how to make your dorm feel like home

When You Move To College, Take Your Family Traditions With You

Back home, one of the walls in my kitchen is painted with black chalkboard paint, meaning that we could draw on it and create different designs and illustrations that match the season, month, holiday, etc.


It's only a few days away from Halloween and I couldn't be more excited. Not only does it mean that I can eat all the candy I want and have an excuse for it, but it also means that I can celebrate my second favorite holiday through chalkboard art, something that has turned into a tradition of sorts in my family.

Back home, one of the walls in my kitchen is painted with black chalkboard paint, meaning that we could draw on it and create different designs and illustrations that match the season, month, holiday, etc. Normally, I embark on this artistic endeavor with my mom and my sister. We'd stand in front of the wall and try to come up with designs to put on the wall that is different and more complicated than our previous designs. We'd try to make the most of the available space and collaborate to create a masterpiece. Sometimes we'd debate about what to put up, but on occasion we'd sit there and stare at the blank canvas, scouring our brains for original ideas.

Halloween wall from a few years agoPhoto by Anna Masciandaro

Once we come up with a vague idea of what to do, some of us would use references like Google to find images that we could base our creations off of, but we all have different ways of approaching it. My mom normally jumps right into it. She'll start delicately sketching an outline of a design and then go back in with detail, the trademarks of a trained artist. My sister can easily come up with an idea in her head and execute it perfectly on the wall, a skill that I wish I had. While they're both working away, I'm usually spending hours and hours on Google and Pinterest, scavenging the internet universe for the perfect image that matches the one in my head, sometimes I'll even sketch out the design before actually putting it on the wall just so that I can figure out the problem areas and get a basic idea of the shape and size of the image.

Christmas wall from a few years agoPhoto by Anna Masciandaro

How often we draw on the chalkboard really depends on the amount of free time we have and how spirited we are feeling during the holidays/seasons. But, this is the first time since we got a chalkboard wall that I'm not home to do that with them. While it is a little sad that I won't be able to continue this family tradition at home, I'm also excited to spread it and introduce it to my newfound college friends and get them involved in the process, something that I also used to do at home with my hometown friends.

This year for Halloween, my mom told me that she's planning on drawing a calavera on the wall. So, I figured that I would do something similar but with a little twist. My design for this year is "la muerte," a colorful woman who personifies death from the movie "The Book of Life." I chose to draw her because it's a little bit of Halloween with the skeleton but also pays homage to the other holidays that fall around Halloween. By drawing la muerte, I'm bringing a piece of home with me to college which allows me to create a sense of home at school and feel like I'm still a part of the family despite being in another town.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

For a long time, Goya has been a staple in some Latino households. People carry around jars of Adobo when they eat at friend's houses and packets of Sazón Goya can be found in almost everyone's pantry. Many BuzzFeed lists, videos, and memes aimed at Latinos reference Goya somewhere.

But in a year that just keeps hitting us with bad news, Goya Foods CEO Robert Unanue said that Trump was an "incredible builder" and that the US was "blessed" to have him as president at a White House event on Thursday.

Keep Reading... Show less

Raven Baxter Was Our Favorite Teen Fashion Icon And We're Still Recreating Her Best Looks, Here

We take a look at Disney's most fashion-forward show to recreate some iconic looks.

Disney Plus

I grew up in the early 2000s. And, like any child at the time, I was hooked on Disney Channel shows. My favorite was and is "That's So Raven."

Raven is a teenage psychic navigating life in hopes of not revealing her powers. Only her family and close friends know she has them. Her powers oftentimes get her in trouble, which is where the comedy comes in. But, they also teach her and her friends sentimental life lessons.

Keep Reading... Show less

Sobriety is so underrated, even when it comes to healthcare. The instant gratification of a substance or drink isn't exactly as gratifying as some people may think. For those of you who've never been hungover, consider yourself lucky — a hangover is biologically horrifying. A hangover is not instant gratification, so who are we kidding when people say "it just feels good." Being healthy actually feels good and won't hurt you or your bank account in the morning. The best way to be healthy is to choose sobriety.

Keep Reading... Show less

Ah, yes. The juice cleanse. Yet another popular diet trend that promises to magically solve all of your health, nutrition, and weight issues.

When you take a close look, juice cleanses aren't as magical as they are made out to be, and in fact, they might do more harm than good.

Keep Reading... Show less

Unauthorized Plastic Surgery Is Totally Unethical, And Happening WAY More Often Than We Know ‬

Plastic surgery for cosmetic enhancements has you looking more botched than beautiful and it’s painful to see.

Coming from someone who could afford numerous cosmetic enhancing procedures I would never in a million years cut up my face or my body. I'm pretty emphatic and when I watch these brainwashed victims with bandages and chronic inflammation (swollen lips) I literally feel their pain.

Keep Reading... Show less

I've never been big on casual wear or athleisure. Most people who know me have never seen me in sweats. But, I do have those two or three pairs of sweats I can't resist climbing into the second I get home, the newest addition of which is the extra cozy Odyssey crewneck sweatshirt I got in an XL size to feel as close to being wrapped in a blanket at all times as possible.

In the past several months, I've started to expand my horizons, considering the ways in which I can bring my small wardrobe of comfortable bedroom clothing into the public. I've experimented with topping leggings and a sports bra with a denim jacket to the park, and an oversized sweatshirt worn as a dress, cinched at the waist with a belt when I'm out wearing leggings.

Keep Reading... Show less

How To Dress Like Your Favorite 'Insecure' Characters — Without Spending $2,000

We take a look at the fashion of Insecure season 4, and how you can create these looks yourself.


Insecure is one of my favorite shows ever. It really encapsulates what it's like being a Black 20-something, trying to navigate the many ups and downs of life. Issa, Molly, Kelli, and Tiffany are living their best lives in California while dealing with the twists and turns that come with that.

From life to relationships to careers, this show truly captures everything that runs through my mind on a daily basis. The show has a sense of realness and a strong frankness that makes you gravitate toward the characters and root for their success.

Keep Reading... Show less

Making A Food Instagram Was The Greatest Silver Lining To Come Out Of My COVID-19 Experience

With the crazy and scary times that 2020 has brought, find comfort in the one thing everyone loves: food.

The waiter briskly moves towards us and stops just a foot away table, balancing the black serving tray stacked high with the ceramic plates that make-up our dinner. From memorization, he beings gently, but purposely, sliding everyone's orders in front of them and within seconds I'm am starring my meal.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments