If you choose to live on campus, you get a room key and a small room to call your own at the beginning of the year. You are excited moving in and meeting friends around your dorm. You will probably want to decorate the inside of your room with colorful posters, homey curtains, and other fun things -perhaps pictures of good friends or a small plant. I personally keep an aloe and spider plant on my windowsill, and they are a beautiful green addition to my space.

There are different ways of expressing ourselves within the space we have and the rules that have to be followed, but no matter how we choose to personalize our space, what is seen most is our doors. Walking through the halls, dozens of doors can be seen with various decorations. Decorating your door is just as important as decorating your room. Sure, your name might be included on the door to start, but possibilities are nearly endless to personalize this 6’3 ft of undervalued real estate.

From decorating my door this year and seeing all of the lovely door designs around, here are some tips I have picked up:

Use this as your time to be creative.

This is your chance to create a piece of art! There are so many fun ideas and materials to work with. Try picking a theme; maybe you like a certain show, or maybe you are inspired by an upcoming holiday. My door currently features a skeleton from the dollar store for the Halloween season. Another idea is to shop around at the dollar store or a craft store -maybe even the 5 & 10 on Main Street- and find what speaks to you. Find some fun paper or signs and start crafting!

Make it interactive.

A door can turn into a space for the community to interact. A dry erase board or some other message board can be a fun space to share your thoughts with the world. A fun or encouraging message or quote could easily cheer up someone’s day. Doors on my floor have often featured polls such as, “how many hours did you sleep?” and “regular or curly fries?”

Change it up.

Switching up the design of your door is also a fun idea. My roommate and I switch our door every few weeks and in passing people have asked me when the next design will go up. It builds anticipation and allows you more time to be creative throughout the semester. Every few weeks you can plan some time to be imaginative and it can even serve as time to have fun with your friends. My roommate and I love spending the time every few weeks to change our memo board. We put up a new Vine quote every time we change it, and enjoy watching Vines to pick out new contenders.

Follow RA rules.

Before you jump right in, there are a few things that your building staff would like you keep in mind. Generally, nothing that hangs near the ceiling and nothing with expletives. And, since it is the Halloween season, I should mention there are no pumpkins allowed in the hallways. To be safe, check the regulations for your specific dorm.

Now what are you waiting for? Go decorate!

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