Friday, September 6, 2013

Senior Year Dorm!

Many of my family friends have asked me how I manage to stay away from my home for so many months, and I will admit, it's incredibly hard. A lot of things that really bothered me my first year here really had to deal with how my environment wasn't really as warm as it could have been. While it's still difficult to spend so many months away from home at school, I've found my dorm to be a little spot of my own in this giant campus.

I've lived in my dorm suite for three years, going on my fourth. The last two years, I've been in the same room, lovingly referred to as the Annex by my roommate and I. My room is separated from the other rooms in our suite because we're right next to the elevator. It has its perks... kind of.

This year, the room is wonderfully decorated-- at least by my standards. It's been a cross between how I had it the last few years, and something completely new.

So to start with the bed:
Every room in Stony Brook comes with a desk, a bed, a small drawer set, and a big one. This is the first year where I didn't have a drawer thing in the closet, but we'll get to that later. 
Unfortunately my room doesn't have an AC, so I can't really keep a comfy big comforter on my bed because I can never use it. (Because even during the winter, the heat is turned up so much, that it's still too hot!) So I opted for a light quilt for the past two years. I sleep in a pillow fort so I have a bunch of pillows near the head of my bed. 
The main wall has 58 pictures of myself with my friends who I love the most. It's so eye-catching because it's the first thing you see when you come into the room. The pictures were put up using poster putty, and I highly recommend using that! Sometimes the pictures will come up if you didn't use enough of the putty, but none of them have fallen down. My whiteboard is also there on the side so I can work out my mechanical engineering class homework and calculus problems. 
Next is the desk: 
I upgraded to the big tv that I had in my bedroom at home. It's definitely better than my old tv from last year because now we can utilize the whole room! I have my desk supplies and books on the side, and my schedule pinned up. I obviously have a dalek, a stem cell, and an AIDS microbe chilling near my fan for fun and my arsenal of body scents and perfume for fun? I find keeping my desk with minimal stuff on it really helps keep it clean, but we'll see if it'll last! 
This is the side view of the desk. As you notice the drawer set is below my desk, which has cleared up so much space in the closet! The best thing is the drawers open so nicely there, and it keeps things so much more organized. I have all my school supplies in my drawers so I don't have to have it stored anywhere else. There's also my emergency flannel for late night fire alarms, which are sadly very common. 
One of my favorite things is I have my fridge out in a more prominent location. Instead of leaving it empty, I filled it up with more photos, and fun magnets. The letter magnets are actually elements from the periodic table, which definitely fit in my alley of science-y geek. 
Closets are always the hardest part of the room to keep clean. This year I have so much space in there, it's going to be tough to just throw a million things in there and keep the door closed. I invested in some hanging closet shelves for my shoes and clothes and extra bed sheets.

And there it is, that's my side of the Annex. 

If you're a college student reading this, here's some things that I definitely recommend. 
  1. If you're living in a dorm without an air conditioner, make sure you get a box fan! Since the Annex is in this weird alcove where the there are two walls blocking air flow, my room gets incredibly hot. Having a box fan helped so much to keep the air circulating and room feeling immensely cooler. Box fans are not too expensive, and it's definitely something you will be using year round. 
  2. For laundry, I really recommend Tide pods. They don't take up too much space, and they work amazingly. 
  3. Regardless of whether you live in a room with access to a kitchen or not, a water filter is a must. While it's easy to buy water bottles, a water filter is going so much better. If you ever feel like making ramen, you won't have to use sketchy dorm water to make it if you have filtered water instead!
  4. Lighting in dorms are horrible. I hardly use the dorm lights because the florescent light often gives me a headache. For lighting, I've used a desk lamp and tilted the head back so it illuminates the whole room. It gives the room an ambience that is perfect for watching some tv and relaxing. 
  5. Play around with your furniture. You might be surprised with how you can make things work!
  6. You can use over the door hooks for other things in your room. I used one in my closet for my towel, and another is hanging off of my desk for my bag. They're pretty sturdy for things that a command hook can't handle. 
Best of luck to any people in college this semester! 

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