Turning An IU Dorm Room Into A Home

(What my room looked like right after I moved in. It's changed a little since August.)

Willkie South Tower has been my home since August, and it's bittersweet I have to move out soon.

I got my official move out prep letter yesterday and I realized just how much I'll miss my dorm.

It took awhile for my room to feel so comfortable, but it happened during the middle of fall semester. It was cold and rainy and I remember thinking, "I just want to go home, crawl up in sweats and hide under the covers." It was then I realized my dorm room had become my "safe place" three hours away from the only home I've ever known.

I was born and raised in Northeast Indiana and until I transferred in August 2011, I lived in the same house my entire life. The only moving I've experienced is from nursery to childhood room, and from childhood room to my brother's old (and bigger) room after he moved out when I was in middle school. And that was all in the same end of the house.

I wanted to live in a dorm because I wanted the "college culture experience." And I picked Willkie because it's an upperclassmen dorm with a lot of single rooms (I've never shared my space with anyone before and wanted to start off slow, like sharing a bathroom). There's a C-Store and computer lab between the two towers, so you can do homework AND get food.

You're able to be as independent as you want while getting the exposure to people in both different and similar degree programs and student organizations. Willkie has a reputation of feeling isolated, so to avoid getting lonely you should get involved on campus and plan regular outings with friends. Isn't nice to have a place to call your own while also having the ability to go out and meet people?

Willkie is nearly off campus, but the walk isn't so bad. And if you have a car, you can hit Third Street and go to the mall and all of the food places over there.

Here are some tips on making your dorm a cozy place:

*Bring tons of pictures of loved ones and friends from home. Sure, you'll make new friends, but you'll be comforted by seeing familiar faces in an unfamiliar place.

*DECORATE! I have posters, quotes, and comics all around my room. Decorating with things you like will cheer up the place. My favorite color is orange, so I have a huge orange rug in my room, a small orange rug in front of my sink in the bathroom, and orange bedding.

*Bring a lamp. I haven't turned on my overhead light in months. The fluorescent lighting is harsh and makes the place feel less home-like. I also take advantage of the closet light and the desk light for extra (but not too much) lighting. Plus, you have a huge window that provides a lot of natural light.

*Consider having a TV and DVD player. I'll admit, it's a distraction sometimes, but occasionally you'll just want to watch sports, your favorite shows, or pop in a movie to unwind.

*Consider bringing your own appliances. I have my own microwave for convenience but I would highly recommend a mini-fridge.

About The Author
Jessica WilliamsClass of 2013

Hey guys! My name is Jessica and I'm a senior in the IU School of Journalism. I'm also earning minors in history and political science. After graduation -- May 2013! -- I hope to enter the newspaper industry.

I use "Musings of a Hoosier" to share my experiences as an IU student, which are different than other bloggers' experiences because not only was I born and raised in Indiana, but I'm also a transfer student. I hope I can teach you something about IU that you didn't know before.

Go Hoosiers!