Wednesday, August 21, 2013

From Uterus to University - This Ain't Your Mom's Dorm

We took our oldest monkey girl back to college last week. It was bittersweet.  We are so proud of her and our oldest monkey boy as they have embraced college with gratitude.  They are both have such a strong work ethic.  They understand that education is a privilege and they take it seriously. We love how they each invest in the lives’ of fellow students, especially the incoming freshmen.  They love to encourage these college newbies because they remember all too well what it was like to be a “freshy”.  As part of the resident life team on her campus, our oldest monkey girl is fully engaged right now in making the new girls in her dorm feel “at home”.  It is beautiful to watch her shine as she pours into the lives’ of others. You go monkeys!!!

Speaking of resident life, has anyone seen this article?  Apparently, the dorms of today are, ahem, a bit more posh than my funky college dorm.  I mean, gourmet kitchens and art galleries? Say whaaaat?  My college dorm was so old and funky that even if the walls could talk, they were too ancient to remember any stories. With carpeted halls straight from “The Shining” and an ancient claw foot tub in the middle of the bathroom, the freak out factor was high.  I hated studying in the study room late at night.  I was sure that any minute those creepy trike riding twins from “The Shining” would pop out from around a corner.  Oh, and the radiators creaked and groaned all. night. long in the winter.  No bueno!

Our daughter’s college is not quite a “Glampus” and her room is pretty conservative, but it light years beyond my college digs. It has all the basic creature comforts, no frills, and it’s clean (most of the time ;-) ). We sure enjoyed helping her decorate it a bit this past week  She and her roommate came up with a really cute “cafe” theme.  They want their room to be an inviting place for other girls to come and hang out.  

Of course, being the poor college girls that they are, they needed to keep a few things in mind: budget, budget, and oh, yeah, budget. I think that they totally nailed the cafe theme on a shoe string budget though.  Here are some of the fun ideas they incorporated into their room.  

They dreamed about having a coffee / tea / hot cocoa service area in their room, because nothing is more inviting than a late night cup of hot cocoa.  So, we went to IKEA and found a simple kitchen cart that can double as a table for two (or three if they really squeeze together).  They are on the hunt for some simple cheap or free stools.  The kitchen cart holds some inexpensive mugs, glasses, spoons and small glass IKEA jars full of teas, coffee, sugar, cocoa, plus an borrowed espresso maker complete with a hot water dispenser.  In my opinion, all college students should own an electric kettle for hot water.  It is great for coffee, tea, cocoa or instant morning oatmeal. 

The girls each are adding their own personal touches.  Whether it is homemade artwork or pictures of family and friends. As a little splurge, we found a very fun canvas at IKEA to add to the cafe theme.  It will easily transition to a kitchen wall in our daughter’s first home. I would even be willing to “keep it safe” for her on my kitchen wall until she is ready ;-).  Also, nothing sets a cafe ambience quite like twinkle lights. 

Add in some simple, washable bedding complete with a new comfy mattress pad and cuddle-worthy blanket, and you have a stylishly functional and fun dorm room.  Although, we don’t want it to be so fun that they forget to study.  They would never do that though...

A few other touches that would be nice for the college student are plants (air plants are great) for purifying the "dormy" air, an extra lamp or two for reading, and maybe some big, puffy bean bag chairs or oversized floor pillows for lounging on movie nights. 



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