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If you’ve just moved in to your accommodation or your new place in town, at first it might be a little hard to reconcile the unfamiliar space with your nice room at home. Bare walls, empty shelves, a boring carpet and a bare mattress greet you, and you ask yourself why you ever thought moving out of home was a good idea. Luckily, you can easily brighten up your room and make it more “yours” without spending too much money.
The first and obvious thing is posters. There are periodic poster and art sales in Alexandra square, and they are quite affordable too – put up some color on your walls, and let anyone who comes into your room know about your interests. In hindsight, looking back at my first year, I should add that a 6 foot Star Wars poster may not be the best way to alert people to your interests.
You could also get a plant – something small and easy to care for, like a cactus or a succulent, will add some life to your room, and give you a semblance of routine while you’re settling into uni life. Having something to be responsible for will give you structure. Plant sales happen occasionally in the square – you could get a little succulent and even a pot to put it in for about a fiver.
Bring some pictures from home! You can easily make a collage of fond memories with your family and friends to look on when you get nostalgic, and it’s quite a conversation starter when you’re having people over. Other things you can add to make it more lively – birthday cards, scrapbook pages, burn book pages (actually, maybe, no burn book pages).
Most colleges on campus have a rule about fairy lights and Christmas lights, so depending on that, your room might not be an exact copy of your inspirations on tumblr and pinterest, but there’s other ways to achieve your peak aesthetics goals.
The Lancaster University Arts and Crafts society held a workshop to show students how to make paper garlands and pom-poms. If you didn’t make it to that event (which was quite popular and successful), don’t fret! There’s a lot of tutorials online that can help you create some hand-crafted room décor, even if you do it to kill some time and procrastinate looking at your reading lists. It’s worth taking a look in some of the arts and crafts stores in town too – they have a lot of materials that can help you get creative, without costing too much money and straining your budget. (Be careful with the loose glitter. Be incredible careful with the loose glitter. Do not breathe sharply around an open jar of loose glitter.)
Your room may look a little bare at first, but as soon as you unpack fully, get a few care packages from home, go a bit overboard with the posters, and purchase an unreasonable amount of Star Wars memorabilia, it will reflect your personality and become your happy place on campus.
As a final note, it’s worth mentioning that vacuuming your room once a week is completely free, and will definitely help the overall outlook of things.