12 Simple Ways To Spice Up Your Back-To-School Style If You DON'T Have A Dorm Room

12 Simple Ways To Spice Up Your Back-To-School Style If You DON'T Have A Dorm Room

Who says commuters can't have the makeover fun, too?


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.

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10 Things Someone Who Grew Up In A Private School Knows

The 10 things that every private school-goer knows all too well.


1. Uniforms

Plaid. The one thing that every private school-goer knows all too well. It was made into jumpers, skirts, shorts, scouts, hair ties, basically anything you could imagine, the school plaid was made into. You had many different options on what to wear on a normal day, but you always dreaded dress uniform day because of skirts and ballet flats. But it made waking up late for school a whole lot easier.

2. New people were a big deal

New people weren't a big thing. Maybe one or two a year to a grade, but after freshman year no one new really showed up, making the new kid a big deal.

3. You've been to school with most of your class since Kindergarten

Most of your graduating class has been together since Kindergarten, maybe even preschool, if your school has it. They've become part of your family, and you can honestly say you've grown up with your best friends.

4. You've had the same teachers over and over

Having the same teacher two or three years in a row isn't a real surprise. They know what you are capable of and push you to do your best.

5. Everyone knows everybody. Especially everyone's business.

Your graduating class doesn't exceed 150. You know everyone in your grade and most likely everyone in the high school. Because of this, gossip spreads like wildfire. So everyone knows what's going on 10 minutes after it happens.

6. Your hair color was a big deal

If it's not a natural hair color, then forget about it. No dyeing your hair hot pink or blue or you could expect a phone call to your parents saying you have to get rid of it ASAP.

7. Your school isn't like "Gossip Girl"

There is no eating off campus for lunch or casually using your cell phone in class. Teachers are more strict and you can't skip class or just walk right off of campus.

8. Sports are a big deal

Your school is the best of the best at most sports. The teams normally go to the state championships. The rest of the school that doesn't play sports attends the games to cheer on the teams.

9. Boys had to be clean-shaven, and hair had to be cut

If you came to school and your hair was not cut or your beard was not shaved, you were written up and made to go in the bathroom and shave or have the head of discipline cut your hair. Basically, if you know you're getting written up for hair, it's best just to check out and go get a hair cut.

10. Free dress days were like a fashion show

Wearing a school uniform every day can really drive you mad. That free dress day once a month is what you lived for. It was basically a fashion show for everyone, except for those upperclassmen who were over everything and just wore sweat pants.

Cover Image Credit: Authors Photos

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Coping With The Loss Of A Passion

It's hard to get it back once you lose it.


In college, time to focus on passions seems limited. The homework, essays, group projects, and exams are never-ending.

In high school, I took my free time for granted. I was dancing four hours four nights a week, but I wasn't constantly stressed. I had time to focus on my passion, which is dance.

In college, I am a part of an amazing dance club. But I don't get to compete, take technique classes, or be with the team I was with since I was 8 years old. Now, I receive videos of my team from home's amazing performances, and it aches a bit. I am so proud and happy for their growth but jealous that they have more years than I do. It is nearly impossible to find technique classes at college to take with no car, little free time, and barely any money. I miss my team, I miss my dance teachers and choreographers, and I miss competitions, but most of all, I miss the person I was when I had the opportunity to pursue my passion several hours a week.

My passion will always be there, and I do get to pursue dance on a smaller scale with some amazing dancers in college, but I am coping with the fact that I will never do another competition with my team again, I will never be able to dance with them again, and I will never be able to learn from my dance teachers again. It's a hard loss, one that I think about every day.

To anyone who still has the opportunities to pursue their passions to the fullest extent, you are lucky. Not everyone gets the chance to keep up with their sport, passion, or activity that they dedicated all of their time to in high school. Don't take a single second of it for granted, and remember why you are doing what you are doing. Take time to reflect on why you love it so much, how it makes you feel, and how you can express yourself during it. Whatever this passion or activity is, make every second count.

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