As the fall semester begins, Eastern residents are steadily decorating a room that will soon become their home for the next two academic terms. Too often, college students are under the notion that a dorm will never have that cozy and warm feeling you get when going home to family. Sadly, in some cases, that is true.
Last year as a freshman, I was petrified of having roommates that would not care about the decor of the dorm. Luckily, my roommates appreciated good decorations and a clean atmosphere. After class, I would be in a hurry to curl under a blanket at my desk and do homework. Still, my dorm lacked a homey atmosphere, and I did not know how to fix it. I did not see my dorm as a place of peace until the second semester of my freshman year.
In all reality, a dorm is like any other room — it has four walls, a ceiling and sometimes, even air conditioning. Each year, I have an opportunity to unpack my totes and boxes and create a room that is visually pleasing. But what I did not understand last year is that the real art of making a dorm a home is building lasting relationships inside of those four walls. Home in the dorm is laughing hysterically over old Spongebob episodes while eating oriental Ramen. Home in the dorm is contemplating with my roommate where to place every individual decoration we each brought. Home in the dorm is friendship. It is a place to share the common stresses of college and still find time to relish in the once-in-a-lifetime experience we are having together.
A dorm may never feel like a childhood home, but that is okay. It is still a home away from home made for transitioning into adulthood, learning, and moments that make the college experience worthwhile.
What I learned is that a true home can take precious time. Precious time dedicated to building a friendship. In a dorm, you have the opportunity to make your own home for the first time ever. It is a home to be proud of because it is a pure reflection of you.