How to make college feel like home

Nov 6 • Opinion • 195

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I don’t know about any of you, but I cannot spend a lot of time in a place without putting something up on the walls.
I’ve been doing this for as long as I can remember, and since I’ve come to college, I have been able to have complete control over what my work and living spaces have looked like.
I can remember freshman year waiting very anxiously for the poster sale to come because I was tired of living in what I thought looked like a jail cell. Granted, I was living in North Hall, so my jail cell was less “Shawshank Redemption” and more “Wolf of Wall Street.” That being said, I hated the fact that my walls were bare, and I promptly spent a good chunk of change on posters.
My inspiration for room decoration has always been the bedroom from “Drake and Josh,” and although I have never reached the levels of awesomeness that they were able to attain, I think my dorm freshman year came pretty close.
The highlight of my room had to be the collection of Bob Dylan CDs I inherited from my dad. It took forever to put up and even longer to properly take down, but it was a conversation piece for sure.
Going into sophomore and junior years, my efforts have been more focused on the decoration of my living rooms, considering that’s where my TV is, and I spend most of my free time sitting in front of it.
My latest goal has been to get my home theater receiver to connect to speakers in my kitchen so that I can listen to music across the first floor of my place without having to crank the volume to absurd levels.
At my computer desk here at the Knight, I have a curated collection of comics and memes that I call my “day brighteners.” Anytime I’m scrolling through social media and I find something that makes me laugh or even just smile, I save it to my camera roll, and when I get into the office, I print it out and tape it up.
At the moment, my favorite is a screen grab from my favorite classic episode of “The Simpsons” where Homer is lying in bed and says, “Ah, I’m just a big toasty cinnamon bun. I never want to leave this bed.” I don’t know what it is about that particular quote, but everytime I read it I can’t help myself but to smile. And I think that’s my main goal with these little things. All I want to do is change my mindset from whatever it was before I sat down to something a little bit better.
Along with having these comics around my monitor, I have also customized the way my desk is set up from everyone else’s by putting the tower that is normally under the monitor below the desk. This opens up a good amount of desk space that was not previously available, and I find that I can spread my work out more and be more organized.
Combining all these improvements has turned the office from a place that I almost dreaded coming to once a week into a space where I come even when I’m not working on the paper. There are fewer places on campus that I am more productive than here in the office, and I know that it is due in no small part to the amount of personal touches I’ve added over time.
Whether it is to make the place you live more “homey” or to make the place you work more suitable for being productive, there are a multitude of reasons to give the spaces you occupy a personal touch. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my time here at Gannon, it’s that just having one thing up on the wall can make a huge difference in your overall outlook, and that’s something I intend to take with me for the rest of my life.

BENJAMIN HAYLETT
haylett001@knights.gannon.edu

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