So now that everyone has unpacked their decorations and essentials from home and attempted to make their dorm or apartment feel a little bit more like home, here are some tips to make your living space a little more cozy.
1. Fairy lights
Now for all you Pinterest lovers out there, this one doesn’t even need explaining. Fairy lights are simply a must in every dorm room.
2. A fish
We all realized our cats and dogs couldn’t fit in our suitcases when we moved in. So what’s the cure for missing our beloved pets from home? Get a fish! As long as the tank doesn’t exceed 10 gallons in your dorm, it’s the perfect way to cope with your pet-induced heartache – just as long as you don’t treat your little fishy like Darla.
Putting a nice big rug on the floor transforms your dorm from sketchy, never-vacuumed carpet to a super-cool statement piece. And if you ever find a prince who knows how to ride one, you’ll be prepared.
Nothing is cuter than a bunch of little cacti in a glass bowl. The best part? Cactus requires little to no effort – great for those of us who lack that coveted green thumb.
5. Curtain rod
Privacy is virtually impossible in a cramped little dorm room, but a curtain hung across your bed gets you a little bit closer. It’s definitely the best way to avoid judgment from your roommates for staying up till 4 a.m. watching “Gossip Girl.” #xoxo
6. Washi tape
This adorable patterned tape can go ANYWHERE – pencils, pictures, your bed frame, closet doors, etc. You can get it online and it won’t rip off any of the paint on the dorm walls. After you get your first roll of washi tape, you’ll make up excuses to decorate and tape up everything.
7. Reed oil diffusers
It’s a miracle to find anything strong enough to cover the unwavering smell of ramen and midterm-induced tears in a dorm room. Using reed oil diffusers to cover up these bad smells with vanilla or lavender definitely makes your room feel more comforting.
To yoga newbies, a yoga class is an awkward combination of not falling asleep when you are supposed to “meditate”, feeling uncomfortable with everyone closing their eyes and losing your balance when attempting a position.
Yoga, though seemingly intimidating, is an amazing practice. It’s the best way to de-stress before and after your midterms, and to stretch out your poor calf muscles after venturing up and down the Hill. Whether you can gather up the courage to join a yoga class at the John Wooden Center or are content with following a YouTube video in your dorm, here are some tips for the aspiring yogis out there.
1. Body-hugging clothes are essential
I know this may come as a surprise, but “yoga pants” are not strictly worn on days when you’re too lazy to wear real pants. You should wear them to yoga too! Tight-fitting tops are also essential, especially when you’re upside down or twisted over in a pose and don’t want to be distracted by any accidental skin exposure.
2. Yes, it’s normal to close your eyes during class
When meditating at the beginning and end of class, it is encouraged to close your eyes. It allows you to focus on your body and how you feel, and to prevent you from accidentally staring at some girl’s super cute Nikes across the room.
3. Know some basic poses
Every yoga instructor explains the positions and varying difficulty options throughout class, so don’t worry about being clueless on the differences between the “child’s pose” and the “happy baby pose”. However, knowing the basics on the most common poses can give you some extra confidence when class begins. Here are some basics:
The Child’s Pose: Starting on your hands and knees, push back with your arms, bringing your butt to the mat with your knees spread further apart. Your arms should be stretched out and long, and forehead to the mat. If you ever feel uncomfortable or have pain during class, use this pose as a resting point!
Downward-facing Dog Pose: Start on your hands and knees, and slowly push up your arms while bringing your butt up to the sky. Try to push away from the ground using your arms, instead of resting all of your weight on your legs. Downward Facing Dog is most used as a starting position for other poses.
Cat-Cow Pose: On your hands and knees, inhale as you push your stomach towards the mat, and exhale as your arch your back up like a cat. This one is a very common warm up pose, and allows you to stretch out your neck and spine,and focus on your breathing.
4. Take your shoes off
It may feel uncomfortable at first, but make sure you remove your shoes before you get on your mat. Being barefoot allows you to connect more with your body, get better traction on the mat and stops the dirt from the bottom of your shoes from getting all over the place (believe me, dirt isn’t something you want stuck on your forehead after “child’s pose”).
5. Be open-minded
Yoga can be very spiritual and has a great influence on your emotions and awareness. Though you may be weary at first, just allow yourself to become a part of the experience. Even if you feel awkward, try to adapt and respect the effort of everyone around you. Yoga may not be for everyone, but everyone can take a lesson and apply it to their lives in their own way. Just remember to be patient, observant, and nonjudgmental!