So, you just moved into your dorm. Blank walls line the room. It feels halfway between a hotel room and a closet. So how do you make it “you”?
As someone who is currently unemployed, I really have no business spending money on luxuries such as posters, but when my school has a sale I really can’t help but indulge.
Poster sale? Yup, the student society of my university is having a poster sale, with some really large, colourful, beautiful prints being sold for as little as under 10$! Thank you McGill! Since I moved into my college dorm, I haven’t really had the time to personalize it… but now’s my chance!
So what should you look for when purchasing poster? And how do you choose between the endless amazing options?
There are a few things you should decide on before hand:
- How many posters you want/what’s your budget
- What colour scheme you’ll use (if any)
- Where you’ll put them/what are your dimensions
Now it’s not absolutely critical to have all these things decided beforehand, but it will help you navigate the stores. When thinking about how many you want, think about the statement you’re trying to make. Are you trying to use a few pieces to give a general vibe to the room? Or are you trying to put every one of your interests on display? This also takes into consideration the budget your working with. Just how much are you willing to spend on posters? If you’re operating on a student budget, this is something to greatly consider. Regarding space, just make sure not to buy posters that don’t fit on the wall. Or if you intend to place it somewhere try to find out the approximate dimensions.
Regarding colour scheme, it’s important to figure out if you want one at all. You don’t have to pick all water colour posters or all black/white or all red themed posters to create a colour scheme, it can be more subtle than that. To take my room for example, the three posters that are next to each other all have black backgrounds, and are all of the same size. Despite that the art and content are completely different, they still work together since they have some commonalities. The other thing to consider with colour scheme is how the colours fit with the wall colour, and the furniture. Not only do your posters have to work together, they have to fit into their surroundings.
So once you’ve arrived at a poster shop, what do you do? I would recommend spending a few hours just browsing. Take photos (and take down the names) of some of the poster you’re drawn to. This might only be a few, but it might also be a dozen! Give yourself some time to think about what you want. Personally, I found that several of the posters I was drawn to at first didn’t appeal to me the next day. Now this is something you’ll be looking at every day for the next year, so don’t rush the process. Once you’ve eliminated the ones you don’t like, it’s time to narrow it down to the desired number of posters. Here’s where you’ll really want to think about where they’ll be going and how they work together. After this, it only becomes a matter or purchasing them and putting them up!
A staple of ever college dorm, the bulletin board is a cheap creative way to showcase some of your interests. Here is the space where you don’t have to care about colour or order. I like to pin up birthday cards, reminders, jewellery, or any other cute doo-dads I have lying around. It’s a great place to put old ticket stubs, airplane tickets, or any other items you use to keep inspired. These can be nice during long study days.
Keeping in touch with friends and family can be tough during university, especially if you live far from them. A photo collage above your bed is a nice way to remind you to call them. What I like to do is write their phone numbers on the photo. And this doesn’t only have to be a collage of people from back home, add your new friends to your “visual phone book” too. When the goings get tough (and they will) look to your collage and remember all the people out there that love and support you.
Declutter What You Can
“Wait, decluttering doesn’t make my room more personal! Why would you suggest that Angela?”
It’s easy to get into the habit of just leaving things around. As I type this, there’s a pile of water bottles and receipts sitting next to me, along with an umbrella and a dirty shirt. It’s easy to forget how much space you have when there’s trash of various sorts lying about. Putting everything in its own spot is important – not only will it keep you more organized, it’ll prevent the buildup of bad vibes, prepare you better for living with others, and make it a more welcoming space. Put clutter into clutter designated areas, even if that means in a drawer. A positive mindset is important in university, and having space to yourself is an important part of good mental health.
And Other Accessories
After you’ve exhausted these options and cleared out some space, here comes the time to put your favourite items on display. This varies depending on the person. For me, this means a mountain of tea on my desk, my favourite novel on my table, and a stuffed dog from home on my bed. These little touches of personality are what really complete the look: small everyday items that are uniquely used by you. This could mean batman figurines, a fruit basket, your favourite beer mug, your bong…
But In the End…
The only thing that’s really going to make your room look lived-in is by living in it! You’ll leave your mark on your dorm no matter what, so don’t worry too much about it.
Have any other suggestions? Let me know in the comments!