Top 5 ways to get your home ready for an Online Semester
Usually, around this time of year, students are packing up their belongings at home, shopping for dorm decor, and preparing to tackle another year in college as a semester approaches. With the outbreak of COVID-19 or the coronavirus, colleges and universities across the country are shut down and switching to virtual teaching/learning as a means to slow the transmission of the virus. With a majority of college students at home, many are trying to find the best way to prepare for an online semester and make their space at home feel like the college they know, love, and dearly miss.
When you’re learning at home, it can be difficult to find motivation or get inspired because everything that excites you about college, isn’t there. The big, beautiful academic buildings you pass on the way to your morning lecture, the smell of breakfast sandwiches floating around from the various food trucks on campus, the loud yet calming sound of students talking and walking around, the comfort of your dorm room/apartment- there are so many elements about college that make physically being there magical.
Are you a student stuck at home due to coronavirus? Looking for ways to inspire and motivate yourself to tackle your upcoming online semester? Here are five ways to give your space that college feel without leaving your home!
Hang pictures of friends and family
When in college, cherishing time with your new friends means the world. Capturing memories, having fun, and creating new experiences is something that you will remember for the rest of your lifetime. While you are at home and have easier ways to see your friends from home and family, that doesn’t mean that you can’t hang up pictures to remind you of your life away from home and your new friends. Consider hanging pictures with clothespins, string, and string lights for a nice effect! Additionally, you could make a collage board with your favorite pictures, fun stickers and cut outs, and different crafty decorations! There are so many creative ways to do this, and doing so can help to remind you of all the great times you had while on campus.
Deck out your room with school memorabilia
There is nothing quite like being apart of a school community. In college, school pride, passion for school sports, and love for everything associated with school automatically unites you with the community of students around you. While you can’t be physically at school to feel apart of the greater community, you can bring your school to your home by decorating with fun school memorabilia! Hang a pennant, a poster of your campus, a flyer from a favorite event, or a stuffed animal- whatever you have that reminds you of school, hang it up! One of my most cherished items is a hand towel from one of my school’s homecoming games, it reminds me of how much fun I had and how much I love my school!
Make a study space
Learning from home requires a great deal of both self-discipline from distractions and dedication. To help foster a great work/study environment for yourself, it is absolutely necessary to create an adequate work space. Find an area in your home that has minimal distractions, plenty of light (natural is the best), and enough space for a table or desk with a chair to work from. Include some visuals to inspire you, along with some items that can create a positive atmosphere to your space, like a favorite picture or candle. A dedicated space will motivate you to get all your work done as well as give you a sense that you are in a traditional classroom environment!
Get creative with furniture
I remember when I was kid, rearranging furniture always made me feel like I had a completely different room. By simply adjusting the spot of my bed, dresser, or tv stand, my room suddenly felt brand new and gave it a fresh new feeling. If you’re in your childhood bedroom, things can feel stale and outdated very quickly. To avoid this, try getting creative with furniture! Zainab Damjiof Her Campus suggests, “Regardless of whether you have the means to redecorate or make permanent changes, rearranging your furniture is a great way to create a change without spending any money. Whatever you decide to do, it can prevent you from associating your room with your past memories, instead helping you focus on your present and future.”
Create a similar tone or establish a different one
What was once cherished and adored in our childhood bedrooms, is now pretty dreadful and unappealing. At your college dorm, you most likely have a tone or theme to your space. Perhaps you’re a minimalist that enjoys all white furnishings and decorations, or maybe you love the look of vintage wallpaper and lots of greenery. Whatever aesthetic you love, try and establish the same one at home! Incorporate different elements like paint, textured walls, artwork, rugs, decor, or furnishings to help you feel like your home away from home. Elizabeth Seward of Apartment Therapy suggests, “Play around with various fabric textures—faux fur, velvet, linen—as well as other tones and finishes—wood, metal, tile, glass. You might be surprised how far variety can take you.”
Though starting a new semester at home rather than on campus can be discouraging and disappointing, there are still ways to connect yourself to your school and feel more at home while you’re away from campus!