How to Design Your Dorm Room to Fight College Stress

Stress is part of the college experience. There’s no way around it. Some of the classic college rites of passage include pulling all-nighters to cram for a huge test, dealing with a difficult professor, balancing a heavy workload, and making new friends. Stress can even be a good motivator in the right circumstances. However, too much stress is never a good thing! According to the 2015 National College Health Assessment by the American College Health Association, 30% of college students admitted that stress affected their academic performance. One way to tackle stress is to design your dorm room to encourage focus, clarity, and relaxation. While you can’t add a nice, relaxing spa to your dorm room, you can make some simple design choices that can help you de-stress after a long day of classes!

Stay Organized and Tidy

A cluttered, messy room can make you feel mentally messy as well. It’s also hard to write that big paper when you can’t find your textbook, and your laptop is buried under a pile of dirty clothes on your desk. The first way to de-stress your dorm room is to keep it tidy and organized. This can be difficult, because dorm rooms are so small. That just means you have to get creative and choose furniture that gives plenty of storage and organization options.


Recommendations: Check out Dorm Decor’s entire line of dorm room furniture designed specifically for dorm rooms. We offer desk cubbies, bed frame cubbies, bed rail cubbies, and bedside cubbies for lots of storage.


Choose Relaxing Colors

Cool, calm colors will help sooth your mind when it’s time to put in a few hours of studying. Think pale color palettes of soft greens or blues. If you prefer warm colors, choose pale tones of pink or yellow. Neutral colors also work well, including muted browns and grays.

When you start shopping for your sheets, bed spread, window curtains, rug, and dorm furniture, keep these calming colors in mind.


Recommendations: Try our Blush, Neutrals and Grays dorm collections for soothing color choices.  


Add Personal Accents

A dorm room doesn’t just need to look calming to help ease your stress over that big project due tomorrow. It has to feel like your personal sanctuary. That means turning it from a generic room into your home. Do this by bringing a few personal accents that will help ground you and give your mind a happy place to wander when you need a study break.

Great personal accents include a cork board filled with your fav pictures, the teddy bear you’ve had since you were a baby, or the seashell you picked up on your favorite family vacation.


Recommendation: This burlap nailhead board can hold all your favorite snapshots of friends, family, and your past adventures. It works for both male and female dorm rooms.


Include a Soothing Scent

Scent has a powerful effect upon our emotions. That’s why so many people light candles to create a relaxing atmosphere and why aromatherapy is a popular stressbusting activity. Real candles aren’t allowed in dorm rooms, but you can still use the power of your olfactory sense to help you stay calm while you wait for the results of your midterms.

Consider plugging in an air freshener, putting a bowl of potpourri on your desk, or adding a scented room diffuser. (Just make sure to ask your roommate first before adding scents to the room.


Recommendation: Our scented room diffuser smells like fresh rainfall.


Buy a Plant

Plants bring a little bit of nature into your room and can also give you some extra oxygen while you study. Something about plants is undeniably calming, and it can be rewarding to care for them and watch them grow. For your dorm room, consider a small plant that doesn’t require a lot of care, such as Aloe, Snake Plant, Peperomia, or a cactus.

College is stressful, but stress doesn’t have to take over your life or ruin your college experience. Learning to manage your stress effectively is a big part of becoming a successful adult. These tips will help you create a dorm room that can act a refuge and help you deal with stress in a positive way.