We've turned our calendars to August and Walmart is filled to the brim with crayons and three-ring binders.

Your friends are asking you to compare schedules with them and family members are wondering what subjects you'll be studying.

Yes, my friends, it is once more that annual time of year: the return to school.

For us college kids, returning to school is more than buying textbooks and figuring out financial aid. It's also the time where we're moving into dorms or our first apartments.

While this is exciting for some, it can also be dreadful. How will this drab room ever feel like a home away from home?

Fear not, readers. Having lived in a total of five dorms/apartments throughout my college life, I have gathered the finest tips and tools to help turn your dorm into a home-sweet-home.

1. Buy a rug

Although this picture shows off my current apartment, I first bought this rug while living in a community college dorm room, where the dorms were made of concrete brick and one room. Thankfully, adding this rug made the room feel warm and inviting.

2. Add some plants (along with a cute planter!)

Plants liven up the space! Cute planters are, well, cute!

3. Cut out animal silhouettes and tape them to your wall.

So far, my wall includes a cat, octopus, rooster, giraffe, and a pterodactyl. The pterodactyl is by far my favorite!

4. If your dorm allows, buy a fish!

You can decorate the tank to fit your room! Plus, caring for fish is a great way to have a pet on a college campus. Plus, they’re so adorable!

5. Hang up a map of your city

When I first moved here, I bought a map and pinned it up on the wall above my couch. I then started the tradition of sticking pins in for every new location I visit.

6. Make art!

Paint! Draw! Melt crayons! Art brightens up your walls! Plus, it’s fun and is a great stress reliever!

7. Purchase a calendar

Whether they come as a dry erase board or with a different picture for each month, calendars can certainly spruce up your walls. Plus, they keep you up-to-date!

8. Hilarious posters are a must

Sometimes, all your walls need are a witty poster.

9. Assemble a bookshelf using plastic crates

Bookshelves can be expensive. Thank goodness for inexpensive plastic crate shelves! Plus, when you acquire a real bookshelf, these bad boys can be whatever you want them to be. (For example, storage, laundry basket, plant stand, etc).

10. Accidentally spill crayon wax on your bathroom floor

Accidents happen, but if they have to happen, make sure it's with bright crayon wax so that every time you see it, you say, “Hey! Happy colors!"

11. Hang up pictures!

Hang up pictures, with or without frames! Prints are cheap, and allow you to keep your treasured memories forever!