How to make campus feel like home

By Cindy Om, Design Editor

Being away from your friends and family can be hard, especially in a new place. In order to make the transition easier, here is a list of tips to make campus feel more like home:  

Make your living space your safe space:

When I first moved to college I made sure my dorm room was my safe space. I had a small room and I made the best of the situation. I made sure to bring three things with me: tea, flowers and photos. I decorated my room with flowers and posted photos of my friends and family on a wall above my desk.

When I was stressed or had a bad day I would make a cup of tea and look at the photos of the people I cared about. The photos made me feel better and motivated me to keep going.

I suggest you bring three items that you need to make you feel comfortable and familiar in your new living space. Whether it is a blanket, book or movie, just bring it so long as it makes you happy.

Find somewhere to relax and study that is not your home:

It is important to find a space that is not your home. Being in your home is great, but it is also good to be in a different location.  

If I want to relax and the weather is great, I will sit on the Main Quad. I usually read a book or catch up with a friend. The Quad is a great location because of the greenery, the crowd and the restaurants nearby in the Illini Union. There are also many people who play frisbee, volleyball or other physical activities. There is always something going on at the Quad.

If I want to get work done I will go to an empty classroom. I usually go to Gregory Hall or the Business Instructional Facility. They have big classrooms with outlets, tables and boards. I prefer going to BIF because it is a newer building and it has more open space. It is once of the nicest buildings on campus and they also have an Espresso Royale coffee shop in the building, where you can get a good drink for a decent price.

I suggest you try out different spots and find your favorites. Sometimes one of them could get filled and it is always good to have a backup. Or you can rotate through different spots like I do.  

Learn how public transportation works: 

Before going to college I never took public transportation beside taking the bus going to and from school, but I suggest all students should learn the bus stops and schedules when they get to campus.  Some of the buses can take you off campus to the mall and grocery stores, such as Walmart and Aldi. You can download one of the many bus apps, which will help you get around at first. The apps usually tell you the nearest bus stop to your current location and if the bus is on time. The app is very useful and I find myself using it all the time even after three years on campus. 

Participate in Welcome Days activities:

Go to Quad Day and the mandatory events for your specific college, dorm or major. You will meet plenty of people who have common interests. Everyone there is also likely to be in the same situation as you, and there usually will be free food and drinks if you need extra motivation.  

I made sure to go to the mandatory events such as Convocation and Illinois Sights and Sounds with my roommate. It was fun. I’m still good friends with some of the people I met during the first week of freshman year, and I know some people who did not go to the events and regretted it.

Cindy is a senior in Media.

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