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Believe it or not your personal brand in college starts in your dorm room. Between your residence hall bedding, room decorations and cleanliness (or lack thereof), there are plenty of identifiers people will use to determine your personality. All of the people around you may become potential contacts and possible job leads once you get out of college. This is particularly true if you attend a school that focuses as hard on helping students get recruited after college as they do recruiting the students to go there in the first place.
Once you graduate from college your private living space is something most prospective employers will never see. However, your dorm room doesn’t quite fit into the same category. It largely isn’t private space.
You are no longer a child, and there is a strong possibility that one of the people with you in your dormitory will be in some sort of influential position that can help your career in the future. That isn’t to say that anything you do in college is going to be following you for the rest of your life, but the brand you present in college, beginning with your dorm room, will stick with you. Being entirely YOU, try to make this impression a positive one.
While looking at these photos imagine you are a CFO at a large company in 10 years and you have the pleasure of interviewing all these people you once lived with in college. Which candidate would you choose?
Oddly enough the people in your dorm are likely to remember your dorm room as much as they are your personality. This is particularly true if your dorm room stands out in any way. For example, one student I knew in college had a passion for antique furniture and I’ll always remember him as the “guy with good taste.” Another was moderately messy and lived in an otherwise undistinguished space. He is remembered as unremarkable. Yet another guy lived in such a state of chaos no one could share a dorm room with him–he is remembered as “the crazy guy.” The last guy had a passion for cactus plants and that guy–you had to be careful around him. These images and impressions stick and they will follow you just as surely as your FaceBook Wall and ridiculous YouTube videos will into the future.
- Cleanliness. It’s sad but true, cleanliness matters. Everyone thinks their room doesn’t smell–but it does. Try to keep things moderately clean and presentable.
- Use dorm room bedding with residence hall linens. These affordable twinXL bedding sets will instantly make your dorm room look put together and inviting. An added bonus is that the twinXL sheets and mattress pad will actually fit the bed and protect you from the mattress.
- Put your personality into the décor. If you’re a true party animal at least show yourself off as being a creative drunk by making it your dorm room theme with hanging bottles and mini-autos made from beer caps and legos!
- Storage. Buy or create under the bed and bookshelf storage. It’s very hard to have an appealing dorm room if you have nowhere to put things.
- Dorm room lighting. Spend some time finding alternative lights to the single overhead fluorescents found in dorm rooms. Your room will be more welcoming and comfortable for you and everyone else.
Use these tips and other dorm room decorating ideas to brand yourself and your dorm room positively. Always remember that someday you may not want to be remembered as the slob that no one could manage to live with.