• Abbie Tibbott

How to make your university bedroom feel like home

Lots of people struggle to settle at university, whether that be because they’re homesick, actually sick (fresher’s flu is rough) or feel out of their depth. These feelings are valid and normal, but a big barrier to overcoming them may lie in your new university bedroom. Once you’ve been dropped off and unpacked, there is sometimes the thought of “what now?”. I remember being unsure of how to make my new room feel like mine, as even though I had put everything away, it still felt very different. Feeling comfortable will mean that you’re more likely sleep better, feel actually rested, and have the confidence to throw yourself into university life. Here are my top tips to make your new pad feel like a home-from-home.


1. Freshen up

A lot of rooms will have been stood empty since June, so it might smell a bit stale in your new abode. We associate musty smells with disuse, which isn’t ideal when you want to get settled. Open up your window to allow air to circulate frequently. An hour a day (regardless of the outside temperature) will get rid of any moisture and freshen your space. Candles will probably be banned, but a cheap reed diffuser works wonders. Pick something with a smell you are used to, such as lavender or fresh linen, and you’ll start to associate your room with that nice smell. You can also change up your diffusers to be seasonal, and autumn is a great time to get hold of seasonal scents.

2. Put boxes out of sight

Once you’ve unpacked, get your parents to take big bags and boxes back home with them, or store them under your bed. Opening your wardrobe every day to be reminded that you’re away from home isn’t ideal, so store them out of sight for the year. Keep areas uncluttered, as this will make your room feel bigger and more organised, and remember to empty your bins regularly, as it can quickly get out of hand.

3. Spend time there

This is an obvious one, but not spending time in your bedroom will mean that it won’t feel familiar for a long time. My university bedroom is a place of safety, and is somewhere that is private. After exploring the local area and meeting some new people, don’t be afraid to spend some time by yourself in your new space. Universities emphasise the importance of being part of a community, but often don’t say how important it is to become comfortable with spending time by yourself. Activities such as reading, gaming and establishing a skin-care routine will teach you that spending time with yourself is okay, and all of this can take place in your bedroom. Personally, I like nothing more than to shut the door on everyone else, watch some Netflix and do my nails, especially after a long day of research.

4. Select some “home clothes”

I always bring loungewear with me to university, and I like to have clothes that I wear when I’m relaxing at home. Some people are well-dressed all the time, but the majority of people appreciate some comfy clothes when you’re having some downtime. These clothes will remind you that you’re not outside being a functioning university student, and the transition to university can be significantly helped by making your room as comfy as possible. Your flat mates won’t care if they see you in your dressing down while you make breakfast, if anything it’ll make everyone feel relaxed enough to wear what they want around the flat.

5. Make it yours

My last tip is the most obvious, but don’t be afraid to personalise your bedroom after you arrive. I wouldn’t suggest bringing lots of décor from home, as some of it will be in your way or get thrown out when you get fed up with it. Instead, bring a few key things that remind you of home, and put up some photographs, a calendar or a mood board of your style and goals for the year. Some fairy lights, a lamp or even your cuddly toys (literally no-one cares) can make the environment feel like yours.

This is a snapshot of what my room looks like this year. I have an en-suite, and sharing a kitchen with five postgraduates. Our block is nice and quiet and my room is uncluttered yet cosy and comfortable.

This blog is slightly shorter than my regular posts, but I wanted to keep it concise and to the point. If you’re struggling a little right now, please know that you will settle in, so follow my tips and keep getting up every morning to face the day.

Happy studying!