Sunday, July 3, 2011

The Residence Hall: Part II

As promised, this is part II of the hall series. This post will tackle the monster known as the DORM ROOM.  There will be a list of things to pack later that will cover anything mentioned in this post.

The Space

         Behold, the sample room.

Each room should include two beds, desks, bookshelves, and dressers. In some cases you may wind up stuck with one bookshelf if there are ones built into the room (like in Bornhuetter). Compton also has some furniture built in. I would recommend NOT bringing your own furniture. If you end up in a small room, there won't be space for it. It's also hard to pack a car with everything you need PLUS Grandma's antique armoire. Many students choose to purchase a futon while here, which is nice to have around when you have guests stay the night, or if people just want to hang out in your room. Walmart usually has pretty good priced futons, but there are other places to get them too. 

Ok, so I know beds are furniture, but they deserve their own section. With a few exceptions, the beds are all loftable, which means that you put additional posts under the ones holding your bed up. So your room can go from this:

Jumping for joy- because there's room!

You can also bunk the beds, or set them up in an L shape like so:
Behold! The most detailed picture EVAR!
If you get creative there are a lot of things you can do with the furniture in the room. REMEMBER that if you loft, you WILL have to climb in and out of bed quite a ways. This can be troublesome for those of us who are less coordinated or tend to get stuck at the top... not that I've ever gotten stuck before or anything.  Anyway, I have trouble climbing anything when I'm fully awake, let alone half-asleep, so I don't loft, personally. Lofted beds are also really hard to make-up since the sheets are so hard to reach (if you're that type of person that makes their bed).  Lofted beds aren't for everyone, but if you need more storage space you can always loft your bed at the lowest rung and use a step-stool to climb into bed... or jump if you're that athletic.

The most useful storage space will be under your bed. Even if you don't want to loft, I would recommend putting your bed up higher than normal just to have the extra space. Don't count on too much closet space, because it probably won't be very much. Besides that, your clothes will usually take up most of the closet, especially if you like to hang up coats and things (or if you're a female). CLEAR plastic tubs are quite useful for storing out-of-season clothes and other items (most of us don't wear our Daisy Dukes and bikinis on top during the winter). After you arrive and you've arranged furniture, take MEASUREMENTS of a space that you think a chest of rolling plastic drawers could fit and go find some to fit there. They are marvelous for storing spare toiletries and things like gloves and hats during the winter, since they are so easily accessible.  Crates also work well for storing things and you can set other things on top of them!

I almost forgot the most important part! You'll want to decorate your room. If you don't it may end up looking like a prison cell. Get creative! Posters are sold in Lowry within the first couple of weeks of school, so it may be good to wait on buying them until you have your room set up. Posters aren't the only way to decorate, though. Flags, construction paper, kites and other things are cheap and can definitely liven up a space. If your lucky, your room could be this cool:
Decorations: Plane kite, curtains, glow stars, construction paper stars and clouds, and various posters. There was also a disco ball at one point.
Some rules and recommendations about rooms:
1) USE COMMAND STRIPS (sold at Drug Mart and Joanne's) TO HANG STUFF. They work exceptionally well, and the hooks are reusable! You just have to make sure to pull straight down, because you WILL get charged if you chip the paint. As a side note, actually read your Room Condition Report (RCR) before you sign it so that you don't get charged for anything the RA (resident assistant) assessing the room may have missed.

2) EXTENSION CORDS ARE DANGEROUS AND NOT ALLOWED! Rumor has it that there once was a fire started by an extension cord once that gutted a floor of Holden (the oldest dorm), so when your RA tells you this, they mean it. Power strips are perfectly allowed and safe because they have the switch on them. Many come with longer cords now, so that's a good option to take.  I would recommend bringing at least one and then purchasing another if you need it.

3) LIGHTS! You'll want 1-2 other sources of light, depending on if . Desk lamps are great for when your roomie is sleeping and you still need to study. Rope lights and Christmas lights are quite decorative and add a nice touch to any room! Just make sure not to connect them to each other, because that would be using it as an extension cord.

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