How I Organized My Dorm as a Freshman at Portland State

I was a freshman at Portland State University last fall and, like most incoming college students, I wanted the “college experience” of l...

I was a freshman at Portland State University last fall and, like most incoming college students, I wanted the “college experience” of living in the dorms. I, also being an intensive planner, started a dorm folder nearly two months before my arrival and it was filled with magazine clippings for inspiration, blueprints based off of the room dimensions, calculations of closet space, and of course numerous coupons attached to my shopping lists. Because I was moving out and no longer had access to the supply closet at my childhood home, there were a lot of items that I had to buy in order to make my room both homey and functional. Luckily, the room was furnished with a bed, desk, and two dressers so I wasn’t forced to move many large pieces of furniture and any other furniture I had hoped to bring along surely would not have fit.

My roommate was a stranger to me and although I checked her Facebook and we sent a few texts to get to know each other before we moved in, I didn’t know her hardly at all. The dorms are very nice at PSU because they include a kitchenette and private attached bathroom for each double studio. In order to not duplicate every item, we split some of the shopping duties and she was in charge of the bathroom and I the kitchen. Obviously there is less to provide for the bathroom but I was able to come into this next year of school equipped with the same pots, pans, and silverware that I purchased the year before.

Decoration was important for me and I had a lot of fun making Pinterest inspired wall art, setting my desk up just-so, and hanging lots of pictures. Because my fiancé and I are studying at different colleges and maintaining a long-distance relationship it was reassuring to know that I could look up and see his face on my wall, not so far away. Within a week my room felt like home and although I only had half of the room to myself, we organized it so that we were each comfortable, had our space, and respected each other’s privacy. It was small, and often not as clean as I would prefer, but it was my first-year home away from home and I will always look upon that little room fondly.

This post was written by Carrie Buchert. Carrie is a sophomore studying Music Education at Portland State University.


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