Monday, January 25, 2016

Hey there,

I am one term into the alien experience that is University and I couldn't be happier, more independent, more confused or have less of a clue of what it is I am doing! That said, in the midst of settling in, making friends, workshopping, learning and experiencing, I am also living (or surviving as my mum puts it). First year at uni is strange as you're thrown into a flat with strangers you've never met before and you somehow have to make it feel like home. This was easier said than done at first as, when it came to my actual room at uni, it felt like a lifetime before I was truly settled and had set up a familiar space around me.

Where I am, only first year students get the (expensive) benefits of halls so, in order to reflect in years to come on what my room looked like during this weird time in my life, I thought I would document it here. This uni room tour will show you 1) what uni rooms often look like/ are provided with 2) how I decorated it to make it feel homely, which will hopefully give any prospective uni students ideas and 3) how to work with a small space. Enjoy!

My Bed Space
We were given the weird size of a 3/4 bed which isn't quite a double (something you can definitely notice) but, pushing it against the wall, in the corner, makes it extremely cosy and appear bigger than it actually is. I brought my double bed duvet for extra warm with Asda pug covers, an Asda pug pillow, a Disney store pillow pet and a throw from Primark. Primark are selling super soft throws, starting from just £5 so I highly recommend picking one up as it won't break the bank but will make your area of rest inviting, soft and comfortable. I also love pinning up posters, pictures and tickets from shows I've been in or visited to make this area one to remind me of home.

My bedside table
I got these fairy lights from Primark to hang around my mirror for when I am relaxing in bed to create a change from the harsh lights. My best friend also gifted me this luxury diffuser from John Lewis- something I highly recommend as, although I do have a candle, I don't light it as, in halls, they are not the biggest fan of candles being used. I have room sprays, a plug in diffuser and this orange marmalade scented diffuser to replace my usual candle and keep my room smelling fresh all year. I also have a frame with photo booth strips in and some lucky crystals, as well as my M&S water bottle and coaster.

Inside my bedside table
My bedside table is something I wanted to hold everything unrelated to University as my bed is my area of rest and relaxation. Therefore, the top holds my skincare routine and supplements, nail polishes and room spray. The bottom has my makeup, hairbrush, makeup wipes and other skincare items I use less regularly than those in the top tray. The two boxes used to store and separate my day from less frequent items are actually a lid and box from a kit from FCUK. Using box lids saves money on storage and does the job just as well, as well as saving space when packing the car up to go to uni.

My Desk
In order to separate work from rest, I aimed to make my desk as inviting as possible by sticking up motivational cards above my work space and keeping all my information on my pinboard. I like to keep my working area clear, with plenty of coloured pens and pencils available. If you don't have a penpot, grab a mug to store your stationary in to make your working environment accessible and easy to use. Ensure you have post it notes at the ready and paper at hand to save you getting up every 5 seconds to grab something you've forgotten. I also recommend a printer as, especially with a degree like English, it becomes a hassle trekking to the library every time you want to print something.
The pot next to my printer used to hold teabags but I now use it to store 'spare' money-helping me save. Every time I get change or notes from family members, I put them in this pot for the weeks I am strapped for cash. Future me thanking past me for looking out for number 1!

Desk organiser
I used the unit under my desk to keep my main folders and books, in order of publisher. I also have dictionaries, handbooks and spare notepads at hand to help when I get stuck. In addition to this, I have regular office stationary so I don't have to stop my work flow (whenever I actually find myself in one), making my life a whole lot easier.

As this is a uni room, there was never going to be somewhere to do my makeup so I had to make my own 'vanity' out of the space given to me. Designated closest to my bed, on my desk, I have an area where I can move my laptop and sit at my chair and do my makeup. This portable mirror is from Wilko (£2!) and immediately spruces up the area. I brought my jewellery hanger from home to create varying heights, my polaroid camera for decoration and some of my pots and potions to keep my skin clear whilst I'm away. My shell holds my rings, watches and keys and, to keep my lipsticks and lip balms in place, I have used a box which held playing cards.

Snack Bar
I don't know about you, but I cannot work without coffee or snacks. It's pretty much impossible for me! By my pinboard, and next to my desk, I created a snack bar to ensure I work efficiently and stop procrastinating by getting up and wandering to the kitchen for snacks. My coffee machine was a uni gift from my uncle and I keep a basket with the pods in, as well as my stash of chocolate. We will gloss over my 'first night back' alcohol stash...

Wardrobe space
Our wardrobes are rather odd as the door to the wardrobe doubles up as the door to the bathroom. Therefore I don't tend to keep much in my wardrobe, apart from coats and jumpers. The top of my wardrobe holds my stash of shower gels, shampoos, toothpaste and deodorant so I never run out of necessary items.

My bathroom is possibly my favourite part as it is so easy to clean and I feel I have made full use of the space provided. The shower doesn't have a door, making it a 'wet room', but this is oddly a benefit. It heats up my room whenever I shower and I don't feel cramped, allowing me to place all my products on the wall surrounding the shower. My sink holds my products for my daily routine and, above my toilet, I have reused a plant pot to home my 'luxury' bath items.

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  1. Oh, going to college in UK, US, Canada, etc, etc, is so nice. I'm from Brazil and here most of the students stay at home with parents during that period. We don't have that strong culture of leaving our home, some people do it though, normally when the college is too far from home. Your room is really nice, very cozy and beautiful. Good luck, girl. I study Language and Literature, so probably I know how much you have to read and study other things.