Dorm Decorating in a Pandemic

Let’s face it: the process of packing is one of the worst parts of the college tradition. Each year, you collect more and more knickknacks and tchotchkes that fill every nook and cranny of your quarters. If you’re like me, and get stressed out about where and how you’re going to store everything at the end of the year from the moment you move in, I have compiled a guide of tips, tricks, and style options to make your personal party palace scream “Look at my crazy, quirky, I’m not like other girls!” personality, without all the schumatte. 

1. The “Gallery” Look

Ever wanted to curate your own gallery? Well now you can, with a catch! All the art has to be done directly onto the walls. And if you’re wondering if you’re going to get in trouble for vandalizing, never fear! The college will be too caught up in handling a global pandemic to worry about your beautiful art (I still have not returned my key for my room last year).

2. The “Musician, but I only know a couple chords that I play through my 30 pedals” Look

See how it’s empty? Exactly! No one wants to hear you playing Wonderwall or attempting to play a (Sandy) Alex G song in your South single to your Tinder hook up that’s monogamous due to a pandemic even though you would probably ghost them after 2 dates in a normal year. So my idea, leave that acoustic guitar at home! One less thing to worry about, right?

3. The “childhood room” Look

Did you (or maybe a friend) have that parent that would not let you (or your friend) tape anything to your wall causing a super lame room? Was the only thing allowed on the wall one (1) framed painting or photograph that has literally been up since your (or your friend‘s) birth? Well, channel that vibe for your college dorm and call it a #throwback or  v i n t a g e style! Now that is what I call STYLE!

4. The “Mega Mega Mega bed” Look

It’s literally just beds. A bed for sleeping. A bed for napping. A bed for watching a movie. A bed for doing work. You really only need beds. The best part? The beds don’t belong to you! So there is no need to fret about how to bring them home. They’re the college’s!

5. The “Green Thumb” Look

Plants Rock! Having plants rules! But let’s face it, how on earth do you travel with plants? You can’t leave them in storage, and as hard as you may try to find a plant-sitter on Facebook, you’re competing with thousands of other students in the same boat. My suggestion? Fake plants! Stuffed Plants! Open your window and the plants outside are basically in your room; problem solved! Have the pride of plant-ownership  without the fuss!

6. The “It’s Columbo Sunday Everyday” Look

That’s right, Columbo Sunday! Celebrate everyone’s favorite TV detective with this tasteful shrine to Mr. Peter “TV’s Columbo” Falk. The trick to decorating in this style? Less is more (attention to Columbo!). Don’t fill the room; who needs furniture! 

7. The “Party Animal” Look

Were you that kid freshman year who consistently threw parties in your South divided double? Did you leave your door open whenever you were in it until March of freshman year hoping people would stop in for a hang? Maybe this is all due to the fact that you are uncomfortable being alone. Maybe your own thoughts scare you. Well here is my suggestion: cut outs! Just like Rupert in The King of Comedy, you can create a socializing atmosphere through celebrity cutouts. Choose wisely! Maybe you want to try to reunite Brangelina or maybe your strongest desire is to be Rick Moranis’ bodyguard to protect him from future assaults. Go big or go home, baby! These are going to be your new friends, the people you converse with, so choose wisely! Throw in an electric disco ball and there you have it! Your very own party. No need to fret about breaking COVID guidelines, those cutouts aren’t real, except maybe to you. 

8. The “Comedy Club” Look

So you think you’re a funny guy, huh? Do you try to crack jokes on Zoom? Attend Instagram Live comedy shows? Have you gotten into posting front facing comedy videos on twitter? Then my advice for your room? Turn it into your very own comedy club! Pick a movie and get a poster. Print out headshots of the cast. Turn your bed into a stage (who needs to sleep!) and rent a mic! There you have it, special guest stars and all. The laughs will surely start to roll in with a room like this.

9. The “Department Store” Look

Remember playing house with your friends at recess in elementary school? Well take that mindset and level it up. Think up some imaginary friends and level up your room into your very own department store! Color code those clothes! Dress up your very own mannequin in an “inspirational” outfit! 

10. The “DIY Organ Pump” Look

It’s orientation freshman year. You hear about this event: Organ Pump. You go. You lie down on a stage with one hundred other bodies and listen to the melodic, haunting sounds of an organ. Now you’re alone in your room. You crave the feeling of laying down with one hundred other buddies again.  Ok, so you can’t get one hundred other people in your room, but you can lie down on the floor and listen to an organ. Who knows why, but those mid-century wood electric organs are extremely easy to get your hands on (and often they’re free!) There may even be one in the basement of your dorm! Bring one up to your room (I wish you good luck, and remember to lift with the legs, not your back, if you live anywhere above the third floor.) and you can perform your very own Organ Pump 24/7. Unlike the acoustic guitar, everyone loves the organ so don’t be afraid to crank that volume up and provide some entertainment for your live-music-starved hallmates. One last tip to bring it all together: dramatic lighting, baby!