Top ten tips to turn your halls into a home
By Annie Graham,
Moving into halls is an exciting and nerve wracking time. When you arrive at university and are presented with a blank canvas of a room that you’re told will be yours for the year, take the opportunity to really make it your own. Anything you can do to help yourself feel more relaxed is a good thing in my book. Make sure you stay mindful of any university rules, but most importantly, enjoy it! Your room is a huge invitation for you to show your personality - here are theunipod’s top ten tips to transforming your halls into a home:
1. Put up some posters
These can immediately make your room feel more ‘you’, but use white tac rather than blue. Definitely don’t stick them up with Sellotape, bravely convincing yourself you will be able to remove it without trace. You won’t, and you’ll probably be charged for the mistake.
An obvious one, but these really can do wonders for a bare room. Pictures of familiar faces will make it feel your own, and can really comfort you when homesickness strikes. Photos can also prove a talking point with friends, or serve as an ice-breaker with new hall mates who pop their head round your room door for a friendly snoop: “Who are they?” “You look so much like your mum!!” etc.
3. Keep a few snacks at hand
This may sound silly, but keeping a tin of biscuits, a bag of satsumas and some squash in your room can really help if you’re feeling a craving but don’t feel up to braving the communal kitchen in your pyjamas, or are feeling ill or a bit down.
4. Here’s a bit of a girly one: candles
Now I would love to suggest bringing these as a way to make your room instantly cosier of an evening, but the reality is that most halls probably won’t allow these for health and safety reasons. You can, however, get little battery-powered tea-lights that will give a similar effect, without the fire risk!
5. A plant
… to sit on the windowsill could help freshen up your room, while giving you a sense of achievement in being able to keep something other than yourself alive… although mine died. Don’t tell the teacher who gave it to me!
6. Ensuite bathroom goodies
If you are lucky enough to have bagged an en suite bathroom, little additions such as a colourful bath/shower mat, towels, or an unusual liquid soap to stand on the basin (you can get great ones really cheap at TkMaxx) can make it feel less clinical, more homely.
As a major part of the small student bedroom, it is nice if your bed is dressed nicely with a favourite duvet cover. I brought a beautiful quilt that I got for my 18th birthday to my room in halls – it really added a touch of home.
Whether you’re a girl or a boy, your halls bed will double up as a sofa, so, whoever you are, it’s nice to have a few of these to prop yourself up when you don’t fancy perching on an uncomfortable desk chair.
9. Some kind of stool
Another slightly random suggestion perhaps, but a useful one that may not be at the top of your list! My mum suggested I invested in a little fold-down stool last year; it can become an extra seat when friends come round, but will also be a great help if you have high wardrobe or book shelves to get to.
Bringing an iPod dock (or a similar music playing device) can be ideal when all you want to do is drown out other people’s bad music. And don’t forget your TV license. It can be nice to tune in to something you watch at home so you can have a chat about it next time you’re Skype-ing. I always found the sound of the Coronation Street theme tune comforting after a busy day!