Making a Dorm Room Your Room

I have begun taking down decorations that have made our room ours for the last 8 months. Instead of dwelling on tearing down our room, I decided to put together a list of dorm decorating ideas that I and my friends have used this year that you can take for some inspiration when it comes to decorating your room in the fall. Decorating your dorm room is what transforms it from a dorm room into your room. It gives it that personalized, homey touch that makes the space inviting and fun to live in.

Here are my top 10 dorm decorating ideas:

1. Something Colorful

My paint-chip decoration thanks to some Pinterest browsing for ideas.
My paint-chip decoration thanks to some Pinterest browsing for ideas.

Anything that can transform a blank, white wall into something bright and fun will improve the feel of your room. I spent the summer before moving to college stopping at Home Depot or Trader Horn after my morning runs to pick up a few different color swatches here and there and then move in weekend I spent awhile arranging them on our wall and it’s probably my favorite decoration in the room because it is so colorful and happy.

2. Calendar

Not only are these practical, but they can be a fun addition for decorating your room, too! You can have an easily seen spot to keep track of upcoming deadlines and events, as well as making sure to mark fun events and celebrations that happen throughout the month. You can buy decal-like calendars that stick on and peel off the wall (that’s what I used) or dry-erase calendar boards like the one my friend Ashley has. My roommate, Kristin, made a cool DIY calendar using a picture frame, some scrap booking paper and stickers.

3. Pictures. Lots of Pictures.

Pictures are a great way to have reminders of home, family, friends, and pets around you. They are also a great way to continue to document and remember your year making new friends in your new home.

4. Dry-Erase Boards.

These are super-fun to have on your door so friends can leave notes and pictures and you can leave notes and pictures for them on theirs. My roommate uses her board for a quotation of the day.

5. Post-it Notes

These things are all around useful. They’re good for reminders, to-do lists, doodles, book marks and notes. One of my favorite things is writing notes for friends that have exams, presentations, performances, or I just want to make sure they know how awesome they are. So stock up on some colorful sticky notes and by the end of the year your room will be decorated with sweet notes from friends, your attempts at breaking down what classes to take, your exam week schedule – the possibilities are endless. But they will all be on colorful papers that will brighten up your room no matter the content.

6. Lights

The big overhead lights get old sometimes. It’s nice to have Christmas lights to string up for you to turn on when you want something different. Plus, they are another fun feature for decorating. I found these colorful lantern lights in my basement while organizing the stuff I was bringing to college.

7. Posters

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Yet another fun thing to hang and jazz up your room. At the beginning of the school year there will be a poster sale held on campus which is really fun to walk around and maybe find a cool picture for your room.

8. Plants

I started growing these dwarf sunflowers after Spring Break and I love them
I started growing these dwarf sunflowers after Spring Break and I love them

If you are one of those people who can’t keep plants alive you might want to ignore this tip. Otherwise, having living things in your room makes it feel less like being stuck in a cave on those days where you have to stay in and study or it’s negative something out in the dead of winter.

9. The Door

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10. Anything Anchors. Anything Hope. Anything Orange & Blue

Naturally, you are probably already drawn to everything you see that has to do with anchors, Hope, and orange & blue. They are another great item to consider putting up in your new space at home sweet Hope. I even hung up my graduation cap that I decorated since otherwise it would just gather dust at home.


You can probably tell that I like to decorate. Hopefully one of these suggestions has inspired the dorm decorator inside of you! Enjoy your preparation for moving to Hope and have fun decorating!

You can follow me on Twitter (@HopeErin18) and Instagram (@e_delaney333) for pictures and thoughts from this last week here at Hope.

DORM options for MEN

Hey future Men of Hope College,
Some of you have been asking about the dorm/residential hall options that Hope has and what they are like. Due to that, I want to write to tell you about the different “feel” of each of the dorms. This is important because you will be filling out housing in May and have the option to request specific dorms. I am going to the list the dorms from most rowdy (can be loud) to least rowdy (usually quiet).
DURFEE HALL: This is the only all-guys dorm on campus. It houses both sophomores and freshmen. It is known for being a little more rowdy than most of the other dorms, but in a good way; it has a very social atmosphere (which can get loud). It has really close community, to the point where doors are always opened and unlocked, there is a Durfee table where the “Men of Durf” sit during meal times, a row in Chapel were the “Men of Durf” sit, and a lot of funny and rowdy traditions that happen.
KOLLEN HALL: This is the biggest dorm on campus. It is co-ed by guys living on the East side and girls living on the West side of the building. This dorm houses both freshmen and sophomores. This dorm has a good social setting in the lobbies and in the hallways/rooms (sometimes can get loud). This dorm houses a lot of the student athletes on campus.
PHELPS HALL: This dorm is co-ed with the boys on the second floor and the girls on the third floor. This residential hall houses both freshman and sophomores. It is also connected to the dining hall, thus people never have to leave their hall depending on the day (nice for those cold winter Saturdays). This dorm is known for being really social and having a close knit community, so much that they are called “Phelps Fam.”
WYCKOFF HALL: This dorm is co-ed with girls on the first floor and guys on the second and third floor. This dorm is social, yet isn’t really connected with being loud or rowdy; it is more contained than the other dorms. Someone explained it to me once as having the ability to be social, yet also having the option of being peacefully alone in your room. It also has good community as the residents are often known as the “Wolf Pack.”
VOORHEES HALL: This residential hall is one that has a very “homey” feel to it due to the way the building was constructed. It is co-ed with the first and bottom floor housing girls and the third floor housing boys. This dorm is a little more quiet, yet can still be labeled as being social.
COOK HALL: This residential hall is newest dorm on campus and thus has features that other older dorms don’t have (such as air conditioning). Due to that, not many freshmen live in Cook; it is a predominately sophomore occupied dorm. This dorm is more closed off, yet has a really nice space.
SCOTT HALL: This hall houses all the Phelps Scholars, so if you didn’t apply and get accepted to that program, then you probably wouldn’t live there.

LICHTY: This hall houses all the members of the STEM program, so if you didn’t apply and get accepted, then you wouldn’t live there.
Whether you want a quiet dorm just to do homework or a loud social dorm or anything in between, Hope has you covered! Also, just to clarify with the housing request, you aren’t guaranteed to get what you request, but it can help in the deciding process!
If you have anymore questions about specifics with dorm (or anything), email me at!

For more about me, follow me on twitter @hopejohnluke17 or on Instagram at johnlukehawkins.

Healthy College Dorm Snacks

I’ve learned throughout the year how important it is to be healthy at this time in my life. No one is around to moderate the health value of the things you’re putting into your body. At Hope I’ve learned to not only value my education and classes, but also my body and my mind. It’s a really good idea to keep healthy snacks in your dorm room.

It can be really tempting to just stock cookies, candy, and other empty foods in your room. Here are some of my suggestions of healthy foods that you can keep in your room to make sure you stay on track!

1. Fresh Fruit

You don’t truly appreciate the fresh things at home until you get to college. I miss having strawberries and blueberries readily available to me. I’ve started buying my own and keeping them in the fridge. They’re a great sweet alternative to other sugary foods!

Another thing to mention is the Holland Farmers Market, which is around for a good portion of the year in the fall semester! It’s a great place to go to get all of your fresh goods for the week!

2. Low-sugar cereal

Cereals can be packed with refined sugars, but I’ve found one that I like that doesn’t contain as much. It’s the Kashi Heart to Heart honey one. Another good option is Cheerios! These are great for breakfasts and also just light snacking!

3. Nuts

Nuts are not only really yummy, but also very filling. They’re good for you in moderation, and can hold you over from meal to meal and during classes!

4. Snapea Crips

I can’t obsess over these things enough. It’s hard to describe the salty crunch, but I promise they’re delicious. The perfect alternative to a potato chip, I think!

5. Rice Cakes

Yes, they might be the most boring food to ever grace the earth, but when paired with something like hummus, or peanut butter and jelly, they’re so great! Sometimes I like them plain, but mostly I like to spread something on top of them for a great treat.

6. Low-Sugar Granola Bars

Granola bars can be really bad for you if they’re packed with sugar. Luckily, not all of them are. I really enjoy the Kashi brand, but there are plenty of others to check out at the store. These are great for on-the-go breakfasts or snacks!

I hope this post gives you some good ideas to staying healthy in college! Every Thursday Hope has a shuttle that runs to Meijer, so if you need anything you’re able to go!

This week we have Good Friday off, but I’m staying up in Holland for the weekend. Hopefully I do something fun to write about and share!

If you have any questions for me you can contact me at, through Facebook, or my twitter @hopebrooke18! I’d love to answer them!

Rooming 101

Ok #Hope2018! As seen on the Hope Facebook app, people are committing to this wonderful school and are making their deposits. Naturally, the next thing to do is… find a roommate! Well, as students, we make make this a priority, but it’s important to remember a few things when it comes to rooming. Before I speak some more, here is a REALLY GREAT VIDEO on roommates I found on YouTube. Seriously, watch it. I watched it, and even made my apartment-mates watch it. This video is definitely worth your time, especially if you want to live in a good living situation!

Okay, so now that you’ve watched that, here are the requirements for Rooming 101 (RMG 101).

  1. Acceptance to Hope College
  2. Be in the class of 2018, or a transfer student!
  3. Have an open mind

Now that the cheesy part is out of the way, lets dive in right away. I have noticed that people want to get to know each other, which is super awesome. This is the first step in finding a roommate, I guess. As many of you know, Admitted Students Day (ASD) is April 12th. This would be a GREAT time to meet up with potential roommates, but more importantly, new friends! I strongly encourage you all to meet up over coffee, or just even chit chat for a little. A simple conversation is where it starts!

In rooming situations, it is important to look into the future, as having a roommate is a long-term kind of commitment, unless there is a pressing issue. This is why you should get to know potential individuals that could be your roommate. In my own opinion, choosing a roommate for your freshman year is just a little less adventurous. Given that you want to be surrounded with people you like and are comfortable with, you should take the time to explore!! I chose to go in “blind,” which is what many college students do. This entails that housing, based on your criteria, will match you with a roommate. And guess what, my roommate freshman year, Austin, and I are very close friends. You never now what might happen!

What I am saying is that when you are looking for a roommate, you should be picky to the point in which you know you can find someone. Second, if you do find someone to room with, make sure you communicate with each other. Talk about your interests, hobbies, and such, but also talk about the hard stuff – expectations, ground rules, etc. Another important thing to remember is that you are starting afresh. Be open! Step out of your comfort zone. Hope College housing does a phenomenal job with pairing you up with a roommate. It’s really awesome. If things are meant to be, they are meant to be. If not, then they’re not! Make sure you are flexible in your thinking. If a rooming situation does not work, it’s not the end of the world.

Lastly, as the video stated, stress between roommates is a critical issue. Stress in college is bound to exist somewhere, but trying to prevent this stress can really help you in school.  So, if you have met people trough Hope on Facebook for rooming, great! Make sure you make an effort into communicating and meeting them sometime soon. If you decide to go in blind, an adventure awaits!

I just wanted to post on rooming, because I felt that it was important to! If you have any questions at all, please do not hesitate to ask! Shoot me a DM on Twitter at @HopeMarvin15! Or if you like using the Hope on Facebook page, shoot me a message that way! I hope this helps and prepares you for rooming!