Moving into a dorm and the subsequent decorating is easily one of the highlights when you first start college. Having lived in the same bedroom for probably most of your life, your college dorm is a second home where you can make it your own, and put your own creative touches on a blank canvas.
Most of the time when we think of a decorated dorm room, we picture fairy lights, mandala wall tapestries and poster boards. Many girls will often opt for the coordinated color scheme that matches their roommate’s too. And while this makes for an attractive esthetic, it doesn’t allow for much personal expression in a space that should spark joy.
Look After Your Mind
You may be tempted to stick to cool, neutral or pastel tones in your room to keep it looking neat and clean, but in doing this you’re missing out on a real opportunity to use your living space to help you mentally every day.
The past year has been unbelievably tough for us all, but for college students who are learning remotely, spending extended periods away from home and missing out on much of the social side to college, looking after your mind should be an absolute priority.
It’s so important to reach out for help if we need it, but it’s also a good idea to evaluate the external factors that you can control, and ask yourself how you can make the day to day a bit more positive for you. One of the single most simple changes you can make in your life, is introducing more color into your environment.
Color therapy, or chromotherapy, is based on the idea that different colors and lights can help treat people with both mental and physical ailments. This is a centuries-old concept that was practiced in countries like Egypt, China, India and Greece, where they used colors and sunlight for their healing properties. This is something that has now been explored in numerous scientific studies, with interior design experts identifying how different color choices can hugely affect people. For example, blue can bring down blood pressure and heart rate, whereas yellow is said to exude happiness and comfort. Purple is associated with having a restful quality, but orange can evoke enthusiasm.
We all know that feeling that washes over us when we walk into a really beautiful space that masterfully uses color to really give a room a certain indescribable quality. This is something students can do on a micro scale in their college rooms.
Be Bold And Add Some Color
As a young person, art is often misrepresented as something only available to those with a disposable income. But you can enjoy art in many accessible forms, from prints, to sculptures, or even a portrait of your favorite musician. Wall art is one of the best additions a college student can make to their dorm, as it doesn’t take up too much valuable space. Introducing a colorful piece into your living area may feel a bit out there at first, but the longer it stays in that place, the more you will notice just how powerful it is in altering your mood.
Especially when we find the days getting shorter in the winter months, the calm colors that you first fell in love with when you designed your room, won’t be so appealing when you’re craving some sun and brightness. In addition, the most special art pieces are the ones that you feel a personal connection to. Your art can transcend time by representing where you’ve come from, who you are in that moment, and where you want to be. Your art can represent something bigger than you and serve as a constant source of good vibes and positive energy.
So when you return to college in January, take that brave step to tell your roommate that you’re digressing from that color scheme you both worked so hard to agree on, and make 2021 the year that you allow yourself to feel positivity and happiness in your environment with colorful art that sparks joy.
Elyssa Dorf is the founder and creative director of the New York design studio Cheery Designs.