Being out on their own for the first time makes freshmen want to make their space personal. This personalization comes in the form of trying to stuff a mini fridge, couch, flat-screen television, microwave, stereo and kitchen sink in a 10′ x 16′ room. After being in the residence halls for about a week, freshmen are starting to realize that all of their stuff simply will not work with the space-deficient room.
“Most definitely coordinate with your roommates,” junior and 4th floor RA Rebecca Wilmington said.Freshman Blake Phillips carries boxes to his new room in Wiest Hall.
Freshman Brian Linden did just that.
“I went to Tiger Day, so I was able to see the size of my room beforehand, and my roommate and I figured out what each of us were bringing. So it’s working out,” Linden said.
Some students didn’t contact their other roommate at all, and in one of the few cases, it actually worked.
“My roommate and I didn’t decide on anything beforehand. I brought everything I had since I’ve lived in the dorms before. My roommate didn’t really bring anything, but in that way it all works out,” sophomore Zachary Cady said.
Alternately, students have the option of renting appliances.
According to Wilmington, “They can rent a fridge and a microwave, and at the end of the year, they return it. It’s easy to split the cost without wondering who’s going to get everything in the end.”
Wilmington also suggests that dorm residents loft their beds. “It’s an awesome way to save space: bunk them. That way they’ll have a place to put a refrigerator underneath and even a place to put a couch,” Wilmington said.
Other ways to manage the space include getting stackable storage boxes to place under beds, adhesive wall hooks, door organizers and hanging wardrobe organizers.
Another strategy is to look for vertical storage options. Anything that takes up a bunch of space horizontally takes up too much floor space.
Some residents seem to have solved the space problem.
“The space is fine. I guess we’ll figure out if it’s not later on, but then again, we have our beds lofted. Although, I’m on top, so I’m not the one that has to be worried about being crushed,” freshman Greg Shuler said.
But it’s not all about the physical space. It’s also about atmosphere.
“Make it your own. Bring things to make you comfortable. I lived in the halls for 5 years, so that’s the best thing I can suggest. Get different perspectives from other people. Check out everyone else’s room. It’s all about making more space with limited space,” hall director for Wiest Hall Allyson Plattner said.
“We’re going to paint our walls, and I brought my guitar. I plan on playing occasionally,” Shuler said.
Although freshmen won’t be able to have every single thing they were able to have at home, they don’t seem to mind. As Shuler implied, freshmen are ready to make the limited space their own with creativity and imagination.