The big day is here. Graduation is long gone, summer is over, and your car is bursting with stuff you most likely won’t ever use but are sure you’ll need. You got it, it's the first day of college, or, more specifically, move-into-the-dorms day. (Dorms day. Sounds like doomsday. Coincidence? Absolutely.)

The first thing you’ll probably do is crash into your new dorm room for a hectic day full of cleaning, unpacking and trying not to be awkward when meeting your roommate.

Or maybe you’ve dodged the whole “awkward roommate” meeting by moving in with your high school BFF after months of planning dorm decorations and making sure your class schedules are as similar as possible.

Either way, by now you’re finally moved in, and it’s time to say goodbye to your parents. That’s right, your parents have been there the whole time, rearranging your boxes and furniture and eyeing the boys down the hall with suspicious glances.

But suddenly you realize that even though they are here now, teary-eyed and worried, soon they won’t be any more, and it will be just you standing among the half-empty boxes. You might start to tear up too, and just remember that it's okay to miss your family: they will be there for you no matter what.

The home sicknesses will eventually subside, and the onslaught of college life will sweep you off your feet as classes, club meetings, study sessions and a part time job fill your schedule. It is then, in the midst of the craziness and stress, that your dorm room will become your retreat, a space to go to when you need to spend some time listening to music, binging on Netflix or spilling your emotions out to your roommate.

This is where personalized decorations come into play. You may already have a Pinterest board dedicated to crafty picture frames and stencil patterns that will transform your dorm into an IKEA magazine photo, but forget the cliché dorm room. Dorm décor is all about making your space reflect who you are as well as providing you with a homey atmosphere.

Maybe for you, that means breaking out the scrapbook paper and ribbons and filling your walls with inspirational quotes. Or maybe you prefer vintage posters and rare antiques. And don’t forget your bedding – do you prefer soft hues or bold patterns? Whatever you choose, keep in mind that this is not only your living space for the next ten months; it’s also your own personal sanctuary that allows you to be yourself and just breathe.

…And no, I didn’t forget about the person sleeping literally five feet away. Yes, it may be difficult to go all-out on the décor and personalization, but as long as you maintain boundaries, you should both be able to live happily without infringing on each other’s personal tastes and interests. In fact, the two of you may even become good friends, and I can tell you from experience that friendships formed in the dorms are almost guaranteed to last a lifetime.