May 20, 2023

Five decorations to brighten up the dorm

Moving into a residence hall for the first time can be nerve-racking. Amidst the stress of preparing for new classes and joining new clubs, dorm rooms can be a place of solace from the hustle and bustle of college life instead of a source of anxiety.

Here are five decoration ideas that will turn your room into a charming, comfortable environment.

Fridge Magnets

Not all residence hall rooms have the space for fancy futons and chic coffee tables. A fun way to personalize your room without taking up too much space is through fridge magnets.

MSU supplies the dorms with refrigerators the perfect canvases for all sorts of personal trinkets.

My roommate and I invested in some mini succulent magnets last year. The little fake plants hold up everything from fliers to tickets. One is red and spiky. Another has broad purple and green leaves. My fridge has personality for under $10.

Magnets function as more than just decor, and they are especially valuable during your first weeks on campus.

Every organization imaginable will likely hand you a pamphlet. You may want to keep some of these papers as reminders of the interest meetings and opportunities available across campus.

Touch Lamps

A touch lamp with a USB port can make your life as a college student easier.

My lamp looks like a tiny chandelier with hanging faux crystals. Any touch lamp that suits your fancy will do.

If you place the lamp on a nightstand, you can charge your phone in bed. When your alarm goes off in the morning, you can just tap the lamp.

I know my lamp has prevented me from falling back asleep many mornings. I do not have to wake my roommate up by turning on the overhead lights, but I do not have to stumble around in the dark either.

Having a lamp helps with both early mornings and late-night study sessions. You can read, study or work and then go to bed without having to ever touch a light switch.

Painted Cowbells

The ringing of cowbells fill Davis Wade Stadium on any given Saturday in the fall.

It may be hard to believe, but cowbells can provide as much visual appeal in a dorm as they do sound in the stadium.

Cowbells, a desk decoration filled with school spirit, come in a variety of colors and sizes.

You can support local businesses that carry painted cowbells or paint them yourself. The Lodge, Maroon & Co and Mississippi State's Barnes & Noble all sell plain cowbells if you choose to paint your own.

Your first cowbell must be a gift, as purchasing your own is generally considered to be bad luck. After that, you can personally contribute to your decorative cowbell collection as much as you want.


IKEA sells a plastic pegboard with 426 letters, numbers and symbols.

A pegboard can offer a space for banter and inside jokes with your friends.

I have commemorated many holidays and game days with my pegboard. From happy birthdays to merry Christmases to hail states, the decoration constantly showcases important occasions.

In times of break-ups, the board has even functioned as a temporary "burn board," slandering friends’ ex-boyfriends. I consider this a relatively harmless and therapeutic method of revenge.

Throw Pillows

Whether fuzzy, furry or fluffy, throw pillows can make your room a cozier space, as a pile of pillows can create a homier look.

After a long day of class, many people want to retreat to their beds.

For those who like to study in their dorms, pillows give support when sitting in bed to read or do homework.

If you dislike throwing decorative pillows off of the bed to sleep, you can always opt for one or two larger throw pillows. I tend to believe the more pillows, the better.

The dorm will be your home for an entire year, so you want to think about the decorations that will make you feel most at home. Personal touches can make dorm life easier and more exciting.

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