Student Living: Creating your home from home

7 ways to make your student flat as cozy as possible…

Student accommodation is designed to be versatile.

Each room begins as a blank canvas, and decoration is both permitted and encouraged.

Here’s 7 ways to decorate your new flat to transform it into your cozy home from home.

 

Add a touch of colour:

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If posters and fairy lights really aren’t your thing, there’s still plenty of ways to beautify your room that don’t involve bundles of blu-tack. Perhaps invest in some brightly coloured bedding and bath towels. You could even take this a step further and commit to a set colour scheme, such as pastels or primaries. For those who prefer a monochromatic space, prints and patterns are perfect for making a statement, whilst preserving minimalism and simplicity.


Maximise storage:

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Storage boxes are incredibly useful at university. Much of your day will be spent in your room and so it’s important to keep things organised. When your desk is covered in books and notes, it can become difficult to switch off during your free time. Sorting your work into tidy folders is a great way to keep your space as a relaxed environment. There are plenty of cheap ways to create storage spaces from the things lying around in your flat. For example, an empty shoe box is great for bulky items such as staplers and printer ink. Cereal boxes can be used for keeping papers organised while cracker boxes are handy for stationary. Cover them in wrapping paper to add a colourful and personal touch.


Switch up your lighting:

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Lighting can have a significant effect on the ambience of a room. Warm and soft lights are a great way to create a comfortable and calm atmosphere. Small table lamps can be especially useful for studying in the evening as they’ll feel far less intense.


Brighten your space with mirrors:

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Mirrors are a great way to distribute natural light and can help create the illusion of space. Decking your walls with smaller mirrors or even unwanted CDs will fill your room with reflected multi-coloured patterns during the day.


Smell good, feel good:

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Candles are usually prohibited in student accommodation, although there’s plenty of other ways to keep your room smelling fresh and inviting. Infusers can be used as a smoke-free alternative, as can scented bath petals. These petals can be scattered in your clothes drawers to help keep your clothes smelling clean, even when they’re not.


Bring things that remind you of home:

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Moving out can be a pretty daunting idea, and during bouts of homesickness, it can become difficult for your new flat to feel very homely. While family photographs can help to ease this, another way to feel closer to home is by bringing little pieces of your home with you. I remember insisting on bringing some of our oldest tea towels, as well as one of my mum’s ornaments from the living room.


Free spaces will be filled, so there’s no need to rush:

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One of my favourite things about moving out was the process of decorating my room with everything I had collected throughout my first year. Although it may be tempting to fill up your walls as soon as you get there with pictures of school friends, it’s important to leave space for souvenirs that you’ll gather while you’re there. This will help to keep your room up to date with the things you love and enjoy. It also allows your room to become a collage of your favourite university memories, something that can be especially comforting when you’re missing home or struggling with work.

Getting good grades and surviving the fallout.

You could argue that everyone is a perfectionist in at least one area, and for those who find this trait being attached to their academic efforts, it is both a blessing and a curse.

Whilst my obsessive nature made revision, dare I say, ‘enjoyable’, don’t expect me to listen to your rant about some students “being naturally better at everything” without rolling my eyes at least twice when you proceed by telling me “revision is unnecessary”.

Don’t get me wrong, on many occasions I found myself sat in mathematics grimacing at the whiteboard as if etched in Egyptian Hieroglyphs. 
Whilst I had initially blamed this on my “natural inability”, this sensation only lasted as long as my procrastination did.

“Revision for Stalin can wait… I must find out if Phil Spencer manages to convince Jerry to buy this crap bungalow”.


Anyone who knows me personally understands the inevitability of an article of this nature, so lets ironically carry on procrastinating together with my tips on getting good grades and surviving the fallout.

1 – Work with your crazy sleeping pattern, not against it.

We all have that moment before we go to sleep where we construct an idyllic plan of the following day. After a while though, I figured that it was pointless fantasising about the perfect work schedule if it were never going to materialise.

With this in mind, I scheduled my work to fit in with the early morning hours and I always stuck to this.. Whilst this may have damaged the efficiency and effectiveness of my revision, at least it was getting done, which for me and my evolving techniques of laziness, became the only option! 



2 – Look at what your procrastination revolves around and remove yourself from temptations.

You will find yourself far less stressed and restless if you’re in a work-friendly zone. Revising outside of your bedroom allows a sense of escape, so when you do eventually stumble to bed, the space isn’t associated with stress. 

Doing so also takes you away from all the distractions you’ll find there too. 

The usual procrastination suspects involve the fridge, anything comfy, the fridge, Lego, and probably the fridge…


3 – Set high but reasonable expectations, and no, not with your fantasy football squad. 

Don’t expect yourself to commit to working 24 hours a day, no matter how high your target grades are. If you know that there is an activity or a tv series that is too addictive to simply ignore during the exam period, then incorporate it into your schedule for your leisure time. 

Just make sure that you commit to this activity during your breaks, otherwise your procrastination will eat into that necessary study time.

4 – Venture beyond the textbook.

Topics were much easier to remember in my exams when I’d found out additional information independently. 

You begin to grasp a greater understanding of the context, especially in subjects such as history, and whether or not you actually apply what you find, it’s always useful to read around. 

This is especially helpful when you have a tendency to drift away into more interesting websites rather than focusing on your topics. If you’re drifting, at least drift into the more interesting topics that you actually need to know about. 

5 – Every milestone is worth celebrating, no matter how minor.
During my sociology revision, I would tick off each chapter I had completed. Although the chapters varied between two pages and twenty pages, by celebrating even the minor milestones with another digestive biscuit, I felt far more motivated to go on.


Surviving the exam season is down to much more than simply keeping to your revision schedule. Getting good grades shouldn’t equate to a summer of anxiety and sleeplessness.

Invest time in your studies but not at the expense of your wellbeing. The extent to which you suffer from the fallout is dependant on the pressure you put on yourself. Rules are made to be broken. Give yourself a break and aim high but where possible, work to keep your spirits even higher.