Are you stressing out about how to decorate your dorm room, too? We all want our dorms to be the perfect combination of a home away from home whilst also representing us as individuals. Tried and tested in my own room, I've come up with 10 ideas that will make your dorm stand out this freshman year; regardless of your gender, budget limitations or personal style, I promise you'll love these original tips!

1. The Ultimate Netflix and Chill

Whether it's a romantic date, a fun movie night in with friends or a procrastinatory binge-watching session of Netflix with your roommate, we all rely on our televisions or laptops to provide us with countless seasons worth of entertainment right at our fingertips. However, getting a TV may be out of your college budget, and the limiting size and audio ability of a laptop may ruin the experience of watching movies as a group. Introducing the Excelvan Home Theater, a LED projector that connects and charges your iPad or iPhone to it whilst projecting the images displayed on a white wall or ceiling. If you're willing to spend a bit more check out the Brookstone version here, that also has a bluetooth function on it that allows you to play video games. Don't have a Netflix account? If you sign up for Amazon Student, you will receive a 6 month free trial for streaming music and more than 40,000 options of movies and TV shows! 

2. Fish are Friends, too!

Most, if not all dorm room regulations allow for you to add in a new roommate to the fix. Studies across the nation have been done proving that pet fish help to relieve stress and increase responsibility. Knowing that you have another life to take care of will help you stick to some sort of routine and you'll never really feel lonely with your fish friend around. I would suggest getting a Betta fish, as they are extremely easy to take care of and only really require a glass bowl, water and food. Tank maintenance will be minimal since these fish are generally very clean and also super smart (you can even teach your Betta tricks). The life expectancy of a Betta fish is between 2-4 years which means that you could have your pet for the majority of your college life and they come in so many beautiful colors and varieties! Above is a picture of my first Betta named Mali. Take a look at these GloFish as well. 

3. No Lock, No Problem!

Everyone needs their 'me time' at some point or another. With tight living quarters and shared spaces with new faces, everyday tasks such as working, relaxing or even sleeping can be overwhelming. Enter the Privacy Pop, bed tents customizable in color and size that zip around to ensure your own area for personal down time. The Privacy Pop includes functions that reduce any external light sources, mesh windows for air circulation and access to charging ports for your devices. This could also be the solution to any disputes between you and your roommate about what time to turn off the lights, lower the volume of your music or how messy your bed is! 

4. Colorful Mood Swings

Since candles are banned as a fire hazard in most dorms, Urban Outfitters has come up with a smart alternative. These Flameless Color Candles come in a set of three and are not just battery powered and vanilla scented but also shift colors with the flick of a switch. Equipped with a remote when purchased, you can alter these candles by controlling their color, amount of time they 'burn' for and even the motion of the flame can be customized! Adding candles to any space will make it feel more homey, well put together and of course smell like heaven; so get ready to feel relaxed, rejuvenated and refreshed as you fall asleep to the flickering lights of these safe candles without a worry in your mind. 

5. If You Like It than You Should Put Your Name on It

Some of us take the 'what's mine is mine' policy very seriously; especially when it comes to our linens. At Pottery Barn Teens, you can monogram your initials onto some of your dorm essentials; from beanbags to throws and robes to pillows for a decent price, choosing your font, color scheme and style while you're at it. You could even get a matching set for your roomie; this is a polite way to say 'just because I don't share it doesn't mean I don't care.' On the other hand, if you don't feel the need to personalize your belongings online- you could always do it at home! Check out this simple DIY for self-made throw pillows here

6. What a Wanderluster Would Want

I think most of us would be keen to agree that one of the greatest pleasures in life is traveling, and what better way to keep a track record of your explorations than posting them on your wall. No, not your Facebook wall, your dorm wall! To participate in this trending new movement, all you'll need to do is buy a Scratch Map (these can also be purchased at select retailers such as Urban Outfitters). If you click on either link, it will direct you to the most common type of Scratch Map, however if you scroll down on the page you'll find alternative options including the Scratch Map Deluxe, which is the type I opted for. Scratch Map's vary in color schemes, size and even the places they display. Ranging from all 50 US states to covering the whole world, simply scratch off the place or country that you've visited to reveal a special separate color underneath, indicating that that area has been checked off your bucket list. Oh, all the places you'll go! 

7. The Origami Table

Exhausted after a long day of class, meeting up with friends and going to the gym, but still have that late night assignment you have to finish for your 10 am class tomorrow? Not to worry, just use an origami table (all black is an option too)! The one that I've linked here is an Amazon Prime product, which means that if you sign up as an Amazon Student you can get a discount and two days of free shipping on this and tons of other products on their website. This particular origami table has legs that pull out and grip onto your bed, with a desk for your computer and snacks, slots to fit your devices and a drawer for miscellaneous necessities. It also easily folds up and tucks away so that you can store it with ease when not using it. If you find this product too pricey, or don't appreciate the style or color, here's an alternative Klipsk table from Ikea for a fraction of the price.

8. 👏 Clap for a Clock 👏

Time waits for no one, especially a college student! But what if you could control time with a clap of your hands? Kikkerland's new Clap-On Cube Alarm Clock comes in light and dark wood options, is only 2.5 inches square and turns on and off as you clap or snap your fingers. This sleek, eco-friendly and aesthetically pleasing alternative to the conventional clock also doubles up as a timer, stopwatch, alarm device and with separate integrated modes can tell the time of two places of your choice by switching settings. This gadget is bound to have that wow-factor with your fellow classmates. Managing your time just got a whole lot cooler. 

9. Meal in a Minute

What do you call it when a stove, an oven and a coffee machine have a baby? A MaxiMatic EBK-200 Elite Cuisine 3-in-1!* This awesome contraption combines a toaster oven, griddle and coffee maker all in one portable and protected device, making its value zero to none. The EBK-200 comes in four diverse colors to fit into all dorm designs seamlessly; electric red, pastel blue, cream and black. Plus, for some dorms that don't have a kitchen facility included, this is a great substitute that doesn't take up too much space in your room or your wallet. Whether you're making a quick breakfast as you rush off to class in the morning or craving a midnight snack, the EBK-200 is sure to be the most efficient, useful and satisfying tool of your days in college. 

NOTE: You should check your university guidelines to see if this is allowed in your dormitory before purchasing it. 

10. All the Cosmos and Constellations Under One Roof: Yours.

The entire galaxy will shine bright in your room under this blanket of stars, adapting to the up-to-date constellations of your astrological time period with Uncle Milton's Star Theatre Pro. Let the planets overtake your blank surfaces, turning them into parts of the universe and you'll be sure to discover a whole new world as this unique, game-changing feature to your room soothes you to sleep at the envy of your friends. This epic show of lights is perfect for the outdoorsy types as well, bringing those campfire inspired vibes and stunning sky views into your dorm. These two other ocean wave and aurora borealis (northern lights) light lamps automatically turn off after an hour's use for safety purposes and can be customized through patterns, colors and even tilt degree. To add an additional special touch, they also double up as speakers with volume stabilizers, letting you calm your senses or have a few friends over in a neighbor-conscious way.  

I can't wait to see you all try some of these ideas out. When you do, use the hashtag: #FreshUDorm so we can check out your cool crib! 

Lead Image Credit: Tumblr

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