Decorating a drab dorm room

College students are often nervous about getting along with their roommates.

My cousin Moira is starting college as a freshman at my alma mater this fall. So, as you can imagine, I'm very excited for her to work, play and study on my old stomping grounds, and I know that she's going to have a great four years.

Moira called me a few weeks ago, and she was nervous. But unlike many of her fellow freshmen, she wasn't nervous about wild parties or hard classes. She said that she has spent all of high school working to decorate her bedroom at home so that it exactly reflects her style, and now she's going to have to start all over in a dorm room.

Moira told me that she isn't used to living anywhere but her comfortable home. She doesn't know what she's going to do in a cinder block high rise that doesn't have air conditioning, when she's used to living in a nice suburban home with all of the amenities she needs. She hasn't ever shared a room before either, she's worried that her roommate won't share her taste.

I told her not to worry about the decorating until she gets there. After all, it's best that she just picks out bedding and other necessities in colors and designs that she likes, and to thinks about collaborating on walls when she sees what her roommate's style is. This is what I did with my freshman roommate, so many years ago, and it worked out really well. We got along better because we decorated the walls together, and we both felt represented because we each got to pick some things out by ourselves too.

But one thing that Moira won't be able to control is the temperature. The 18-story monstrosity she's moving into is known for its almost unbearably hot summer temperatures. I told Moira that she should invest in a high-powered electric fan for her room, not only will it keep her nice and cool, but she will get to know her neighbors as they come by to visit and cool off!

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