Moving back to the UK after my study abroad semester brings with it many challenges. There is culture shock and deadlines in my future, but more than anything all I seem to be able to think right now is how exactly I am going to style my last room in halls for the remainder of second year! Next year I will be living in something more akin to an adult house with bills and the like (which can be a rather scary thought at times) but at present, everything is packaged neatly together leaving my primary concern outside of work around colour schemes and the cutest of Eeyore duvet covers. In thinking about all of this, I started thinking… what are the student musts when it comes to decor? Afterall, this is your home away from home for the foreseeable future.
In terms of decor basics, you know that this is going to be a list bearing similar resemblance to a packing list for a holiday except in more detail. Toothbrush & co, clean clothes, spare shoes, which then goes on to incorporate a desk lamp, a laundry basket and stationery. The list is endless and when you do arrive, it is always going to be the case that there is at least one thing missing. Make sure that at the top of your list you make a note to remember to bring the most important thing you’re going to want to remember on moving day: Clean sheets, a duvet and some pillows, because these aren’t usually provided. It depends on whether or not I unpack everything as soon as I arrive or not, but if the next day is free enough it can sometimes be easier to just unpack the mandatory and then get a good night of rest. Moving days after all are hectic things.
In terms of making your place more comfortable with decor and more you, you need to become your own interior designer. Take a look inside your head and think about affordable ways that you can bring yourself into your environment and make things feel lived in enough that you will want to spend time in this place. I’m talking printed photographs (which usually range between 20-75 pence per photograph) of home and posters which make the blank spaces feel brighter. Something I really like doing is filling my place with plants because they make me happy and they’re good for the environment. In fact, something I really want to do this year is get a tomato plant because living in the Netherlands has got me obsessed with healthy foods based around tomatoes (try some if you ever visit, they’re amazingly fresh). If you want to incorporate plants but don’t have much time or a green thumb, you could always invest in some cloth or paper plants which make for just as much of a desk statement.
I guess overall, in thinking about how I want to decorate my room I have realised that finding the basic ‘musts’ for students is quite difficult. My musts are the things that make it feel like home and the things which are easily unpackable (aka the basic staples of life) for those first few days. After that I tend to worry about what has been left behind or what I need to purchase on my first giant grocery trip, but knowing that I have the things that matter most always leaves me feeling happy in the long run. So student musts? Whatever helps you through moving day – the most difficult, wonderful and ambiguous part of the year.