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4 important dorm tips to make your neighbors love you

Photo by Gleren Meneghin on Unsplash

Living in a dorm can be heaven or hell. You can make a ton of friends or a host of enemies. And this can make your studies easy, or incredibly difficult. The fact that you clicked on this link shows that you have an intent to make a few friendships, but as the road to hell is paved with good intentions, that alone won’t do.

You’ll also need to know what to do (and actually do it, of course) to make sure that your dorm becomes a phenomenal place filled with fantastic people. So here are some of the things you’ll want to consider:

Be flexible

Not everybody lives like you. They’ll have different expectations, different wants and different needs. For example, some people might be incredibly extroverted and want to talk all the time, while other people are introverted and desperate for alone time (here’s a chart to help you). Some people might like to party, while other people might like to read a book. So on and so forth.

The thing to realize is that your way isn’t the only way to live your life. Everyone has their own vision of what is right for them. Be accommodating to that. Understand that just because they don’t like what you like doesn’t mean they’re necessarily bad people. They’re just different.

And what a boring world this would be if everybody was just like you.

Communicate clearly

Being flexible does not mean swallowing everything other people do until you explode. That might keep the peace initially but can cause all sorts of resentment down the road. Instead, make sure you communicate clearly and ask other people to do the same -right from the get go.

Do note that ‘communicating clearly’ is not the same as ‘getting angry and shouting’. In fact, raising your voice in the hope of getting your point across is almost always a bad idea as this will cause people to stop seeing it as communication and instead as an attack. And when people feel attacked, they pull up the drawbridge and get ready to defend themselves. That’s not a good place to compromise from.

So if you’re angry about something, stop. Slow down. Process the anger. Then start the conversation from a neutral place. From here you’ll be far more likely to actually get them to understand why you don’t appreciate the behavior.

Try starting with a compliment as it will soften whatever criticism is coming their way.

Realize that we don’t see what other people do

We always know exactly what we did for the dorm, but we rarely see what other people did while we weren’t there. This psychological bias causes us to overestimate how much we believe we did and underestimate everybody else’s contribution. The result is that it’s often very easy for you to feel you’re doing far more and working far harder than everybody else (even when this isn’t necessary true or isn’t true to the extent you think it is).

For that reason, before you start yelling, ask to make a list of all the activities people have already done so far. This will make it far easier to give an overall accounting (and make it clear to whoever isn’t pulling their weight that they really aren’t).

Do stuff for them

Particularly when you first come together, make sure you go out of your way to do some nice things for everybody else to show your willingness to create a good dorm. Do something that you’re good at and that you like doing. Perhaps you like to bake cookies. Perhaps you’ve got a good setup with which you can show movies. Or perhaps you’ve got a car with which you can go pick up stuff before you guys have your weekly sit down. It can also be academic, like helping them with a paper, or just by sending them links to a citation program or some cool new apps.

Sure, not everybody will appreciate what you’re doing, but enough people will that it becomes a good idea. This will give you some goodwill and give people the benefit of the doubt in future situations. Hopefully you won’t need it, but hey. Who knows what curveballs life will throw?

Be careful with doing this kind of stuff all the time, however. It is better to do it occasionally and not turn it into a commitment. Otherwise, people will stop seeing it as a kindness and start seeing it as an expectation. And when that happens, it can often end up backfiring on you.

A good strategy is for you to do different things. And if they ask you do something again, smile sweetly and stand your ground. You’ll quickly remind them not to take anything for granted – particularly not you.

This article was contributed by guest author James Scott.

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Dorm Life: Easy Ways To Keep Your Room Clean

Photo by Sylwia Pietruszka on Unsplash

For many of us going to college, dorms are even better than having your own apartment. It’s a place where you’re going to meet a lot of new friends and attend amazing parties. There you have complete freedom – no one can tell you what to do and when to do it – and that can be seen with one glance at your schedule. With parties and classes to attend, it will be packed. The only problem with this is that it leaves very little time to keep your room clean and organized. You’ll often find yourself entering your room just to find your bed. If you don’t want to break your neck in search of that bed, follow these easy steps to get that mess under control.

Turn the cleaning into an activity

When you live in a dorm, you probably have at least one roommate. If you join forces, you’ll be able to keep the mess under control. It doesn’t sound like fun, but the cleaning process can be turned into a painless activity if you do it together, especially if you and your roommate have different classes and hang out with different friends – this could be your quality time together. But it’s not enough just to make this decision – you need a schedule. Create your cleaning schedule at the beginning of every semester and stick to it. You should get used to it pretty quickly and it will become a part of the routine.

Set up a collective budget

One of the problems when it comes to cleaning your room in a dorm is the lack of cleaning equipment. Most students would rather die than spend their money on something they hate to use. But you can even start with just a pack of wipes to wipe down things you come into contact with every day. Their disinfecting ability will lessen the probability of you catching a disease. But of course, this isn’t enough. What about all that dust that’s been accumulating for who knows how long? Face it – you need a decent vacuum cleaner. But so does every other student in the dorm, so why not set up a collective budget? Just get everyone on your floor to give a couple of bucks and buy one vacuum cleaner that you will share. It’s not like there will be a line for it, as long as you stick to your cleaning day on the schedule. And one more thing – remember to change the bag.

Free the space (you already don’t have)

Rooms in dorms are usually very small, so why they are so hard to keep clean and organized? Probably because of all that clutter you somehow managed to fit in there. We all tend to keep various things we don’t need because they have some sentimental value for us. It’s normal that in dorms people have even more of those things, especially if you’re far away from home. But in these small places, those sentiments can make you break your neck. If you’re not ready to say goodbye to some of them and your only closet is already full, you can always choose one of the various Supereasy storage options that will allow you to keep them all close to your heart and out of sight. But that doesn’t mean you can just store everything and there will be no more need for cleaning. Unfortunately, dust and germs cannot be stored, but they can be kept under control if you stick to your schedule. We all know that college life can be like a tornado, but your room is not supposed to be hit by one.

This article was contributed by guest author Sasha Duncan.

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A Well-Rested Dorm Life: 8 Dorm Must-Haves for Better Sleeping

Photo by Christopher Jolly on Unsplash

You’re finally going to college, and your school is far away from home. The thought of living independently, away from your parents, excites you. But while it is indeed exciting, there are some challenges you’ll need to deal with along the way when embarking on your journey to college life.

There will be a new culture to adapt to, and a new bunch of people to meet. Accompanying this mix of excitement and worry is the inevitable pain of dorm living – learning to share space with strangers and give up your most precious privacy. And with your family far from you, you may feel homesick and lonely.

As a result, you may have sleepless nights that could have an adverse impact on your academic performance. In fact, various studies point to lack of sleep as one of the leading causes of a student’s faring poorly in school.

Without sufficient sleep, your learning ability, memory, and concentration drop to a low. Getting quality sleep should be a top priority for all students, especially those living in dorms. Here are eight must-haves to bring to your dorm that should help you sleep better.

Lightweight Bedding Sets

Cramped dorms are usually hot. Covering yourself in thick and heavy blankets is an awful idea to start your dorm life. You may also ditch the idea of using bed sheets, blankets, and pillow cases made of synthetic materials because they trap body heat and cause you discomfort when you are sleeping.

Ideal beds and bedding sets to have in your dorm room, which you can get from reputable sites such as Focus on Furniture, are lightweight and made of breathable materials such as cotton, linen, or wool because they don’t trap body heat and can give you a good night’s sleep easily.

Comfortable Pillows

When choosing pillows, you must choose those that can provide you with the ultimate comfort. Make sure your pillow can comfortably support your head, neck, and shoulders, so you will feel energized and ready when you go to school the next day.

For pillows, there are three different thicknesses to consider – plush, mid-plush, and firm. You can choose the thickness of your preference. There are also memory foam pillows that can provide ample support by molding to the shape of your head.

Cozy Mattress Toppers

Most dorms already have mattresses, so bringing one of your own in your temporary abode may not be a suitable idea. But if you find the mattress in your dorm room to be inferior or too stiff, you can add a layer of comfort by laying a mattress topper on top of it.

A mattress topper can add a significant layer of cushioning and support for your body that can contribute to a better sleep.

Mattress toppers nowadays come in a variety of materials, densities, and thicknesses for you to be able to find your ideal level of comfort and softness. For example, if you want extra support for your back and limbs, latex and memory foam mattress toppers are excellent options.

Electric Fan

According to studies, the suggested room temperature when sleeping is between 60 to 67 degrees. Our body temperature decreases when we try to snooze and these room temperatures can help facilitate sleep.

Although most dorms nowadays have a ceiling fan or air-conditioner in every room, bringing your desk fan or stand fan is still advisable for practical purposes. For one, using an electric fan keeps your room well-ventilated, and secondly, it will create white noise to muffle the sound of vehicles outside and any other unwelcome noises.

Blackout Curtains or Blinds

Harsh light can ruin your sleep by repressing the production of melatonin – the hormone responsible for preparing your body to sleep.

For an optimal sleep, drape your room with blackout curtains or blinds to prevent street lights from getting in through your windows.

Eye Mask

Wearing an eye mask to bed is a prudent option if you want to get better sleep, especially when you have a roommate who likes to keep the lights on late.

For optimum comfort, choose an eye mask that is lightweight, fits comfortably around your nose, is made of breathable cotton, and one that blocks light totally, so you will get your much-needed sleep.

Ear Plugs

Unnecessary sounds and loud noises can hinder us from having our desired sleep. Studies have shown that for a room to be an ideal environment for sleeping it should have less than the standard 30 decibels of sound.

If you go past that point, your mind gets disturbed, which will prevent you from sleeping. Hence, to fight unnecessary noises, consider wearing earplugs made of soft foam to shut out unwanted sounds from your roommate’s snore or loud music.

Air-Purifying Plants

It is certainly difficult to sleep when air pollutants such as mold, pollen, and bacteria pervade your room space. If you want a solution to this problem, consider bringing some air-cleaning houseplants to your room.

Air-purifying plants such as aloe vera and Chinese evergreen absorb air pollutants which cause coughing and sneezing. They are also easy to care for because they can grow in low light and don’t need a lot of watering.

Takeaway

It is important that you prepare yourself before going to college. Remember, your dorm will be a far different environment from the one you live in with your parents. It is essential that you learn these must-haves to bring to your dorm if you want to get a quality sleep!

This article was contributed by guest author Janis Walker.

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6 Habits That Prevent Pests in Your Dorm Room

The unnerving truth is that pests are a common thing in dorm rooms. You’ve got a lot of young people starting to live on their own for the first time, and without the supervision of their parents, this is where cleanliness often becomes an issue. So you can come across anything, from ladybugs and flies, to the more problematic cockroaches and mice. A lot of students inadvertently bring pests onto campus along with them. Here are 6 habits that can help you prevent pests in your dorm room.

Wash and dry the dishes

When it comes to dishes, even the people who are generally pretty careful about cleanliness tend to leave dirty dishes in the sink. Some think that rinsing the dishes off and leaving the washing for the next morning is good enough. The truth is that dirty dishes have pieces of food on them, be it small or big, and these leftovers are an invitation for various pests. This includes ants, mice, and a bunch of other crawlers.

Seal and put away your food

Pests are obviously attracted to food, so it’s no good leaving leftovers around for them. You need to put away food as soon as you’re done with it, and the best way to do it is to seal it properly. A simple plastic wrap won’t cut it. The fact is that you need to think about the food that isn’t cooked as well. For example, mice eat cereal, pretzels, and noodles. Store these things in containers that have tight lids, and keep them up on high shelves.

Vacuum and dust

Regular vacuuming and dusting are a necessity. It takes care of all the crumbs and little bits that might attract pests, and it also takes care of webs, insect eggs, and other things that pests need to survive and multiply. Dusting is important, because some insects, such as the hearty cockroach, eat dust and dirt. Keeping your room clean makes it easy to spot pests on time.

Declutter

Students often get lazy about decluttering their room, because there is no one there to remind them to do it. You may think that all those stacks of paper on your desk and junk in the corner is not much of a problem. The fact is that critters and bugs just love clutter. Spiders pretty quickly spin their webs in piles of papers. Rodents love to find their home in piles of clothes or paper. So, in order to keep your room pest-free, make sure it’s tidy.

Empty the garbage

Emptying the garbage regularly not only takes care of the smell, but also makes sure that any leftovers are out of your dorm room and no longer an attraction for pests. You should have a garbage can with a tight-fitting lid. You shouldn’t just empty it on a daily basis, but clean it often as well.

Get rid of standing water and moisture

Standing water is what attracts a lot of bugs and rodents, and warmth and darkness are perfect for cockroaches. Silverfish are attracted to moisture in places that are 21.1 to 26.7 degrees Celsius. Wet spots are also an invitation for gnats and flies. Mice and rats are always on the lookout for food, water, and shelter. According to the experts at Pest Works, pest and termite inspections are necessary in severe cases of pest infestation. So, in order to prevent these pests, mop up spilled water, make sure there are no leaky faucets, and throw out pet water at night.

Conclusion

Pests can be a real problem for your life in the dorm. But if you stick to these practices and keep your room clean, you shouldn’t have any issues. Remember to remove anything that might attract pests into your living quarters.

This article was contributed by guest author Hannah Thomas.

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Tips for Moving Your Things to Your New College Home

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Moving your things to college is not an easy feat. Understandably enough, it’s the last thing anyone has in mind before the final week at home rolls in. You have to make sure you’ve brought everything you’ll need for yourself, and it’s hard to be detailed and careful when you’ve hit panic mode. Parents usually aren’t helpful in these situations either. In order to avoid hectic packing, here are some tips for moving your things to your new college home.

Start with the essentials
Once the move-in day has come, both you and your parents should be prepared well enough to avoid any possibility of panic. The goal is to start with the most important items so, if you need to rush it near the end, you won’t be missing anything essential. These are the items you’ll need on a daily basis and ones you can’t function without on college campuses. Additionally, we are talking about items that are, if you forget them, too expensive to buy once again. Start off with your computer and phone, your ID and other crucial documentation, as well as some basic clothes you’ll require based on the climate in the area of the college.

Image from pexels.com

Size of your suitcases and saving space
Of course, you can’t bring everything you own along with you. Limit the number of shoes and boots you’ll carry with you since they can take up a lot of space. Make a careful assessment of how much you can carry based on the number and size of your suitcases. As far as jackets and coats go – they are bulky pieces of clothing that take up a lot of space, so bring only one of each along with you. Once you’ve finished packing, see if there is still enough space to add the extra jacket. Likewise, you can cut down on the items you can afford and buy once you arrive at the campus.

About hygiene
You’ve probably been responsible for the cleanliness of your room in the family house. Be that as it may, moving into a dorm room with a roommate will double your cleaning requirements. Make sure to bring cleaning supplies along with you, and pack them well in several layers of plastic bags to avoid leaking. The last thing you need is your clothes drenched in a tile-cleaning chemical. There’s also a big probability you’ll have to utilize your cleaning skills as soon as you arrive. It’s not rare to discover your new room is left dirty. Use paper towels and chemicals you’ve packed to clean all the surfaces thoroughly.

Image from pexels.com

As far as shipping goes
Once you get into your designated dorm room, you’ll need some essentials that will make your life easier. First of all, you’ll need sheets, pillows, blankets and even some furnishing. Obviously, you can’t just pack all these items and bring them along with you in a car or a minivan that will probably be filled to the brim with your suitcases. Instead, you should ship these “large scale” items via a transportation agency. There are some great choices for companies specializing in removals like Brisbane removals that offer fast, safe and efficient services for an affordable price, so you shouldn’t lose sleep over this part of moving.

Once you arrive
If you organize yourself well enough, your packages will be already waiting for you when you arrive to college. Once you’ve finally settled in, do another run through and check if you’ve got everything you need for a solid start to the semester. If you’ve followed the above tips, you should have most of what you need with you, and if you’ve forgotten something, it probably won’t be a crucial item nor something unaffordable.

Moving in the dorm room on your first day of college is an important activity for the entire family. However, even though your parents will relish this moment, always remember this is your time to shine and start functioning as an adult, independent human being. Learning organizational skills and how to determine priorities begins with packing for college, and it only gets more exciting from there.

This article was contributed by guest author Lana Hawkins.

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Ultimate Feng Shui Guide For Your Dorm Room

Are you feeling unproductive and unmotivated when in your dorm room? Even for people who have never heard of feng shui, the idea that a person’s state of mind is reflected in their living space (or vice versa) seems pretty intuitive. So, studying in a clean and organized room will surely make you feel more competent. Wherever you live, you can improve your life and increase your happiness by rearranging the objects in your home and creating a warm, welcoming living space.

In Chinese, “feng” means wind and “shui” means water. These two elements are symbols for creating chi flow. Chi is the vital energy that inhabits and flows through all living things. Even though everyone and everything possesses chi, it’s possible for chi to become blocked or misdirected. This can cause distress, bad luck, and inner turmoil. Following the principles of feng shui allows you to harness good chi and avoid bad energy (sha). If your college dorm room and your life could use a burst of positive energy, follow these tips in order to make your everyday life more productive and happy:

The important aspects of feng shui

  • First and foremost, get rid of clutter in your living space. Keeping your room clean and organized promotes productivity, happiness, and improves chi flow. Get rid of anything you don’t need in your dorm, such as old books and clothes. When packing for college, only bring the essentials. Eliminating old, unused objects from your room will free your mind and open you up to new ideas and experiences.
  • In feng shui, there are nine areas of the room or house that are associated with growth in specific parts of your life. Focus on these areas with the right colors and decor to boost everything from creativity to romance.
  • Be careful with furniture placement. While a small dorm room can make it a little difficult to rearrange, try your best to make sure that your bed is facing the direction of the doorway, but is not directly in line with it. That way, energy from the outside world is let in, but will not come in so strong as to disrupt your chi flow.

Sleeping

Placing just the foot of the bed in the right direction isn’t enough, though. To have best rest energy and flow you will have to work a little harder. Keep your computer away from your bed, and if that’s not possible, at least turn it off and cover it when it’s time for sleeping. Place your bed so that it is not directly under or next to a window. If your bed must be in this position, keep a heavy curtain over the window at night or install blockout blinds. Books facing in the direction of your head while sleeping, mirrors near the bed and plants in the close vicinity to the bed are energy stealers, so try to keep them in other positions.

Desk

Your desk is your shrine. You need to focus your energy and intellect in order to prepare for exams, so it is an important aspect of your room and good placement according to feng shui can help you focus better. If possible, put it in a northeast corner, also known as the area of knowledge. Keep your desk organized to stay focused and relaxed as you study. When sitting at your desk, face the door, and if that’s not possible, put a mirror in front of you so you can see the door.

Decorations

While arranging your furniture for the best flow of chi is important, decoration can also help make most of the positive energy. Mirrors, flowers, and plants are all good for your energy. You can paint your room various colors that promote different aspirations, however if you aren’t allowed to do that, you can instead decorate it with posters. Pictures of nature or nature elements are soothing.

Conclusion

A good chi flow can increase your energy level and improve your overall life. However, keep in mind that feng shui is a very deep and complex philosophy and by reading this you’ve barely scraped the surface. Nonetheless, a simplified version of it can surely help for a simple dorm room.

This article was contributed by guest author Helen Bradford.

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Light in the Study: Why Having a Well Lit Study Room is Important for You

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Your college finals are almost here and you will probably have to pull several all-nighters in order to survive the semester. However, even though you might be desperate, you shouldn’t study in a poorly lit room. Designate a room for your studying sessions, but remember to let the light inside. Lighting in your study room is essential, because it can greatly affect your productivity. Productivity and the hours you are able to spend in there will depend on how tired your eyes are, and they get tired faster in weak light. Therefore, make sure to incorporate several layers of lighting so you will be able to pull off many hours of studying. Here’s what you should consider.

Embrace natural light
Moms always say you shouldn’t read in the dark, and they are right. Even though you think you see well, you don’t know how much effort your eyes are actually making in order to read what’s in front of you. If there’s not enough light, your eyes will try to sharpen the image and you will end up with eye strain and fatigue. One of the best ways to prevent this is by letting natural daylight into your study room. Rely on big windows or install a skylight if possible. Also, try and place your desk beside the windows so you receive as much light as possible. However, if you prefer studying during the night or evening, you will need some other lighting solutions.

General lighting
Besides the natural light, it is also important to have general lighting. General lighting will illuminate the entire room, and it is glare-free. For this purpose you can rely on ceiling and wall lights, as well as spotlights. When picking general lighting, you should focus on finding warm white light with a high proportion of indirect light, which will reduce the stress in your eyes. Another option is cold white light which will help improve your performance, focus and productivity while studying. However, some of these general lights might warm up the room too much during summer. If you want to combine quality illumination with some cooling, you can opt for ceiling fans with lights. These are great for illumination, and will create a much cozier environment so you can literally stay cool. Plus, the soft humming will relax you and enable you to focus on your work.

Task lighting
While general lights are great for overall atmosphere, you will need some more help if you plan on pulling all-nighters. Set up a task light on your desk or station for your projects. Task lighting will reduce glare and shadows that are caused by your computer. Use a desk lamp with adjustable lights to easily set the mood you need depending on how much you use your laptop. If you have a station for doing your projects, consider a bigger lamp, some pendant lighting fixtures, or wall-mounted lights that can hang above and illuminate your work. Just make sure to find the right angle in order to avoid those troubling shadows that hinder your productivity.

Illuminate your shelves and cabinets
Lighting in your study isn’t only beneficial for reducing eye strain. It can also set the right atmosphere for studying, which will make the whole process less painful. Add some light to your shelves and cabinets. You can even accentuate certain objects or points for a dramatic effect. Plus, by lighting up these areas, it will be easier to find your books and workbooks, and you will be less stressed when you realize the book you were looking for is not forever lost after all.

Take your mother’s advice and don’t read in a poorly lit room. A well-lit study room is important, because it can affect you in many ways. Your eyes won’t get tired as easily, you will create a relaxing atmosphere and you might even enjoy studying for your finals.

This article was contributed by guest Lana Hawkins.

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Off to College: How to Handle Moving Away from Home

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When it’s time to leave home and go to college, there will likely be a blend of emotions. You’ll be happy to further your education so that you’ll have a career that will allow you to support yourself. On the other hand, if it’s your first time away from home (and for many college students it is) there will be a bit of sadness as you are leaving the people who love you. Even if you’re moving a short distance away, things will change, from the way you prepare meals to the people you see and talk to on a daily basis.

Help with Moving
Spend the last few days at home getting help from family and friends with packing and moving. This is a time to share memories, exchange addresses and ensure that you’ll always be a phone call or an email away. If you want to spend as much time as possible with friends and family, consider hiring a moving company, such as Bekins Ban Lines Inc, who can help get everything packed and ready to go without you worrying as much about how to get items from one location to another.

Make Friends
If you do everything you can to make friends when you move to college, it can take your mind off of being away from home. Join a few clubs or get involved with community organizations. Talk to your roommate if you share a dorm room. Don’t be afraid to talk to new people in your classes or in different areas on campus, such as the library or the cafeteria. Once you make new friends, set up activities that you can do together to keep you occupied.

A Bit of Home in the Dorm
Bring a few things from home that you can keep in your dorm room. Hang pictures on the walls, keep a stuffed animal or two on a shelf, or keep special cards in a box so that you can look at them. Remember that you can always go home if you want to see your family, especially if your college is a short distance away. And these days, FaceTime easily lets you feel like you’re back in the same room as your loved ones!

Become an Adult
Whether it’s learning how to iron your clothes or how to cook, being at college gives you a way to learn how to be an adult. Take time to learn the skills needed to become as independent as you can and/or to have a family of your own one day. When you go back home, you can show off these skills to impress your parents and the rest of your family and friends.

Going to college is a fun time, but it can be associated with heartbreak as you leave home for the first time. Meet new people, and discover what you’re good at. Keep communication lines open, and enjoy the new ways of life that college has to offer.

This article was contributed by guest author Hannah Whittenly.

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Creative Comforts: How to Make a Home Out of Your First Dorm

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Going off to college can be a very exciting and very overwhelming time for many students. This may be the first time you have ever lived away from your family and it can be scary. To quell your impending homesickness, bring a few of the comforts of home with you. Your dorm room will be your new home for the next few months, so you might as well take the time to make it feel like it. Here are a few tips to help you get your new dorm feeling like a true home.

Photos
Bring photos of your friends and family from home. Frame them, make a collage, or get creative with it. Decorating with photos will make you feel closer to home and remind you of good things when you have a bad day.

Posters and Wall Art
This is a great way to express your personality and show who you really are. Just make sure your wall art won’t distract you too much from your studies. This can also help you connect with roommates and find other friends in the building.

Mattress Pad
Dorm room mattresses are notoriously terrible and uncomfortable. Buy a mattress pad or invest in a featherbed before you arrive at college. Your back will thank you and having a comfortable place to unwind after studying is important for your mental health as well.

Bedding
This goes along with the mattress pad, but good sheets and pillows can go a long way. Bring extra blankets from home too for an extra level of coziness. Just make sure you still have room to sit and study on your bed as well.

Storage Boxes
Let’s be honest, you are probably going to overpack. It can be good to have plastic storage bins on hand for anything you don’t have space for. It is even better if you can get boxes that fit under your bed. Plus, it will keep your space clean and make packing up at the end of the year a snap. Find other moving tips here and from your college guidance center.

Lighting
Whether it is a floor lamp, desk lamp, or a string of twinkle lights, extra lighting will certainly come in handy. This can be especially useful for times when your roommate goes to bed before you and you cannot leave on the overhead lights. Lights also adds warmth to any room.

Rug
Dorm room carpets are not the cleanest surface in the world. Get an area rug to cover up those weird stains and add a touch of color to your room.

No matter how you choose to decorate your dorm room, your surroundings have a big effect on your college experience. Your room should reflect who you are, but also provide a relaxing and homey space for you to enjoy. And remember to have fun with it!

This article was contributed by guest author Eileen O’Shanassy.

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6 Clever Ways to Better Organize Your Study Room

Image by Lana Hawkins

When it comes to studying, so much depends on your organization – where you study separates a straight-A student from an average one. You have to be organized, systematic and methodic in order to achieve success. And you have to repeat it day after day, from enrolment into college to graduation. The best way to get fully organized is to organize your study room – in your dorm or at home – and achieve a certain level of comfort in this area so you won’t mind spending countless hours there. Here’s how.

No Distractions
This may be the biggest problem for students across the USA – there are just too many distractions around them! Smartphones, TVs, computers, fridges, beds and other people constantly distract them from their studying, so they’d rather catch up with the revival of Gilmore Girls than do some actual work.

The best way to limit distractions is to remove them from your immediate surroundings. Leave the phone in the kitchen, unplug the TV, switch your Wi-Fi router off and forget about sleeping or eating for a few hours. Even if you are the most disciplined student ever, don’t try your luck around these interruptions and just leave them behind. Or, learn how to use them so that it’ll be beneficial for you.

Organize Your Literature
Exemplary students own tons of books, textbooks and other studying material that assist them. However, unless organized adequately, these will occupy your entire room in an instant. That’s why you need to come up with a good system. The most important thing is a proper shelf – regardless of how big it is, you must have one if you want to organize your books. If you have a problem with the space as all students do, think outside the box and, instead of purchasing a huge shelf, make one on your own or create a unique piece that doubles as a headboard for your bed.

Declutter, Declutter, Declutter
Students possess too many things and bring too much stuff into their dorm rooms – and that’s only natural with the abundance of books, magazines, foods and drinks that go through their hands every single day. But, if this mess overtakes you, you’ll be frustrated and unable to hit the books.

Find time to clean your room once a week and figure out what you do and don’t need in your study area. That way, you’ll leave enough time for studying and won’t have to waste precious minutes cleaning day after day.

Investigate Alternative Spaces
You don’t have to study behind the desk all the time, you know. When in college, you can do basically whatever suits you, as long as it brings results. So, stop forcing habits you don’t enjoy.

For example, numerous students take their books to bed. While many think this is a bad idea and that your mind associates the bed only with sleeping, others think this is the best thing ever. Additionally, explore other spaces – relocating to the floor, the window seat or the kitchen can do wonders for your productivity.

Find a Suitable Desk
The problem with US dormitories is their what-you-see-is-what-you-get philosophy. While some don’t mind adaptations and redecorations, others frown upon any changes. This could be a problem for a number of students because their default beds or desks aren’t suitable.

That’s why you should find a way to bring in your own desk. See if your old high school desk is still functional, or make a new one. Both of these options are fine, as long as they allow you to study.

Organize the Desk
Now that you’ve found the perfect desk, it’s time to organize all your writing utensils and studying material. Purchase some pencil cups, desk organizers, vertical shelves, folders, file carriers, boxes and plastic containers.

Also, organize your wires and cords with a coated wire basket – this is especially useful with those excellent ergonomic standing desks that support your spine during longs hours of studying. Finally, if you need help keeping track of all your tasks, install a bulletin board.

The Results!
Once you organize your study room – whether it’s in your dormitory or at your home – you’re ready to go! You’ve got all your necessities close by, there are no distractions and you’re completely focused on your work. Soon you’ll realize that an organized study area will result in better grades.

This article was contributed by guest author Lana Hawkins.

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