The Best Tips to Prepare Your Dorm Room Living Space


Dorm life in college is a central part of many students’ journeys. Studies show that living on campus can increase your chances of academic success since peers with similar goals and interests surround you. Living on campus is a unique experience, and transitioning away from home can be simultaneously challenging and exciting. Dorm life in college allows you to fully immerse in the first step towards your independence, so use these tips to make the most of your new living space.

The Details on Dorm Life: What Should You Expect?

Living in a dorm (or Residence Hall, as some colleges call them) means how you eat, sleep, interact, and even shower will be different than you’re used to. These tips for dorm living can help you make a smooth transition away from home.

Plan to Share Space

Whether or not you have a roommate, living on campus means sharing space. You’ll likely share a bathroom, dining hall, and common area with other students on your floor. Some apartment-style residence halls have small kitchen and living room spaces, so you’ll share the appliances and furniture. Be prepared to label your things, but also consider this an opportunity to be gracious and generous with your space. Living alongside other students who share your values (even if it’s close quarters) will help you embrace your best self.

Adjust to Multipurpose Living

There’s something special about living where you learn. Your dorm room will become a multipurpose space where you study, sleep, catch up with friends, and work through inevitable challenges. Establishing boundaries and routines is essential to make this small space functional.

Embrace New Experiences

The best tip for dorm living is to embrace the experience fully. Living with strangers quickly turns into sharing space with friends. Be curious about your neighbors and take the opportunity to learn from the diverse student backgrounds. You’ll see many community events, social hours, meetings, and clubs announced throughout the residence halls – take a chance and attend something outside your comfort zone!

Decorating the Dorm: Making a Home on Campus

Living on campus means your dorm room is your retreat from the hustle and bustle of college classes. These dorm room ideas will help you put your own touch on the space. A curated room is an excellent way to feel relaxed, focused, and confident as you head into the next school year. Your dorm room décor should ideally be a mix of practical and personal, so don’t be afraid to choose what speaks to you!

Daily Life Essentials

Your round-the-clock residence will need amenities for eating, showering, sleeping, studying, and everything in between. Choose a consistent color scheme for these dorm living essentials to make your room feel cohesive.

  • A set of non-breakable melamine dishes and utensils for two people; even if you plan to eat at the dining hall, you’ll want something for sharing snacks with a friend
  • Shower caddy, flip-flops, robe, and a small quick-dry towel
  • An extra pillow and blanket for the bed to get comfortable during long study sessions or a weekend movie with your roommate
  • A dimmable, wireless charging lamp for studying, reading, or relaxing
  • Noise-canceling headphones to make studying and sleeping easier
  • A small desk fan and personal humidifier to help control the temperature

Organization Tools

When you have a small space, organization tools are essential for maximizing every square inch.

  • Underbed storage bins to hold clothing and extra bedding
  • Desk drawer bins to keep everything in place
  • Over-door hooks for coats, bags, umbrellas, and other personal items
  • Narrow rolling carts to store items in the small spaces between furniture

Faith First

When you want your college experience to be Christ-centered, there are several dorm living essentials to put high on the list.

  • Your favorite Bible and a journal for taking notes in Chapel
  • A daily or weekly Bible verse calendar for inspiration when you need it most
  • A new devotional specifically for college students; keep it on your bedside table and plan to start each day with a page.
  • A picture frame with family photos and your family’s chosen Bible verse

Personal Touches

Adding a splash of personality to your room will help take it from functional to inviting. Include several of these dorm room decorations to make it your own.

  • Lightweight curtains hung with command strip hooks (if nails aren’t allowed)
  • Throw rugs
  • Faux plants
  • Battery-operated string lights or small signs — your home state flag, scripture decor, or your favorite saying are all fun ideas.

Live, Learn, and Connect at DBU

If you’re already excited about the possibilities of a dorm room experience in college, then the Dallas Baptist University housing office should be your next stop. On-campus housing at DBU is the perfect way to integrate your studies, new friendships, and Christ-centered lifestyle. 

Residence halls offer a built-in community for students transitioning to independent life away from home. For older students with a solid foundation, there are several university apartment, townhome, and brownstone options to choose from. DBU also has a unique Residential College where first-year students live and learn together as they continue to work toward becoming Christian servant leaders.

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