College Dorm or Childhood Bedroom?

Teen bedroom loft style

This is a tough subject. Your friends have gone off to their four-year schools and you’ve decided to stay home and commute to college. Or maybe you went to college and discovered it was so much fun that you had to come home – back to the bedroom you thought you left behind at the end of high school.




Going away to college is a time for independence and very often students express that separation from their parents by decorating their dorm room. It’s almost like having your first apartment, except you need to share a bathroom with thirty other people. Parents also get their chance to redesign your old bedroom into a spare bedroom with less posters, less mess and maybe even a new memory foam mattress!




The funny thing about staying home is that most students never consider redecorating their childhood bedrooms.  Not sure you fall into this category?   Look around. If you’ve got your six-grade class photo on the wall or a poster of Drake and Josh, it’s time to make a change and find your inner DIY-self. You could even get some new, modern furniture from furniture in fashion!




If you need some decorating inspiration, I recommend this dorm room Pinterest board.



  • Mike Fanelli

    Found this post very amusing. I recently moved myself so I went from a room filled with many old childhood memories to a much more professional and modern looking space. Ie found that redecorating has not only helped me grow as a person but also allows me to get much more work done now that my room has been set up for my current student lifestyle.

  • Casey Davis

    Personally, i have been to two colleges and the dorms there are different style but when you get settled after the first week you decorate it to what you like and what feels like home for you. Going away to school for some people is not the right fit no matter what they do to decorate their room to make it feel like home. For some people its a shock to go away thats why they come home because its something they already know but as i sit in my room right now after a change in set up, my room now feels more like a dorm room then childhood memories. By doing this change, it makes me get more work done now the i was in high school.

  • Gerald Cox

    I’ve both dormed away at school and lived at home to commute to school. Personally, I’d rather stay home in my own room. Maybe I’m just biased but, there are a lot more people who do not clean up after themselves then I thought. In my hall, there was maybe 3 or 4 people including myself that actually cleaned up, whether it was in the bathroom, laundry room, lounge or dining hall. For some reason some people think that the floor in the trash can. Living at home, I don’t have to deal with anyones mess or act like their mother and make them clean their part of the room up. Now that I am home too, I’m slowing changing my room. Its surprising how much matching furniture, plants, photos, and artwork really change the room from looking like a middle schoolers to a young adult.

  • Jerry Saint Aubin

    I have found my old Phil Jackson poster to be actually comforting in my room. I for one have never went away for school and probably will never. The idea of having a dorm and having to share it with somebody, who I have no clue, is scary. On the inside, I am guy who prefers his space from people when it is time to disappear from society. I would not be able to recharge properly if i had a roommate i feel. Lets say for instance I had my own dorm,no roommate. I would still have a supervisor who has access to my room at any moment there mind tells them to go into my room(not saying they would if it wasn’t anything serious, but knowing they could is enough to scare me). When its all said and done, dorming seems to be an experience with its perks but for me I can see none positive.

  • Yulissa Jimenez

    I still had a Justin Bieber pillow…. by the time i realized he was a total loser it was too late. All my friends teased me and family members laughed at me. I know one thing i never grew old of was my fuzzy bed sheets. They feel amazing, who cares about the barbie logo on it. its comfortable. I do no think i ever went through a phase when i wanted to be on my own so bad that i had to go to a college 500 miles away. I loved my room too much, here is just something about those 4 walls that surround me that give me a sense of comfort and tranquility. My mothers food is amazing by the way! How can i ever make myself leave that? No way jose.

  • Gregory Salwen

    This is such an interesting concept, and I have a few ideas about it. I for one, did not commute to college from home. I have had quite a journey moving around the United States in pursuit of a top level education. I began my college experience in Chicago, IL in 2011. I attended DePaul University, and completed my freshman year there. I was so lucky to get to live in Lincoln Park ( I like to think of it as the “SOHO” of Chicago), and I really loved my freshman dorm. I lived alone, no roomate, in this modern building on the corner of Clifton and Fullerton. I decorated my room with pictures I had taken over my time living in the Windy City. I did this because it made sense to me, and because looking at these images helped me build a new identity, in a brand new place. I am so grateful for being able to live alone in a city far from my home in Westchester County, New York. I feel that it was the best experience of my life, but I did not sit down one day and try to decorate my dorm room based on anything in particular. I find what you wrote to be fascinating, because I love my room here at home, but there was no thought process like that going on at the time. Sadly, my Windy City life did not work out and I moved back to the East Coast in 2012. I then began my Sophmore year at Champlain College in Burlington, VT. This is what has made my college experience so incredibly interesting is how I have moved all over, and have had completely different experiences along the way. My dorms in Northern Vermont are so small I can’t do any decorating! Honestly, they are tiny. I joke that I feel like Harry Potter, living in the cubbard under the stairs.

    By Gregory Salwen

  • Bailey Newman

    This is an interesting point. When I was moving into my freshman dorm about to start the next chapter in my life, school, and studying was not my main focus. Decorating my dorm room was. I wanted to make sure everything was perfect. I had to match everything with my roommate. Its amazing how much time and effort I put into making my dorm room perfect when in reality, it was only a temporary living situation where your childhood bedroom is always the room you will come home too. As for me, I ended up coming home for good and all that time and money spent on organziers and posters and tapestries got stored in my garage to be found somewhere down the road. Its interesting to think how quickly things change and how people are so focused on the moment. People make plans and don’t think about the fact that life does not listen to your plan because life has its own plan for you. At least that is what I’ve learned through my ecperince in college. I thought I was supposed to meet my freshman roommate and plan out the next four years together but boy was I wrong. As I sit here writing about this I realized that little things like decorating a dorm room are meaningless when you are able to find something that really matters. Going into my freshman year, I did not stop to think once about my future or the reason I was going to college in the firstplace, I was just so consumed by the excitement that my first college dorm room would bring and although it was fun, maybe it was just too much fun.

  • Tyler Stagg

    I was fortunate enough to experienced both, being in a college dorm and living at home for college. I would say that both experience has its ups and downs. When I was away from home, everything was harder than I though because I need to be independent. No one would be there, aside from my friends could help me if I need a hand especially when I am swamped with school works. Although it is a fresh start, it takes time to adjust and be independent when you have lived with your parents for your entire life. On the bright side, it is good to have a fresh start and be able to prove yourself that you can make it on your own.

    On the other hand, living at home is also great because you don’t have to think about being away from your family and friends that you grew up with. The best part is, there is always great food to come home to. It is nice to always have to go home to a familiar face but of course, it would be not going out of your comfort zone. After all that, one thing is for sure, College won’t be fun without all the grown up stuff that you have to do to survive.

  • Taylor Rizzo

    While I was in high school, I thought that I was SO ready to go away to college. I already started thinking about how I would decorate my dorm and how great it would be to be away from home. But as graduation came closer, I started realizing that my living situation was going to be downgraded, to say the least. I started to panic. Living in a tiny room with one, two, maybe three other people?? Sharing a communal bathroom with the entire floor?! This, and a few other factors, made me decide to commute to school for the first two years. The funny thing is that, yes, I did totally re-decorate my room a few months after I started college. No more bright pink walls and furry leopard-print comforter. I didn’t even realize it back then, but now looking back, it’s like I was decorating my dorm.

  • Jenna Tamarazzo

    Unlike others, I cannot afford to go to a college that has dorms, or to dorm at all for that matter. I have a twin sister and my whole life I lived in the same room with her and fought with her about dumb unimportant details like something being in the wrong place or that my over filled dresser drawer was sticking out. By the time my senior year of high school was coming to an end, I stopped sleeping in my bedroom and started sleeping on the couch in my living room. I was always in there watching television because my sister always complained about the shows I was watching. I also had a different sleep schedule than her and she would keep me up until 3 in the morning most nights. So every night, I ended up just falling asleep on the couch and it became a habit. About four months ago my father and I decided that since I will never be going away for college and I’m always sleeping on the couch that my living room will be my new bedroom. We are still in the process now and we’re basically turning it into an apartment. Unless I get married tomorrow, I don’t plan on leaving home. I feel like people my age are in such a rush to become adults. If you don’t have to, stay home and commute. Re-decorate and turn your room into a more mature atmosphere. Who wants to be uncomfortable and share a tiny room with people you barely know and share a bathroom with multiple people anyway? Not I

  • Benjamin Padilla

    I was lucky enough to experience both living in a dorm and at home for college. Both of them had there pros and cons. Being able to dorm was a great experience. If you have the opportunity to dorm you should definitely go for it. It was amazing in some cases but with every good there is a bad. Living on your own sounds great and is great if you can. While going away for college I have learned the hard way for many things. Trust me there will be days you might not have money to eat. Hey there will be a few days you without eating anything at all. But at the end of the day you are living life. You are creating memories and making friends that will probably be around you your whole life. You create this bond with your friends because every single one of you has gone through what we know as the “struggle” , and believe me guys the struggle is real. At the end of the day I would relive the freedom all over again. It might seem weird to you guys thinking how can you live with two other people or not eat for a few days , and he is saying he would relive it again ? He is crazy! Well I might be but you do find your true self when you go away. You appreciate the value of a dollar and know what it is to leave home for a long period of time. With that said I know for sure when the time comes I will be able to say… I can live on my own.

    In the other hand living at home going to commuting to school wasn’t so bad. You have less responsibilities meaning mom and dad will take care of you. You can find a job and make some extra money on the side. You can hang out with old friends and family. It could have there ups and downs at home due to an argument you can get into with your parents, but at the end of the day you are home. And some say “there is nothing like home.”