Dorm Life: Feeling at home


Students walking to their dorms at CSUN. Photo credit: File Photo/The Sundial

Anthony Walton

Fall is here, college has started and you’re finally living on your own, away from your parents.

There’s nothing quite like moving out for the first time, meeting your roommate, getting accustomed to your school campus and getting used to a new sense of freedom.

However, as time goes on and you settle into your routine of class, social activities and daily life, something happens.

You begin to miss home; you miss waking up and seeing the bedroom you grew up in, you miss all the weird quirks of your house and you miss your parents.

All of that is completely normal. After spending the majority of your life in a certain house and around certain people, it is natural to miss them once you’ve taken that next step in your life.

So for any students who no longer live at home, especially freshmen, here are a few tips for you to help make your dorm room feel like home.

Holli Coleman, 23-year-old child development major and graduating senior, has lived on campus her entire college career, offered some advice.

“I put my favorite things around the room — things that represent good memories,” Coleman said.

While it can be incredibly exciting to go on a shopping spree for your brand new college furniture and gear, bringing a handful of things from home — no matter how lame someone might think those things are — will help ease some of that homesick feeling.

“I make sure I’m surrounded by things that remind me to be happy,” Coleman said, “so that if I have a hard day at school, I can remember there are a lot of good things in life that have happened and that good things will happen again.”

It’s bound to happen — every college student has had a bad day. You might forget a paper, miss an important test or do bad in a class. A multitude of things can happen in your college career. Bringing things from home that fill you with happiness and hope can help remediate those negative feelings.

Michaela Escarcega, 22-year-old theater major, is a first-year transfer student and junior.

“I put up the same three frames every time I move, but nothing else because I don’t like packing and unpacking. I move a lot,” she said. “One is a goodbye frame with friend’s signatures on it, another is one filled with pictures of my boyfriend and the last is of my little brother.”

Everyone comes from a different background; some individuals are more resilient than others and some need more comfort than the rest. Whichever category you happen to fall into, it can be helpful to carry even the smallest item with you to remind you of where you came from.

Brigina O’Bryan is a 22-year-old graduating senior majoring in global studies who spent the first half of her college career living in a dorm.

“I put up my own curtains,” O’Bryan said. “I bought decorations specifically for that room. I brought certain special items that were special to me from home — pictures, toys — and displayed them in a way where I’d see them from my bed.”

Dorm life, although exciting, can eventually make you feel homesick. So when it does, having the things that mean a lot to you around can remind you that you have a home to go back to and that this is only a temporary stop.