Pimp my dorm: 3 ways to play by the rules and still own your space


A day in the life of a college student By Samantha “Sam” Graudins, student contributing writer

Despite being the most liberal of the liberal arts, Emerson really does not want you to customize your space. “Technically,” you’re not supposed to have tacks, lights, tapestries, rugs, additional furniture, ceiling decor, coffee machines, hot plates, or door decals in your space. And that’s an abbreviated list. For the full list, I recommend reading the handbook. It’s equally as shocking as it is entertaining. Here’s the thing about decor, though: it’s way more flexible than the rules say it is. There are lots of fun little ways you can spruce up your space within the lines, and plenty of options to dance around them as well! All it takes is a little dedication, a dash of cunning, and a lot of love. So, let’s get started!


Found on Amazon.com
Found on Amazon.com.
Found on Amazon.com
Found on Amazon.com.

If those white-washed walls are getting you down, lighting is key. I know, I know; lighting is illegal. But if you play their game, there are legal ways of getting your lighting approved and authorized fire-safe. You could also just put a crazy bulb in some standing lights or desk lamps. You’ll find that Amazon can be an invaluable resource for making your room into a technicolor paradise. (I personally love the $15 Aurora projector/speaker and $8 color-changing bulbs.)


Found on babycenter.com
Found on babycenter.com.
Found on artroomonline.com
Found on artroomonline.com.

And here’s a thought: painter’s tape. There’s nothin’ in the handbook about painter’s tape. If floor-bound decor just isn’t cutting it, get some non-stick tape in every color and make some designs! This is another thing that walks the line of legal and not. And as long as you don’t tape your ceiling, RAs won’t have any reason to fine you.


Found on archine.fr
Found on archine.fr.
Found on chrysalisden.wordpress.com
Found on chrysalisden.wordpress.com.

When it comes to decor, never underestimate the power of clothes. A rolling rack does marvels to brighten a space while simultaneously providing the functionality of storage, and since it’s off the wall it doesn’t count as illegal if you hang a tapestry on it! Also, much like tape, if you throw a tack in a wall and hang a shirt on it, the RAs have no idea how to respond. It’s a tricky one based on how much of a stickler the RA is, but at least you know if you get fined for that band tee, it’s in the name of Zeppelin. That alone makes it worth it.


Found on worldpokexd.skyrock.com
Found on worldpokexd.skyrock.com.
Found on lushome.com
Found on lushome.com.

Bedding plays a HUGE part in decor! As it’s one component of every dorm room that allows for total customization, it is key to achieving that perfect room. A fancy bed skirt, blanket, or myriad of XL Pokemon pillows can totally make or break a space. And if those pillows are big enough, you can use ’em as chairs in your downtime! Circle up like kindergartners and enjoy some non-alcoholic beverages with pals on your cushioned tushies. Or if you’re lonesome, just prop up that Pikachu and tell it a story! Either way, you’re golden. Plus, Emerson beds can legally be taken off their lifts — as long as they’re reassembled at the end of the year. So, ground bed is totally an option. (If any RA questions you, just say you’re afraid of heights!) So, there you have it! Just a few small ways you can trick out your dorm space. For tips on creating a space that rules may not abide, stay tuned! There’s another “Pimp My Dorm” coming your way. For now, light those lights, tape that tape, and bed that bed!

About the author

Sam Graudins, Emerson College studentSam is a life blogger from Franklin, Massachusetts with a big heart and a bigger appetite for sweets. She loves Korean bakeries, Japanese animation, and providing you insight into her college experience. Sam is a second-year communication studies major at Emerson College with a minor in gender studies, and she’s over the moon about sharing tips on how to have a fully-custom college experience. “Standardization is a rejection of creativity. Do you and do it big!” Interested in becoming our next “day in the life” student blogger? We’re looking for more writers! Reach out to us on social media or in the comment section below, and we’ll send you more info on how to get started.

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