Now that my sophomore year has officially begun and I have a year of college under my belt, I can confirm that being a commuter has its pros and cons. Depending on how you feel about commuting, the pros can include not having a roommate, still being able to sleep in your own bed and big space, and so on. The cons do include making it a bit tougher to make new friends and become really involved on campus, but you can still easily attain these things. One of the things that really make me "aw" for a second, though, is when you keep hearing this infamous pairing of words: "dorm decorating."
I'm probably speaking for most commuters when I say that seeing all the pictures of people's nicely decorated dorms and being tempted to buy the aesthetically pleasing tapestry in Target kind of makes you sad; I may even be right in saying that this makes you second-guess yourself on if you should've actually dorm. So for all the people who want their own corner of wall space to make their own but don't have the official cube dorm room to do it, here are several ideas that more-than-efficiently substitute this. Before you know it, you may be super excited that you commute after all.
1. Personalize your laptop case with stickers.
This may sound silly at first, but this is honestly such a fun way to make your laptop pop amongst all the other MacBooks and Dells. Not only is it a great makeover moment for your tech, but it also makes a great conversation starter for others who spot them, too. Most people get these from Redbubble.com — they literally have so many to choose from that it's impossible to not find a few you don't absolutely love.
2. Go thrifting!
Even though I have never done this before myself, I have heard nothing but good things about this common hobby. It is way cheaper to buy clothes and accessories from these kinds of stores rather than name brands, and not to mention I hear the clothes can be even cuter than theirs! How can you beat this win-win deal?
3. Give your bedroom a new look.
Since you don't have a dorm to decorate and post cute pics of on Snapchat, why not do something to your own bedroom at home? Take advantage of the fact that you have your own space that is bigger than a closet and revamp a bit! Get fairy lights to string around the room or even pick a new paint color for the walls; whatever the change is, it's bound to look ah-mazing.
4. Make your commute playlist(s).
No matter how long or short your commute is, you need to make sure you have the proper jams to listen to on your way back and forth from school. Whether you subscribe to Apple or Spotify — or you still just use CDs — make sure they are all the songs you love and feature a variety of moods. The more the better!
5. Pinterest new and cute ways to take notes during lectures.
Every time I Pinterest tips on studying for school, there are hundreds of posts that pop up about the different ways students can take notes during lectures. This isn't a pointless task either- this will make your notebook way more organized and can even tremendously help you study. These tips can save you in the long run, so don't shy away from at least Googling this one.
6. Get the cutest containers and lunch pouch for your meal-prepped foods.
Any commuter knows the struggle of figuring out what to do about meals during the semester. The questions always consist of whether you want to bring convenient food like pre-packaged snacks or actually take the time to cook healthy meals. Motivate yourself to choose the latter by buying different sized food containers and a lunch bag to match. This may sound kiddish at first, but literally so many commuters (and even people with full-time jobs) do this, too, so just join the trend!
7. Rent USED books instead of buying them.
I cannot stress this one enough. By renting used books instead of buying new, you are saving yourself so much money along with desk space where that book could be lying after you're done with that course (a.k.a. my philosophy book from my first semester of college). Check out your university bookstore or even Amazon and weigh your options- the cheaper the better, my friend.
8. Find the most aesthetically pleasing stationary to match your personality.
This is another one that sounds YouTuber-esque, but if you're just as obsessed with stationary as I am you should definitely treat yourself to this. There are so many different stores now that sell countless different kinds of stationary, so your perfect one is definitely out there somewhere. This will definitely make you more excited to take notes during class as well as get you more organized, too.
9. Clean your social media followings.
No one ever really thinks about this, but this can really make your daily social media scrolling a much better time. Go through each of your social media accounts (Snapchat, Twitter, Insta, whatever else) and look at who you follow. Make yourself unfollow the random spam accounts and people you literally don't really talk to anymore. This will honestly cleanse your brain of the negative vibes and make you feel better.
10. Sell/Donate your unused books, clothes, etc.
This one can help you make money as well as clear a ton of space in your room. Save one Sunday to just clean your closet, desk, under your bed, and anything else and make a garbage bag full of stuff you don't use or want anymore. You can give some stuff to your friends who dorm or even donate it to goodwill; better yet, you can even sell some of the really good stuff online. It may take some time and effort, but this will definitely be worth it.
11. Try a new morning beauty routine.
Every person wants to have a really good morning grooming routine- what better time than now to start one? Think about all the usual things you do, like brushing your teeth and doing your hair, and see if you have time to add in quick yet beneficial tasks. Try that face wash that's been sitting in your cabinet, or practice awesome makeup looks so that you can complete them in under five minutes. Just writing about this makes me motivated to start the day in this fresh, new way.
12. Create a new workout regimen.
I've honestly been meaning to do this for myself lately. If you're like me and are super paranoid about getting toned again, mark in your planner that you want to create your own personal workout routine. Schedule a set time during the week where you can go to your school gym, local track field or even your living room floor to burn those calories. There's nothing wrong with a little exercise.