College Life: Maximise The Fun, Minimise The Stress

Updated March 17th, 2020

For most of us, college is synonymous with shoestring budgets, stressing non-stop about the studying we aren’t doing, and social essentials on weeknights. What is often forgotten during reminiscing about our youth, is that dorm living is tricky and you kind of need to be self-sufficient. Whether you are planning ahead or in a last-minute panic, these tips should be helpful!

Getting Settled

It may be quite overwhelming to unpack into your dorm rooms at first, especially when you realize just how little space you actually have to work with. Luckily, The Home Blog has some amazing resources for everything from TV stands to renting a house with friends. Regardless of how limited your space is, there are a ton of ways to add character and functionality to a dorm room. Therefore, you won’t need to be discouraged by the size of your tiny dorm if you are able to approach the task with enough imagination.

To get started you need to know where your base of operations will be! If you can get an estimate of the square footage it will be very useful in setting up a floor plan. Next list the furniture you want to take with (don’t forget to calculate for storage of things if there are no cupboards), then jot down the sizes of the furniture (height, length, width) and doodle yourself a little sketch of the space. It doesn’t have to be designer level stuff, it’s just to help you put things in perspective! Once you have a visual it’s easier to plan and eliminate things that won’t fit. Start with the essentials and if there’s still some space you can start to get comfier!

Multitasking Isn’t Just For People

When you are working with limited space the more functional your furniture, the better! A storage kist at the foot of your bed can double as seating (assuming it’s sturdy enough) with a few scatter cushions. A really great sleeper couch can serve you for many years. Mount your computer screen on the wall, use a narrower desk and you suddenly have enough space to get out of bed without bumping into a sharp corner. There are so many ways to make space work for you! Keep it simple and most importantly, easy to clean! Another absolute crucial element of dorm living is keeping onto of your closet organization.

College on a budget will probably be stressful no matter what, but your space need not be! In fact, your space should be somewhere you can let it all hang out and relax. Where you can concentrate, focus, be creative, chill! Setting it up should be exciting and what you create will set the tone for those first months so it should be right for you! Practicalities aside, it should spark joy! It should be uniquely yours so your favourite LEGO model? Bring it! Your lucky frying pan? Bring it! The pillowcase you’ve had since you were five years old? Bring it! Your anxiety about setting off into the unknown? Nah! That can stay behind.

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