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Archive for August 26th, 2010

Last post, I realise that I had made illusions to having photos of my new dorm room, but because of dead batteries and my forgetful nature, they didn’t quite make it into the post.  So, here are all of those photos:

Here are the majority of my things in the room.  Colourful, right?

One of the things I was really worried about was how to get both natural and artificial lighting.  Well, after some moving around of my desk and a five-headed lamp, problem solved.  If this is to be a tip for anyone moving into a dorm, definitely invest in good lighting.  I’d say no less than three lamps–one for your desk, one for by your bed, and one for general purposes.

What I really love about having a dorm twice the size of last year is that I can bring along my own furniture to spice things up.  If you’ve ever been in my basement, you may remember this hideous whitish-yellow coffee table that was by the couches.  Well, do you recognise it now?  TADA!  I painted it a deep mint green and added brown trees to the side that look wonderfully whimsical.  And I just added some throw pillows that I made (okay, and two that I bought), my ugly, patchwork blanket that I finally finished, and my stupid monster stuffed animal that I made last year.  His name is Cedric Stupory.  I made him a girl friend named Cho Chud-up, but she’s not cool enough to make it to uni.

Because of the extra room this year, I was actually able to see my wall, which meant more opportunities to decorate.  I bought a few new picture frames to compliment the paintings that I had brought up last year.  Since my bed is lofted, I get to use that metal frame for even more decorating.  Yeah!  I used some otherwise useless magnets to hang up random photos from Germany, Colorado, and home.

Another cool thing was to be able to hang up all of my necklaces and use them as some dècor.  The best ever hooks are 3M, and they make it super easy to hang everything from jewellery to towels to paintings to curtain ties.  The next best hook would be any over the door hook.  If your bed is lofted like mine, you can put the hooks over the rungs on the side of the bed in order to hang up purses, electrical cords, whatever.

The built-in bookshelf on the desk is a life-saver on many levels.  First, it eliminates the need for me to actually bring up something for all of my text books and resources.  Second, it has cork board.  CORK BOARD.  Back in early high school, I started collecting a lot more jewellery, which caused me to quickly run out of space.  But one day, while rearranging my cork board in my bedroom, I discovered that necklaces could be hung from colourful sewing needles or push pins.  What a marvellous day!  Ever since, I’ve used available cork board for my jewellery since I usually don’t post anything else on the boards aside from important tid bits and old pins.

Here’s a better view of the necklaces.

I also have an array of mason jars for food (everything from almonds to chocolate chips to home made mint tea!), FOSSIL tins from a Saint Charles store called Left Overs, and garage sale wooden jewellery holders for all kinds of pens and post its and whathaveyou.  Around this time of year, you’ll see Walmart carrying those shit organisers in every bright colour and type of plastic.  While they are usually functional, they automatically make your dorm, well, look like a dorm.  If you want to transform your dorm into your own room (or better yet, an apartment), you have to plan ahead and add more sophisticated elements.  Plus, I just like that the wooden furniture hides the sight of bright neon highlighters but still costs less than a dollar.

Most of the time, I shove my text books into my binders/folders for the class.  This helps keep me organised and also allows me to easily pick up everything I need for class.  Sure, there are stragglers that couldn’t find their way into a binder, but I have some neat marble horse-head bookends that my mum bought around the time that I was born.  They’re heavy enough to get the job done but still look pretty neat.

I really do love the food décor, though.  Antique mason or jam jars work great, but you can also buy jars for super cheap at Walmart.

Another really great way to decorate (that’s also useful) is to have plants in your room.  Unfortunately, I killed all of my plants from last year, so this year, I have a slew of new finds!

Oh, and I have a Skittles machine.  Be jealous.

What you can’t see in this photo is that I added curtains today.  They’re the same bright purple ones from last year, but it was an amazing difference putting them up.  It made the hole room look so much more like home.

And I know you’re just thrilled to see the inside of my wardrobe.  Yes; I know that I am Elle Woods.  But since I’ve practically turned this post into a dorm show-off for anyone interested in dorm décor, I thought I’d mention the use of drawers and hangers for scarves.  Oh, and this is my personal entrance to Narnia.  Aslan and I are best-friends.

Again, 3M Hooks are your best-friend.  I use them to hold up old bra hangers, and from there, the bra hangers then become SCARF HANGERS!  I’m one of those girls who collects massive quantities of scarves, so I had to find a good way to store them.

Drawers are also your friend.  But, ye be warned: measure first.  You don’t want to be coming home to find your drawers not fitting into your wardrobe.  Last year, these were showing right next to my desk, which wasn’t all that bad.  It just didn’t look that great since they are see-through.

Also, get a nice plastic caddy for your shower things.  And a soap container.  THEY ARE AMAZING.

Storage.  It happens.  And it doesn’t always look nice.  But whatever.  I brought along the fridge again and bought a cheap microwave from Walmart.  And it works cheaply, too, but it eventually gets the job done.  Target had some great storage cubes last year, and this year, the price dropped enough for me to get a door and more shelves for the inside of them.  Now they hold food.  Yeah!

MORE STORAGE!

Anyway, this has turned into one of those posts that was meant for my friends but has turned into something that people will find on Google and then look through before heading off to uni every August.  Oh well.  Here are some pictures from my dorm last year:

The first stages, before I had figured out how to make things pretty.  TRANSFORMATION:

Much better.  Getting the cords out of the way and removing random junk really helped.  And, just a little tip, store extra things in your car.  My room mate used to store some of her cooking supplies in her trunk to save on room because, as you can tell from the next photo, it was cramped.

We had the smallest dorm on campus that was shared by two people, but we managed to make it work.  It just felt a little bit like a cupboard.  But not in the good way–you know, like Harry Potter.

Speaking of Harry Potter, I make really terrible first introductions with people I don’t know who have to live with me.  Get ready 1 North, you’re living with Missi–the girl who says that hummingbirds and chicken nuggets are synonymous.

I’ll leave you now.

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Well, it’s yet again August, which means I’m trucking back up to school for the next nine months in order to pack my sponge-like brain full of knowledge so that I can squeeze it all out during the winter and summer holidays.  No, that’s being mean to my intellect.  I remember what’s necessary and come back each year smarter than I was the year before.  But I fully accept that I will forget half of what I learn this upcoming semester.

My classes seem pretty basic; I’m still in that stage of school where I have to completely my liberal arts requirements before I can jump just into my major and minor.  So, Brit Lit, German, and statistics are mostly to round that out (aside from the fact that I need to take yet another stats and German class next semester that have this semester’s classes as prerequisites).  Otherwise, I’ve started my studio art minor by taking a drawing class (which I had this morning, and it went very well), and I’m continuing my psychology major with a social psychology course.  Which, let’s face it, I’m super excited for that class.  Yes.  It will be a lot of work–more work than any of my other psych classes because it’s lecture, reading, papers, and projects rather than just a combination of a few of those elements.  But we have show and tell in class tomorrow, so I’m pretty pumped.

Otherwise, move-in was fine, all aside from a hurt foot and constant indecision about where to put things.  Last year, the room was so small that there was really only one way to arrange things, so decisions were much simpler.  This year, my room is literally twice as large, so I had more options–leading to a full day of moving things back and forth and trying to figure out what I liked and didn’t like.  But after twelve hours of organising and decorating, things were finally looking pretty good.  Want a picture?  All right, here:

Apartment Therapy can eat it’s heart out; I think it looks pretty damn good.

But it feels odd, yet right, to be back.  Odd in the sense that I’m in a new room, starting all over, and I no longer recognise half of the people in the cafeteria.  Right in the sense that nearly everyone from last year is back.  We gathered for dinner last night and then in the lounge, and things fell right back into place–we played games, watched television, I was overly ridiculous and annoying, we all laughed.  Just as it was where we left off, just a few people gone who moved out or graduated and a few people new who have moved in or are freshmen.  I’m just waiting for everything to click and fell exactly the same as it did last year.  Give it another few days.  I’ll be there.

Nothing else is that big right now.  The cycle of water and tea starts again, music plays, and books get read.  That’s just about how it goes.

I’ll keep you updated.

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