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Welcome to UCI! This is going to be an amazing and challenging year for all new students. For all you freshmen who are new to the area, this campus may feel large and intimidating at first, and until you get used to our big, beautiful campus, you might feel the need to have a small comfort zone of your own.
Your dorm room, though small, is the single spot on campus that UCI has designated specifically for you. Whether or not you decide to go home every weekend, a majority of your week will be spent studying, hanging out, writing Humanities Core Course essays, programming and on some occasions, sleeping in your dorm room. Here are a few tips to make it cozier, just like home.

DECORATING

Though girls seem to stress about this more than guys do, decorating your walls relieves the room of its original starkness. One suggestion is to bring posers to fill up larger chunks of space, or start a photo collage with pictures of family and friends.
Darlene Lim, a second-year social sciences major, opted to display her scrapbooking skills on the walls of her dorm room.
‘Since I already had a lot of scrapbooking materials, like different-colored paper and pens, I started matting and backing my photos above my bed to add more color and make it look more interesting,’ Lim said. ‘I also started putting up more random things like paper bags with my name on them that I got from friends and my University Studies TA as well as my high school basketball jersey to make my walls really seem like the pages of a giant scrapbook.’
Another type of decoration you can consider to make your dorm room less bare is to create a galaxy of glow-in-the-dark stars on your ceiling. Don’t just put the stars up randomly; take time to create a pattern on your ceiling! Many students also tend to bring in extra lighting, or ‘mood lighting.’
Since the fluorescent lights provided in the dorm rooms are often harsh and unfriendly, putting up twinkle lights around your room or buying an extra lamp often helps make your room a more welcoming place to be.
As Gwen Reinaur, Ikea public relations officer of the Costa Mesa Ikea said, ‘Lighting not only is used for function but adds a decorative touch as well.’
Many guys have opted for the usual Lakers jerseys, Maxim spreads of Jessica Alba and Britney Spears, or wall scrolls of anime or Jet Li.
However, gentlemen, it’s OK to branch out to other magazines than Maxim and display other interests than sports.
Thomas Hamada, a second-year social sciences major, created a magazine collage in his dorm room that not only impressed everyone who came to visit him, but displayed his artistic and imaginative personality.
‘I put lots of cutouts from magazines and posters, starting from the upper corner and ceiling of the room, spreading out to the other walls,’ Hamada said. ‘Also, every time a guest would visit, I would have them take a Polaroid picture and sign it to put on my ‘guest wall.’ But an important thing I realized about decorating my room was to just do something

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