Heading off to college is one of the most exciting yet nerve-wracking experiences any young person can go through. Life as you know it does a 180° turn and everything changes in the blink of an eye. One minute you're living with parents, following their rules, and even getting your laundry done for you. But before you know it you're in a completely different space, creating new routines, and adapting to a place that is nothing like home. It can be hard to adjust, but there are some simple yet hugely effective ways students can make an impersonal college dorm room feel like home.
Most of the time we don't realize it, but art really is all around. It can appear in different forms, styles, sizes, and of course, colors. So, why shouldn't you add it to a space that will be yours for at least a year? You may be hesitant to purchase a pricey piece, and may leave you feeling a little out of your depth, but there are so many reasons why you should and can do this on a budget. After all, art is one of the most effective ways to spark everyday joy in our lives.
So if you're heading back to your dorm in January and trying to figure out what to bring with you to spruce it up a bit, make art one of the top items on your list. If you're wondering just why and what benefits this will have, here are a few reasons that will show exactly how it can help you.
Although every student is excited to finally fly the nest and move away to college, there comes a time that you'll inevitably miss the space you called home for all those years. You don't realize how important that sense of familiarity is until you don't have it anymore. By selecting art pieces to decorate your dorm, you will make that space feel like your own. You can choose artwork that reminds you of home or that represents your favorite things. This will also help fight homesickness and give your room a little touch of home coziness.
One of the things that changes the most when we move out of our family home is our inner emotional balance. We tend to experience new emotions and sometimes it might be hard to understand them or process them in a new environment. However something as simple as colorful art can be a mood booster and help improve your general wellbeing and mental health. This is because art can be motivating by depicting where you came from, where you find yourself, and where you would like to be in the future. It can become a representation of all your dreams, hopes, and beliefs to encourage you to keep fighting for them while you work to live up to your potential.
That process of selecting a specific work of art to hang in your dorm serves as a form of expression, allowing you to let your creative tastes roam free. Expressing yourself will give you a sense of completion that will come full circle with a beautiful art piece hanging from your wall, reminding you that this place is your own and belongs to you while you live there.
Adding art to your living space will allow you to customize your dorm in any way you want. It helps bring your style to an otherwise generic and bland looking space. The pieces you select will provide a touch of color, becoming the icing on the cake to your little safe haven.
Wall art will also become a focal point in your small dorm room. Adding wall art to an already tight space may go against your instincts, but by choosing hanging art, you won't be taking away room for other necessary items. And what's best, these pieces will become a conversation piece when you have visitors. In college your social circle is always expanding, evolving and changing, and nothing sparks up a natural conversation with a new friend like an eye catching piece of art. Your wall art choices may become an unlikely resource in your social life.
Your college years will be some of the best of your life. You'll meet new people, create memories, build a network of like-minded people, and hopefully find yourself to some extent. All of this can be achieved from the comfort of your dorm, a living space you will spend most of your time in. The best thing you can do is make this place your home, and art is the perfect way to do so. What artwork will you introduce into your dorm room this semester?
Elyssa Dorf is the founder and creative director of the New York design studio Cheery Designs.