Deck the Dorm: Tips for Holiday Decor

Well, it’s that time of year again. The holiday season is gradually working its way back into the lives of every college student who didn’t think they would live past midterms to see it. Dining halls are churning out the peanut brittle and other festive snacks. Your staff will probably also be doing their best to recruit you to help decorate the hallways. I know mine are at least. Still, you don’t hear me complaining! The season is alive, and taking full of advantage of the chance to decorate is one of the best things about having your space in college. Don’t be a Grinch (pardon the corny joke) and heed these warnings from your ghost of college years past!

Break out the mini-Christmas trees!

These puppies are a staple of Christmas in the dorm style of living. They come in all kinds of shapes, sizes and colors, even different themes if you look hard enough. Honestly, I know someone who had a Toy Story Christmas tree one year. Most dorm rooms are big enough to accommodate for these little wonders. If you want to get extra creative, you can even place mini-presents underneath the tree. Still, if a mini-tree is too expensive or large for your tastes, there are plenty of other ways to spruce up your cozy little nook.

Light up the night with decorative lighting.

This is yet another piece of dorm decor that is highly customizable and cheap! From adorable paper lanterns to sparkling fluorescent lights, you can engulf your entire room in a warm and comforting glow of the holidays. They can be clasped to the wall or draped around the windows. If you want to get ambitious, you can craft together a system where they zigzag across the room. As long as you do not mess with the drywall, universities typically give you a lot of freedom when it comes to decorating, so experiment away!

Ready or not, it’s arts and crafts time.

Another cheap alternative for decorating your room for the holidays is as easy as a trip down memory lane. Most of us remember the days of paper snowflakes in grade school. Well, these easy-to-make and fun to hang up projects are making a major comeback, especially at the college level. Grab some construction paper and cut out your own designs to hang around your room. If snowflakes are not your thing, go for other shapes like stars and even make your own garland! Sites like Pinterest are perfect for finding these handy little DIY projects, so start searching today!

Take a hint from Bath & Bodyworks and utilize aromatherapy!

You do not have to bake cookies to give your dorm that tantalizing aroma. Invest in Scentsy and other products to give your room that extra oomph. Scents from peppermint to sugar cookies to gingerbread are particularly suited to the season. Combined with the effects of your awesome lighting and decorating, the scent will tie the entire room together. Just remember to steer clear of incense and actual candles because universities usually frown upon the use of such materials in the dorms. Above all, be safe with any type of lighting or flames because you never know when something may go wrong with the wiring!

And above all: have fun.

No matter what holiday you celebrate, there is something for everyone when it comes to decorating for the holidays. Share a little holiday cheer with your fellow dorm mates, no matter how small and insignificant it may seem. Some of my greatest memories from freshman year involved celebrating with my friends. So to the future freshman, good luck with your impending year ahead and have a great season and happy new year!

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Tori Stukins

Tori Stukins

Tori Stukins is a sophomore at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign pursuing a degree in Broadcast Journalism with a minor in Theatre. On campus, Tori can often be found working on various projects for Her Campus Illinois, acting in a production or reading. While at home, she enjoys working at her family’s restaurant or exploring with her friends.