Lifestyle

Dormer Ka Ba? Here’s How To Make Your Room Feel More Like Your Home

Sometimes, it only takes a few simple additions to brighten up your area and inspire you to stay productive.
IMAGE INSTAGRAM/theacuaresma, victoriafabella

Every college student needs a good personal workspace; and for many, it’s their dorm room. With those four walls being the witness to our all-nighters, random breakdowns, and procrastination sessions, it makes sense that we’d want to add a bit of our personal aesthetic to these spaces through some décor. However, unlike with our bedrooms back home, we don’t always have the permission, the time, or the money to give our dorm rooms an Instagram-worthy revamp. But truth be told, you don’t always need expensive furniture or brightly-painted walls to give your workspace some extra pizazz. Sometimes, it only takes a few simple additions to brighten up your area and inspire you to stay productive.

Splurge on some succulents

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What better way to give your dorm room a bit of life than through some indoor plants? Succulents are one of the simplest yet most purchased room decors, and the great thing about them is that they’re easily movable and super low-maintenance, while effortlessly brightening up your work desk.

The best part is that you can choose from a wide variety of succulents, from jade plants to flowering cacti.

It’s easy to get your hands on them too: you can find them at your nearest grocery store, in flower markets like Dangwa, or even through affordable online shops like Arts & Cactus and My Cactus and Plants on Facebook. Your wallet need not worry about these potted plants, as you can score a lot of them for less than a hundred pesos.

Play with your walls

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Your dorm walls are blank canvasses ready to be decorated, and there are many simple and non-permanent decor options you can try out on them.

If you’re dorming far away from your hometown, you could try a photo wall, where you can stick with tack/hang on twine some pictures of your family and friends from back home to lift you up whenever you’re feeling lonely or homesick.

You could also try out tapestries, which instantly add color to your room after you put them up. Something cool I’ve tried was DIY buntings: I bought this cheap pack of pre-cut cardboard flaglets that came with string, then I pasted cutouts from my old magazines onto the flaglets. I connected them with the string then hung them above my bed, which turned out to be really pretty.  You can also hang up other things on your wall like vintage maps and posters from shops like Biblio and Papemelroti, and if you’re a fine arts student, why not frame the plates you’re most proud of?

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Get creative with a corkboard

The great thing about corkboards is that they can be both functional and decorative. You could stick a simple to-do list written on colored paper, then boom–instant color pop for your desk. Apart from the usual school memos or sticky note reminders, think about adding some personal memorabilia, like inspirational notes to yourself, cute quote posters that really speak to you, some acrylic pins, pictures you’ve taken with your blockmates, and even your nametags from all the org events you’ve volunteered for. This is a space where you can make chaos look creative.

If you want to be extra, you can slice up a thin corkboard into hexagons and stick them together on your wall for a more interesting take on the usual rectangular boards. On these hexagons you can paint or paste some printed paper on them to add variety, and you could even use push pins to hang some stuff that don’t usually go on corkboards like earrings, necklaces, and org lanyards.

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Explore DIY Storage

Before really getting into decorating your room, it’s important to first keep your stuff neat and organized. Luckily, with DIY storage, you can achieve both. Think twice before throwing out all your cereal boxes, because they actually make cute organizers–from drawer dividers to containers for your books and loose papers. Even your canned goods post-dinner can serve as storage for your writing materials and other school supplies.

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Keep your shoeboxes close as well, as they can serve as a cute charging station, wall shelves, and a cute organizer for any stuff you have lying around.

If you’re too short on time for DIY, you can opt to buy some affordable storage supplies from shops like Daiso or Miniso, and just buy multiples of the same design, since this uniformity can also serve a decorative purpose. 

Experiment with lights

Lights are the simplest way you can literally brighten up your workspace. Sometimes one creative light source is enough to elevate your room from drab stress-zone to photoshoot-worthy study space.

A common décor choice is fairy lights, which would go nicely with the suggested photo wall earlier. You can choose from multiple colors, depending on the aesthetic you’re going for, and you can even opt to place them inside colored wine bottles you have lying around at home. You can also go for cute lamps, like the famous moon light, the cute silicone cat lamps, and the unique acrylic 3D lamps, which can easily take your desk décor to the next level.

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The cool thing about creative light sources is how they can effortlessly set a calming mood and give your dorm room the homey vibe you’ll need after a stressful day at school.

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Winning Heart

The journey of how I won people’s hearts by having a winning heart

Whatever happens tonight, I am a winner. That was the last line I delivered in front of the roaring crowd. My knees were trembling and my smile was shaking. I wanted to radiate confidence but I knew inside me were whirling storms of uncertainty. I wasn’t sure how to carry on for the rest of the night, it was only the first hour and my soul was already exhausted. I stood in front of an unfamiliar sea of people, I felt uncomfortable as they fixed their glances on me. The stage was bright and flashy as my co-contestants glazed the platform with outstanding physique and beauty. I couldn’t look straight at them because every time I did, a bucketful of insecurity was being poured on me. The whole pageant took about a few hours but it felt like eternity to me. I repeatedly asked myself questions every single time I stood on that platform. My vision was impaired by the blinding spotlights and all I could hear were the deafening roar of the audience combined with the booming music of the event. My head was filled with questions like “why are you here?”, “Will you be okay?” What will others think of you?” “What if you fail?”. Every step was heavier as I continued to overthink.

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For a moment on stage, I felt like I was floating. I was staring blankly at the end of the gymnasium. I was awakened by the loud cheer from the front row, I fixed my glance and saw large letters A-B-Y. it was like a snap to reality, I realized that’s my name. This time I could hear the synchronized cheers of people screaming my name. I smiled, walked away from the spotlight as I whispered to myself “let’s do this”. As the curtains opened, I walked towards the stage I felt lighter and different from the person a while ago. Walking was much easier and my knees weren’t trembling any longer. I stood at the edge of the stage, wandered my glance, and smiled genuinely. Flashing those pearly whites took barrels of longtime stored courage from within me. I marveled at how I could see the rainbow in the lights, the spotlights weren’t blinding anymore.

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My feet started stomping to the music every time I pose and my hips would flawlessly sway to the music. The roar of the audience was overwhelming no more, it was like whispers lost in the beat of the music. I knew as I stood there, all I needed to do was smile and be myself. My name was called accompanied by the thunderous applause and booming cheers of the crowd. I stood there alongside with other contestants. I was holding a bouquet and a trophy. I could feel the heavy crown on top of my head. However, the trophy beside me was much bigger, the lady beside me wore an even flashier crown, it was the crown of the titleholder. That night I landed the first runner-up spot. My head was filled with “what ifs”. What if I did just a little better, what if I exerted more effort and so on.

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As I stepped down on stage, several people rushed to me. They were jumping, screaming and clapping. It was so chaotic that it took me a millennium to recognize them, it was my family. They were hugging me from all directions. When I saw their smiles I knew I did great. I realized that was what I meant when I said “whatever happens tonight I am a winner”. Their presence, genuine smiles, and warm hugs meant more than the trophy and sash that night. For them, I was a star who shined through the darkness of the night. Before leaving the venue, a hand tapped me from behind “Congrats,” she whispered I turned to see her, and to my surprise she was a schoolmate who used to tease me because of my chubby physique.

I smiled as I expressed my gratitude towards her. As I walked away, I realized that I accomplished something legendary that night. I was able to showcase that pageants are not only for thin-looking, tall people. I managed to snatch everyone’s attention with this average height and chubby body. That night started with so much uncertainty and insecurity. As I stared at my reflection, I looked exhausted but I was wearing a different smile. A smile of victory and bravery. A smile that defeated the stereotypes and stigma about people like me. That night ended with a realization that maybe winning isn’t always about winning the crown, it’s about winning people’s hearts and having a winning heart.

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1. The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

The debut novel, and Goodreads Choice Awards Best Mystery & Thriller of 2019, follows Alicia Berenson, a well-known painter married to an esteemed fashion photographer. Life seemed perfect for Alicia, until one evening when she shot her husband five times, and… never spoke again.

2. Lock Every Door by Riley Sager

From the author of Final Girls comes this page turning novel about an infamous building in Manhattan called the Bartholomew. After stumbling upon an ad to become an apartment sitter, Jules Larsen has set out to look after apartment 12A under strict and somewhat odd conditions. Not long after stepping foot in the building, Jules has been met with unfriendly tenants, eerie noises in the apartment unit, and an abrupt departure of a fellow sitter named Ingrid.

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3. The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James

If you loved Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho or David Lynch’s Twin Peaks, then this book is for you. After the disappearance of her Aunt Vivian while working as a night-shift clerk at the Sun Down Motel in 1982, Carly has set off to Fell NY, to work the same job at the same place as her Aunt had 35 years ago – with hopes of uncovering the truth lurking behind the Motel walls.

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5. Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

A mind-bending science fiction thriller from the best-selling author of Wayward Pines – Dark Matter is packed with the concept of the Multiverse and the philosophy of existentialism. The novel follows an ordinary Physics professor, Jason Dessen, who was looking forward to dinner with his family while walking the streets of Chicago. The next thing he knew, he was being held at gunpoint – by a man wearing a mask – and injected with an unknown drug and blacks out. When he regains consciousness, he learns that the world he woke up to was different from the world he knew.

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