Well, here it comes: after years of science projects, math homework, creative essays, sporting events, artistic performances, and standardized tests, your favorite high school student has finally graduated, and has been accepted into the college of their choice. You’re thrilled for them, of course: attending college—and living “on their own” for the first time, either with a dorm-mate or a roommate—is an important developmental step. That being said, you don’t want to send your students off empty-handed, as they dread losing the connections to their family and friends they’ve cultivated for so many years back home. You know that they’re already going to facing a number of challenges—both social and academic—as they cross this important threshold without your direct supervision.
You know you want to at least partially put their minds at ease, and relieve them from some of the stress of their move—but, how? It’s a difficult question, but at least one answer involves letting them take a little piece of their homes with them; helping them to decorate and customize a living space that is warm and inviting, and maybe even a little reminiscent of their lives back home. They can’t pack you up in their suitcase and sneak you into their rooms, but with the right pieces, they can bring a little slice of home life with them to power them through those first few semesters of adjustment. Read on for a few tips on how your favorite college student can personalize their space, and make the most of their new living situation—no matter how small their new space might be!
A dorm room’s square footage is roughly the same as the average bedroom or large office. Dorm rooms, however, aren’t just bedrooms for sleeping: they also have to double (and triple, and even quadruple) as your student’s study, living room, and kitchen. Since they’ll most likely be sharing the space with a dorm-mate, your student will have to maximize their dorm’s small area to its fullest potential. The first step is to arrange any shared furniture in a layout that prioritizes floor space. One simple trick is to lift their beds high enough to utilize all of the space underneath for storage. This will help to keep the floor space clear, which can, in turn, lend the room a peaceful ambiance that will allow a stressed student the chance to properly unwind from the day’s classes and activities. Without a crowded and cluttered floor space to aggravate a disordered mind, your student will instead have enough room to complete a much-needed yoga or meditation session on their clear floor. With a soft Minky Mama blanket topping their bedspread as the pièce de résistance, your calm and collected student might well be on their way to their most focused academic year yet.
Add pieces that are dual-purpose. Collect pieces of furniture that double as other items: a futon for a couch that also turns into a bed whenever friends come to visit, or a trunk that serves as both a storage unit for your linens as well as serving as a coffee or dining table.
Box it Up
Remember that lifted bed? Maximize the storage space beneath it by organizing all of your things into well-designed bins, that can easily slide underneath: out of sight, but more importantly, out of the way.
Make it Yours with a Minky Mama
A soft and cuddly Minky Mama blanket from home—spread invitingly across the dorm bed—is one way of leaving a bit of the warmth of home with your student, but you can also fill up all those cold, empty cinder block walls with personalized photos and art. Print out a favorite “social media” pic—especially one that’s filled to the brim with family or friends—and have it professionally framed to hang up on their wall.
With just a few touches of home, you can help your students confidently begin their life’s college chapter.