Home away from home

While in college, some University of Detroit Mercy students are hundreds of miles from home.

How do they feel closer? Some doing it by decorating their dorm rooms.

“I actually love decorating my room. It’s hard being away from home and not having that home-look you are used to seeing on a regular basis,” said Andranay Beverly, a biology major. “You kind of just have to find something that makes the dorm fit you, even if that is using your favorite color for your bed spread or posters you had at home of your favorite artist.”

A lot of students take pride in making their dorm rooms look nice.

Senior student Patrick Onwenu is among them.

“I created my dorm this way because it lets people know what kind of person I am,” he said.

Anton Wilson is Onwenu’s teammate on the Titan basketball team.

“I have to keep my dorm room clean and looking nice because you never know who will come in,” he said.

Many students say that people get judged by their dorm rooms: If you have a plain dorm room, you get tagged as a basic person. If you go all out for your dorm room, you are viewed as full of excitement.

A lot of students take pride in the dorm room and some want to have the best room on the floor.

“Sometimes I keep my dorm room door open so everyone can see how nice my dorm room is,” said Junior Aisha Tyre.

Reyna Hall enjoys the compliments, too.

“I love it,” she said, “when people come to my dorm room and say, ‘My gosh, your dorm room looks nice’ or ‘Wow, nice room.’ ”

Brie Wilcox, who is from Canada, said she never had to decorate until she came to live in a dorm room.

“I just started using pictures of my family and buying lights to go around my wall to make my dorm fun and alive,” she said. “I even brought bean bags from home so that when I have study groups, my friends are just as comfortable in my room as I am.”

Students also find unique ways to decorate for holidays and even birthdays.

“Me and my friends knew that my birthday was coming up and we just wanted to create a party atmosphere in my dorm room and invite some guys over to help celebrate it,” said Aaron Williams, a business major. “We did just like what we do at home: We put pictures up, balloons throughout the dorm, set a stereo up and even had a strobe light.”

Some would argue that decorating a dorm doesn’t help make a student feel at home.

“I was a little afraid when I first went off to college,” said Haleigh Ristovski, a criminal law major. “My mom helped me settle in when I first got to the dorms. I already had an older sister who was off to college and lived on campus for three years so I was kind of already prepared to find things that reminded me of myself and my family to put in my dorm.”