For many college students, being on a physical campus can be exhilarating: one of the most anticipated freedoms is dorm living. 

Many students have never lived on their own and have never had the freedom to decorate a space that will function as their home for the next ten months. 

There’s no parents or guardians, no prying siblings—just themselves (with the exception of a roommate). Many start planning decorations months in advance, looking for inspiration that gives life to a new home away from home. 

Decor provides the story of each student and a sense of comfort as they build their lives here at Capital University. 

Decorating plays a considerable part in a residential student’s first few weeks on campus. Many students try to go for a theme or aesthetic they may not have tried back home. 

Madelyn Rennecker’s room showcases her room’s “moshpit” style. Photo submitted by Amber Schaile

In fact, according to a poll run on Instagram, when asked, “Do you go for a certain aesthetic when it comes to dorm decor?” 75% of people answered yes, whereas the other 25% consisted of people who built their rooms based on who they are as a person. 

Madelyn Rennecker, second-year, was one of the 25%. 

When asked, Rennecker said, “I am drawn more to decor that makes me smile and reflects who I am. My room at home has more of a set theme, while my room here is a mush of stuff that I like.”

Unique decor items in her room range from a “My Little Pony” bedspread to a poster of dogs playing poker that hangs above her desk, showcasing the range of things that make her more comfortable. Rennecker’s dorm gives a good representation of the people that follow a more random, personalized approach.

There are also people like second-year Kieran VanVorhis who go for more of an eclectic but aesthetic look. One would find colors ranging from emerald to burnt orange, lots of flora and crystals and pictures of old rock stars such as Freddie Mercury in his dorm. For VanVorhis, having flora is essential for residents. 

Kieran VanVorhis’s dorm showcases his eclectic style. Photo submitted by Amber Schaile

When asked why, VanVorhis explained, “It’s nice to have some kind of living object in your room…just something to take care of, and when you take care of it, it reminds you to take care of yourself”. 

Having small responsibilities other than keeping on top of academics or feeding themselves can be suitable for first-year students who have never lived on their own. It can also benefit seniors who are getting ready to have even more responsibility in finding their own houses and jobs post-graduation.

Dorms are extensions of oneself. They show who one is outside of their adolescence and moving into adulthood. They should be unique to the owner, whether they follow a theme or a variety of things that make one happy and comfortable to be in the space.