Moving into UNI halls is most people’s first experience of living away from home, and what a weird experience it is. It’s the only time in your life when you’re thrown into living with people who you’ve never ever met before and then expected to become best friends with them straight away. Not only this, but your home is literally a corridor. It’s a pretty weird experience when you think about it. It’s a really fun and exciting one too but something I really struggled with (and sometimes still do) is not feeling at home. The amount of conversations I had with people during the first few weeks/months of UNI about the fact that we all felt like we were on a seriously long primary-school residential trip was crazy. Choosing to live in UNI halls means you have little to no choice about what your living space is going to look like, which can make it feel a little weird (especially when you go into your flatmates bedrooms and realise they’re completely identical). This is why it’s really important to make it your own. ‘Home’ is different for everyone but these are some of the things I’ve done to make my UNI room feel a little more ‘me’ and I’m hoping they’ll be helpful for others too (they’re going to be more catered towards living in halls but will obviously work for accommodation in 2nd year and beyond too).
I only realised the power of fresh flowers fairly recently after I was bought some in February. They brightened up my room so much and the concept of having something that is alive and growing in your room is such a positive one, even if you’re only thinking about it sub-consciously. They don’t have to be expensive either. These cost £4 from Tesco and will probably last about 2 weeks and you can get them for even cheaper than that. Plus, I didn’t even need to buy a vase as this jug that my flatmates stole from Wetherspoons works perfectly.
2. Fairy Lights
This one is a bit of a cliché for students but for good reason! Fairy lights make your room feel so much cosier and look so much prettier. I particularly love these heart attachments I picked up from IKEA to go on top of them. Since buying these, I’ve definitely started enjoying the appearance of my room a little bit more. I’d also really recommend buying a lamp! It seems simple but it’s easy to forget and having a lamp is so much more cozy and less harsh than having your ceiling light on at all times.
3. Decorating My Walls
This is probably the easiest way to make your room feel like your own. As you can see, the designers of my accommodation decided to go for these prison-style brick walls so I was desperate to get them covered. Whether it’s with posters, pages cut out from magazines or some of your own photos, in my experience, it’s best to cover as much wall space as possible. I picked this poster up on the first week of UNI at the student poster sale (really feeling like a walking, talking cliché in this post) and it was probably the first thing I did to make the room feel like my own. Also, a quick tip, most UNI rooms don’t let you use blue tac so get your hands on some adhesive strips! They work in just the same way and won’t leave any marks on your walls.
4. Adding A Personal Touch
Pack as many personal photos as you can when you go to UNI. They’re such a comfort to have around your room and will always remind you of the people you love if your ever feeling down. I put mine predominantly by my bed as I most often feel down when falling asleep but the more around your room the better!
5. Bed Sheets
This is a super simple one as obviously everyone has to buy bed sheets, so make sure you buy ones you like if you can! They’ll be on your bed from the minute you arrive at UNI and will stay there for the rest of the year, so it’s important to have ones you like and, in my opinion, ones that really brighten up your room. I was lucky enough to receive this blanket and pillow hand-made as a gift from my wonderful Aunty Chris specifically for moving to UNI and it’s the best gift I could have ever asked for as it always reminds me of family and, clearly, brightens up in my room in every way possible. (Also, there is no shame in having a cuddly toy or two as exhibited by my bunny that I got last Christmas who has also significantly helped in making my room feel more homely).
I hope you’ve enjoyed having a little look into my UNI room. Living in halls has been a weird experience for me but having a room I actually like has made it so much better and really improved the experience. So take some time to think about what you want in your room and how you want it to look next year as it really will make a difference! I’d also love to here what you do to make your room your own! Here are some more photos of my room if you’re feeling a little bit nosey: