Going off to college can be fun and exciting for youngsters, if a bit nerve-wracking for their parents. Often, a new college student is away from home for the first time and will soon meet new friends and maybe learn a few things, and find themselves on a career path. Too bad about dorm rooms, though: they’re frequently drab, dingy, and very much the worse for wear. If you’re lucky, the cinder blocks have a fresh coat of paint. Freshmen usually don’t get the pick of the litter, either.
When Skylar Bantz, a freshman majoring in biology, arrived at her new home at Texas State University, she wasn’t impressed. The building was about 50 years old and not in the best condition. The room had peeling paint, discoloration on the ceiling, and ancient, disgusting vinyl flooring. The furniture was functional but “institutional” and uninspired. When Adeline Vela, Skylar’s roommate, turned up, the two of them realized that getting all their stuff into the room was going to be a challenge — there wasn’t any storage space!
Sure, it was just a temporary residence, but still, they had to do something to make the place nicer and more functional. With help from a few others and after 20 hours of work, they were able to completely transform the room. If you can’t build out, build up: raised beds created space for a television, printer, and coffee maker. Inexpensive but nice-looking desks and bookshelves replaced the institutional furniture. Colorful textiles, decorative cushions, and well-chosen lighting made the room look cozy and elegant. All that on a modest budget of $500.
As Skylar’s mom Sheila Ybarra explained, “We were all just trying to make the space for the girls very comfortable and enjoyable for studying. A dorm makeover can really change your mindset for college and being away from home.”
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