water bottle cold. My roommate bought one before we moved in and it definitely was worth the money! Go out and buy yourself a mini fridge!

2. Dorm Space saver!

  • Even though you think you have enough space no matter how big your dorm is, you will not regret buying this! A Dorm Space Saver (be it a trunk or under the bed storage) will keep all of your personal belongings in an organized space.

3. iHome

  • Don’t forget about your alarm clock for those 8 am classes! It definitely helps me when I need to wake up early for those 9AMs. An iHome will become your best friend. It has a charger for your phone, AM/FM stations, Bluetooth and so much more.

4. Fan, Fan, Fan!

  • Depending on which school you go to, most freshman dorm rooms don’t supply air conditioning. Definitely bring those fans with you because it gets very hot! Large or small, it does not matter!

5. Trunk

  •  A trunk is another great way to store anything you don’t need immediate access to — think winter blankets or clothing that’s out of season. You can also use this as a way to liven up your space. Slap on a bunch of bumper stickers and band stickers for an indie look, or spray paint it in your favorite colors.

6.  Plastic Storage bins

  • For all of you who complain to your mom how you don’t have enough space around the room, buying these bins was worth every penny! I know that I couldn’t fit all my stuff in that small closet they give us so buying these bins made my life so much easier! It helped me organize them from underwear to sweaters I will not be using now, towels, sheets and gym clothes!

7. Command Hooks

  • The easiest, cheapest and best way to hang up your picture frames, tapestries and a DIY canvas. You can pretty much find these anywhere – and you’ll be glad you bought them. Screen Shot 2016-09-05 at 2.39.08 PM

8. Hangers

  • For all of those clothes us ladies bring, you must must must bring over 50 hangers… I know it seems like a bit much but you will not regret it! I brought so many hangers and it kept my closet organized from dresses, pants, skirts and shorts.

9. Light Up Make Up Mirror

  • Do you really want to put on a full face of makeup on in the dark for an 8 am? Invest in a mirror with a light, specifically one that gifts off natural, daylight hues.

10. Coffee Machine

  • Espresso, chai teas and much more! Who doesn’t love their early morning coffee? I know I can’t live without my daily dose of tea!

11. Batteries

  • You might be thinking right now why would I need to bring a pack of batteries? When I say trust me, trust me because I needed so many batteries setting up my dorm room, for things like remotes and lights!

Top 5 Picks in Dorm Bedding for Guys


Dorm Bedding for Guys

When we think of guys’ dorm rooms, we usually think monochromatic, plain, and drab. It’s not that boys don’t want style and design, but it’s more that guys don’t have the choices girls do when picking out the most important part of their room — their dorm bedding. However, OCM is totally changing that by offering trendy and guy-approved bedding patterns. These top picks in dorm bedding for guys has something for everyone — from ultra modern to folksy Americana.

1. Black Easton

Black-and-white doesn’t have to be boring. In fact, with the right pattern, it can transform a blank canvas of a dorm room into a space full of easy and laid back style. Black Easton is the perfect pick for guys who like it sleek or who want to incorporate tons of color into other dorm decor. For example, if you love hanging records or tons of music and movie posters, Black Easton puts the focus on your walls instead of on your bed while complimenting artwork.

2. Red and Varsity Stripe

This year, the top looks for guys’ dorms is the vintage, rustic look. Red and Varsity Stripe bedding is perfect if you’re a southern boy at heart, a huge fan of country music, or just a guy who wants a bit of traditional color in his room. Accent it with dark wood pieces such as a hanging guitar or framed pictures of your friends and family. Add distressed storage units like an old trunk or suitcases for even easier style choices.

3. Hunter and Hampton Hunter

Hunter green and college dorm bedding goes together like peanut butter and jelly. The Hunter and Hampton Hunter bedding does a double take on this favorite color scheme. Using a design that resembles your favorite sleeping bag for camping, you’ll love how comfortable this bedding looks and feels. Plus, you can add in tons of clever outdoorsy touches to emphasize the theme. For example, use camping style lighting like an old lantern  for a look that impresses without trying too hard.

4. Gray Hampton Plaid

For modern minimalism, check out the Gray Hampton Plaid. You’ll get a plaid pattern that is uber popular with guys while the gray and black color pattern gives the bedding a glossy look without drawing too much attention. This bedding would also go great with an old-school gamer theme given the strong lines and geometric shapes. Add a pop of color in your choice of fleece or a throw blanket, such as a kiwi green or deep red to evoke the theme of Pac-Man or Space Invaders. Dress it up with hanging video game controllers and posters.

5. Light Blue and Gibson Plaid

We’ve talked a ton about black, gray, red, and green, but there is one color that still reigns supreme with boy’s bedding: classic blue. While dark navy has been winning as of late, we think it’s time to go to the light side with the Light Blue and Gibson Plaid design. It’s perfect for a laid back guy who prefers to spend his time lounging around at the beach or around the quad. Add tans and sand colors, such as a shag rug or draping, to complete a natural theme that goes from fall, to winter, and back to spring without much need to change it up.

Getting to Know Your New College Roommate


meeting your college roommate

One of the scariest parts of going off to college or living in the dorms for the first time is getting your roommate assignment. For the next school year, you’ll share a space, sleep next to, and most likely hang out with a person you barely know. That can be quite intimidating!

While there are plenty of roommate horror stories out there, the majority of roommate situations are friendly, and many turn into awesome friendships. By putting in the effort to get to know your college roommate, you can build a positive relationship without the drama.

Plan Room Decor Early

Before you move in, you’re going to want to check in with your roommate on some of the logistics of your room. For example, how would you like the room to be laid out (especially if your furniture can be moved around or stacked) or if the person plans to bring a fridge or a TV.

If all is going well with the more logistical side of dorm living, why not try planning room decor together too? Talk style ideas or coordinating themes. Show them some of the bedding you like or plan a craft night the first few days you are there. You can even make a date for a shopping trip to a local thrift store that gets great reviews or share a Pinterest board if distance makes it hard to connect in advance.

Set Aside Time

With school starting up, boxes to unpack, and nerves on an all-time high, it can be hard to find time to just sit down and talk. That’s why it is important to have a roommate-only time set aside within the first week or two of moving in. This may be a few hours to watch a movie or a trip to the cafeteria with just you two.

Your time can be totally laid back and just an informal way of talking through some questions. Or you can bring along a roommate agreement or roommate rule list to talk through. By doing it in public or with a fun activity like trying out a new restaurant, there’s less chance it will be awkward!

Play the Roommate Game

Breaking the ice can be a bit uncomfortable. After all, how do you naturally ask how many siblings your roommate has or if they like country music or rap? You can get these answers by playing a fun getting to know you roommate game! Make it just between the two of you or invite your next door neighbors to play along too. You can even suggest this to your floor’s RA as an activity night idea.

The game is pretty simple, and if you’ve seen the TV show The Newlywed Game, you already know how to play. One roommate is given a piece of paper and a marker to answer questions such as “What is your favorite food?” while the other roommate is outside. When a group of three or four questions are asked, bring in the second roommate and have them try to guess what their roommate said. For every correct answer, the “team” gets a point.

While this game works mid-year when you’ve really gotten to know them, this game is also totally fun to play in the beginning as a guessing game. You may find you have a ton in common!

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


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


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.

Fashionable Dorm Room Picks for Fans of Ombre


ombre bedding feature

Do you want cool, chic, totally in-style fashion for your dorm room? Look no further than the trend that is taking over just about every part of interior décor: ombre! Using a color scheme that goes from one light shade to a dark shade (and sometimes vice versa), this pattern is effortless to fit in with almost every theme or color imaginable. Ready to take on ombre? We picked out four fashionable dorm room ombre ideas you can duplicate on a budget.


Do you want ombre to be your staple pick in your dorm room? There’s nothing better than picking one of the best focal features to show it off: your bed. Your bed is where you’ll hang out, where you’ll crash after a long night, where you’ll study — and so much more. Given that, you may as well make it ombre-central.

Aqua Ombre

This year, we’re loving OCM’s Aqua Ombre bedding and bath set. You’ll get a focal color (aqua blue, perfect for beach and earth tone lovers) in sheets and towels. It then comes with a boho patterned sheet and pillowcase in the secondary colors. Top it off with the comforter in the ombre going from gray to aqua and you have an already designed bed to start your ombre obsession off on the right foot.

Wall Art

If you can’t decide on just one color or hate the whole single-tone, uniform look, spruce it up with ombre! Purchase a ton of cheap picture frames from discount stores and a couple of cans of spray paint in ombre tones (remember dark to light). Hang according to color for a fun and functional look.

You can use leftover spray paint to make wall art canvases with a favorite design. Buy cheap canvas from a craft store, tape down your image or design, and paint in your darkest color first. Let it dry, and then add on additional colors either by row or letting the still-wet paint to roll down for a messy tie dye look.

Lamp Shades and Lighting

Stark white lighting is out, and blasts of color are in! Luckily, you can create an ombre look with little effort or money. Pick up a lamp from a thrift store or garage sale and remove the shade. Find the right paint for the material and do a roll technique using a flat pan full of your paint choices. Roll the shade section by section till you get an ombre look you love.

You can also purchase lighting you that can fill up the base with your favorite things. We love this look for adding memories or little trinkets you can’t easily display. One idea is to pick ombre colored sand and have each friend in your circle add their color to the other friend’s lamp base until it’s full. It’s a great symbol of unity and friendship without sacrificing style.

Window Dressings

We love old-school tie-dye because it’s so easy to duplicate and personalize without spending a fortune. It’s also a skill you probably picked up years ago at sleep away camp. You can use the same methods to make ombre window drapes perfect for your dorm room.

Step one is buying cotton white, tan, or gray drapes you don’t mind messing up, along with fabric dye, a plastic painter’s tarp, and a buckets for each color you’re using. Measure about half way up the drapes from the bottom and dip the curtains in the lightest color first. Let dry completely on the tarp and then dip in the next darkest color. Repeat until you get to the end with the darkest. You may love this ombre look so much you’ll want to duplicate it with your clothes or even shower curtains!