Image: Unsplash
Image: Unsplash

Making your student room a home away from home

For freshers and finalists alike, being greeted with an empty room can feel daunting and exciting at the same time. After all, with many of us having spent the last few months at home, we may feel resistant to leaving behind our home comforts.

It’s normal for us all to feel homesick at times, especially considering the very abnormal university experience we’ll be having this year. So, given that we might be spending a little more time in our university rooms, this piece hopefully will give you some ideas on making your space feel like home.

My first tip goes to anyone who, like myself, is an anti-minimalist. I always try to decorate my university room differently from my bedroom at home but I still want my space to feel homely, and so filling it with things that I love achieves this lived-in feel. Of course, this might not be everyone’s cup of tea. However, for anyone with a fear of magnolia walls, taking the time to adorn them with whatever makes you smile will help make your room a positive place where you’ll want to spend time.

Why not bring something from your hometown with you

As a fresher, I made use of the poster sales held on campus along with bringing a memory box from home to help fill my pinboard with just about anything that held a sentimental meaning. Concert tickets, photos, train tickets, travel keepsakes, postcards and letters are all perfect things to jazz up a wall or noticeboard. Naturally, you can always add to it with the memories you’ll share with people at university.

If Warwick feels worlds away from home, why not bring something from your hometown with you? If you live along the coast, bring a shell or pebble from the seaside. If you’re from a city or another country, bring with you something that represents that place to you – even if it means making your room look like a London souvenir shop.

Another idea that will save you money and make your room feel snug is to bring things from home to decorate your space. Bedding, decorative cushions, or a rug from home will reduce the price of your shopping list and give your room more personality and texture. Bringing your favourite books with you will help fill up empty bookshelves and provide you with something to read when you want to feel comforted.

Greenery made my space feel fresh and alive 

If you’d rather a clean break away from your home room, Facebook marketplace, Shpock and Gumtree are perfect apps for sourcing bits and pieces to jazz up your accommodation. Charity shops and car boot sales are also not to be missed, offering hidden gems to make your room come alive. Not to mention, your own DIY projects such as making homemade bunting and wall hangings. 

House plants are also a great investment. Having plants in my room to look after made my room feel less like a brief transaction and more like a place that was mine, however briefly. Greenery made my space feel fresh and alive. With it being scientifically proven that plants improve mental health, productivity, air quality and your immune system, what’s not to love?  If you’re the opposite to me and prefer a more minimalist interior, small pops of greenery around your room will help ward off the clinical feel that new rooms in new places can sometimes give off.

For those of you moving into a student house, there’s a TikTok trend involving students giving themselves a tiny budget to renovate their university house. It’s a great idea to ensure you’re getting value for money for your home’s social spaces. Regarding shared living rooms, stocking up on board games, bringing game consoles from home, and having a snack box to fill up for movie nights are cheap ways of ensuring it’s a space where you all gravitate to relax and socialise.

There are loads of ways to make your university room your second home

Adding magnets on the fridge to put up notes and photos is also an easy way of making sure the kitchen is the heart of your home. All of these bits can be found in most charity shops so we can all make our student rooms and houses feel like ours without making a dent into our student loans. 

There are loads of ways to make your university room your second home. Ultimately, decorate your bedroom in any way that makes you feel happy. If it becomes your safe place during this unprecedented academic year, you’re onto a winner and if you can’t quite create that homely touch, remember that your loved ones are only a phone call or FaceTime away.

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