When USA Today College offered dorm decorating advice that would make students “feel at home,” I was truly impressed. Inexpensive tips from paint color to flameless candles, and lace trim to glass vessels for nail polish, transformed drab dorms into shabby chic cool. While I was ready to move in, it was apparent these beautiful solutions wouldn’t make my college-bound kid feel at home. Have you seen his room? Let’s just say, he won’t be using accent pillows until there’s a relationship and a commitment pushing him into it. Here’s the tips he’d give for preventing home sickness and creating a room that feels like the one he’s leaving behind.
1. Eliminate the middle man and forget the hangers. Why create an extra step? Place all clothing on the floor where it can be easily accessed for wearing and laundering.
2. Mountain Dew cans, when creatively stacked, can double as dorm sculptures.
3. Leave all academic paperwork strewn around the room. It will remind you of your primary mission–learning. When nagged by neat roommates, emphasize that some people have time to clean, others make studying a priority.
4. Forget about under-the-bed storage boxes. While clever, they only slow down your ability to kick stuff under there.
5. Don’t be too hard on yourself. It’s not a mess if you can still find your electronics.
© 2011 Dr Nancy Berk, excerpted from the book College College Bound and Gagged: How To Help Your Kid Get Into A Great College Without Losing Your Savings, Your Relationship, or Your Mind