This post comes many months belated, but before it gets too far out after my college graduation, I wanted to share a few pictures with y'all of my dorm room from this year! I lived on campus all four years of college. My former college offered many different types of housing, everything from traditional freshman dorms, to suites and apartments. I was lucky enough to get to live in one of the suite buildings during my freshman year there, which was very large, and I lived with six other girls! (We shared two bathrooms and a large common room area, in addition to several bedrooms.) When I transferred colleges, I had a traditional dorm room, hall bathroom and random roommate experience for my sophomore year. For junior year, I got to move into an upperclassmen dorm, but still had a roommate for both semesters.
Finally for this year, I had a single room! My room was still in the building I lived in junior year, but having a single was so nice! I shared a bathroom with the best suitemate ever, who was my dear friend Caroline. Caroline has been mentioned on Southern Belle in Training many times, as she took most of the photos for my blog during my final semester of college, and I also traveled with her for my senior spring break.
I apologize in advance for the quality of these pictures.... the reason that I never took many flat lay shots/selfies/mirror pictures/really ANY blogs photos in my dorm room is that the lighting in my building absolutely SUCKED! I had about four additional lights including what came with the ceiling... and it didn't make any difference at all! I'm so thankful that my apartment now has a much better lighting situation. (But I still treasure these photos of my last home on campus! ;-) )
This is the little piece of wall before my door that opened to mine and Caroline's shared bathroom. I decorated this wall with all of the letters I've received from bloggers or companies that I've worked with on my blog. I've saved everything from when I started blogging during freshman year!! Both my collage of blog letters and also this cute wall art print are now hanging in the bathroom of my apartment.
The thing that I hated the most about my junior and senior year rooms the past two years, possibly even more than the bad lighting situation, was the fact that the rooms in this building didn't have closets! The traditional style dorm room that I lived in my sophomore year when I transferred surprisingly had excellent closet space. I would have thought that it would be even better in an upperclass building, but nope! More like non-existent. All that students are given are small armoires, shown above. They're kind of like the furniture that some hotels have, which definitely isn't enough storage for the closet of a fashion blogger!
This year I invested in a closet rack, which I kept dresses on. It was such a good investment! I have a walk-in closet in my apartment now, but I kept the closet rack up and use it for outfit planning for blog shoots. You can find the one that I have here- it's super affordable and works great!
This is the desk area of my room. Each year of college I turned my desk into a makeup vanity area, as I preferred to do homework either in my bed or in the library. (Also: ignore the beer bottle on my desk. I am laughing now at the fact this is in the photos.... I almost never drank in my room/on campus, so I must have taken these dorm room photos on a night before I went out with friends, haha!!)
My bed! I have lofted my bed for the past two years and it was such a great way to add extra storage to a small room. In my sophomore year room I made a picture heart above my bed, and I brought that back for senior year. :-) The cards around it are various birthday cards, and the pictures on the other side of my bed are photos from bloggers that I've met up with over the years!
Lastly, the little gallery wall that I had over my TV this year! This was probably my favorite part of my senior year dorm room, so the fact that the picture is so dark makes me sad! I will link the prints used in my gallery wall at the end of this post. All of these came with me to the apartment and are now incorporated into a new and even better gallery wall in my dining room!
Finally, I wanted to share with y'all four reasons why I'm glad that I lived on campus all four years of college. I realize that at many large-scale universities, both public and private, residing on campus for all four years isn't an option for most students, due to either a lack of housing or more affordable off campus alternatives. For students at smaller schools where this is an option however, I would highly recommend that you stay on campus each year as I did! Here are my top four reasons why I'm happy I stayed on campus:
- Convenience: Nothing beats being able to leave your dorm room 5-10 minutes before class starts and being able to make it on time, if not early! And also being a short walk away from the cafeteria, gym, quad, bookstore, friends' dorms, Greek Village, or really anything else that you could want! Now that I live in a different part of Charlotte in an apartment, I've had to completely re-adjust my schedule and allow much more time for when I have to drive to work or other commitments- I was definitely spoiled by living on campus for four years, and I'll never get that opportunity again.
- Making friends: While some collegiate friendships are made through academics or organized activities, some of the best ones are formed randomly through various interactions on campus. You will be spending a lot more time on campus if you're a residential student, and that definitely increases your chances of making friends! The building that I lived in during my last two years of school wasn't really an "open door" building (people minded their own business and no one on the hall left their doors open), but I do know of friends at other colleges whose dormitories were filled with open doors and friendly neighbors, and sometimes people make their best friends that way!
- Greek Life: It isn't a requirement to live on campus to be involved in Greek life, but I think it makes it a heck of a lot easier! Sorority recruitment is such a demanding thing to participate in, whether you are on the new member side or the recruiting side! After being involved in both sides of recruitment, I can't even imagine factoring in commuting to school on top of all of the stress involved. Greek life also can provide stress at other times of the year, such as Greek Week and preparations for philanthropy events. It is so convenient if you live on campus so you can have easier access to your lodge or house! My own college didn't offer Greek housing, but if we did, I think that could have been a cool option for a year to get to know some of my sisters better.
- All-inclusive: Sure, on campus living isn't perfect. There are sometimes internet and cable outages, there are occasionally fire drills in the middle of the night, and not having a kitchen means that you will rely on the cafeteria or eating out for all of your meals. But when you think about how busy and involved you will be as a student and how much on campus living offers, it just makes sense (at least it did for me!). Now that I have an apartment, it seems like I am constantly cleaning everything, from dishes in the kitchen to tidying up our living room. Cooking meals and paying bills are another thing to worry about! These are all things that I never dealt with in college, as I was only responsible for my bedroom, and everything such as my meal plan, utilities, and cable/internet was all paid for. Dorm rooms also come furnished... I have quickly learned in the real world that furniture isn't cheap! Ha!
I am linking below my closet rack and the prints that I had in my gallery wall! My college bedding is all old and from childhood... I would definitely recommend bringing your childhood bedding to school with you if you can! Save your money on college bedding and instead save it for your first apartment bedding and decor. I'm definitely glad I did that. ;-)
xoxo Miss ALK