Written by Global Ambassador, Melissa Camilo, Marketing major student in the Hult Undergraduate program, London campus.
Leaving home to study abroad might be difficult. You might feel out of place and white dorm walls are not really the most welcoming thing in the world. But there’s no need to worry! Here are some ways in which you could make your dorm feel a little bit more like home.
1. Decorate it
Your room should be a place that represents you. When people walk in they should be able to tell a little bit about you just by the way your room is decorated, by what is on your walls and the little details around the room. Try to combine practical items that are also useful like pillows, coaster, duvets etc.
You have two options of how to decorate your room. You can have the year-long decoration which simply represents you as a person, or you can embrace the holidays. If holidays are something you enjoy then decorating your room depending on the season and the special occasion coming up might be a nice way to keep you both entertained and keep your room interesting all the time.
“Even though it wasn’t the same as back home, it gave me a sense of normality and security.”
I remember coming into my dorm the first year and going to different shops just to find the one duvet and bedspread that I really loved. I chose ones with my favorite colors which were the same with the ones in my room back home in the Dominican Republic. Even though they weren’t the same as the ones back home, it gave me a sense of normality and security.
2. Put together a photo collage
Filling your dorm with pictures from past events or just goofy ones with your friends from your home country is a good way to feel closer to them. Pictures will not only help you add personality to your room but it will create a base for you to create even more memories. For the rest of the year just remember to take a picture with all the new friends you make and anything interesting you do, so that you can print them occasionally, and add them to your collage.
It is not only about putting pictures up of those you love most but also decorating it however you want. This can be playing with the shape they form or even trying to fit them all because you can’t choose which one you want or which goes best next to the other. You can add things to it like ribbons, colorful tape or funny frames to add a little bit of color.
“Pictures will not only help you add personality to your room but they will form a base for you to create even more memories.”
My Malaysian friend Charis has always had a picture wall. As the years have passed-we are in our second year now-the pictures start to change from friends back home to the different years here at uni. And it is always nice to sit back and look at the pictures and appreciate the little moments and memories we have formed together. Even if we are not in the picture it is always fun to remember the day or the stories that come with each one.
3. Bring something from home
Having something familiar in this entirely new place might remind you of home enough to help you adapt. It might sound silly to bring your teddy bear or blanket from home but trust me it is more common than you think. Having that one item that you can pull out when you are missing home to either hug or look at is a reminder to yourself that you will be back soon enough.
You can even bring your old bedspread to help you sleep more comfortably. If you have some extra space in your luggage then why not bring your favorite bedroom accessory along to have a touch of your old room in your dorm.
“If you are going to make your dorm feel like home you might as well make use of all your senses!”
4. Candles or scents that remind you of home
Something we don’t think about often is how much a smell can remind us of home. Every time you go into a restaurant that serves your national dish or a scent that reminds you of home, you can’t help but feel a little bit homesick. So why not have a scent that you used in your room back home or light a scented candle with that smell every once in a while. This can make your room feel homely and can help you adapt to a new place more easily.
If you are going to make your dorm feel like home you might as well make use of all your senses!
One of my friends really enjoys scents, so she will always have a scented candle or air freshener somewhere in her room. By now we know her favorite scents and every time the dorm corridor smells like jasmine, we are pretty sure she just went shopping for some candles.
Crafting something yourself is an amazing way to make something special without spending too much money. With so many tutorials online it is a fantastic way to bond with your roommate if you have one and/or to spend some time making your room unique. This is where you have the liberty to do whatever you want and give a little twist to make your dorm room feel more like your own space.
And even if decorating and doing all of this is not really your thing there is one amazing thing about living in the dorms, Activities! There is no better way to get to know new people and hang out with your friends than the dorm activities! During my stay at the Hult dorms, I have participated in pub quizzes, fitness classes, Thanksgiving/Christmas dinners and so many other themed activities. Each one is packed with fun and getting to meet new people, whom I might not have seen before! Jumping into this new adventure might seem scary at first, but trust me, your second home will feel like your first home in no time.
Curious about life at our Undergraduate Campus? Send in your questions here.
Melissa Camilo is a Global Ambassador from the Dominican Republic. She’s an active member of Model United Nations, Women’s Amazons Rugby Club and Fine Arts Society. She dreams to pursue a career in the music industry.