Peyton Hanlin, HelloGiggles
As students from colleges all around the country settle into their dorms and get in the swing of distanced learning, it's clear that 2020 is a year like no other. In light of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, many students have returned to school feeling anxious and uncertain. This rings true for all college students.
Freshmen, who also weren't able to have traditional senior graduation ceremonies from high school, are experiencing college for the first time at a distance, and returning students are comparing their past years to the new normal that's being enforced now—both in and out of the classroom. To understand how students are setting up their dorm rooms in the year of COVID, we spoke to five students across the country to learn about their unique experiences.
Peyton Hanililn, University of Iowa
Peyton Hanlin, HelloGiggles
While Peyton describes feeling nervous about going back to school, she says that her university's precautions made her feel safe since it increased its scheduled cleanings and implemented social distancing rules. Plus, she and her roommate have tried to set up their room so that there's a good amount of space between themselves, for health precautions.
“Because of COVID, we had to find a cute way to hang our keys and masks for easy access and keep germs separated,” she shares. "We also decided to pack our backpacks with extra sanitizing wipes and hand sanitizer to make sure that we always have access to cleaning products.”
Brooke Vituli, Arizona State University
Brooke Vituli, HelloGiggles
At the beginning of the school year, Brooke bought Clorox wipes, different types of hand sanitizers, Lysol sprays, and lots of face masks while doing her back-to-school shopping. "I’ve been purchasing the essentials to make my room comfortable and cute and also lots of cleaning items to make sure my room stays clean."
“I am going to make my room super cozy this year because with some of my classes and activities being online, I will be spending the majority of my time there,” says Brooke. She shares that while she was anxious to return to school, she was also really excited and remains optimistic.
Breton Clark, Iowa State University
Bret Clark, HelloGiggles
Breton, who's a college sophomore, says that while she's sad this school year is different, she understands the precautions being taken to ensure health and safety. This year, she made her dorm room warm and cozy. “I bought more decorations for my room to make it feel like home since almost all my classes have moved online," she says. "I'll be spending a lot of time studying here.”
Apart from making her college dorm room feel more cozy, she's also bought items to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. "If you share a bathroom, I'd recommend getting a protective cover for your toothbrush and other toiletries to keep your stuff clean.”
Shruthi Rajaram, Ohio State University
Shruthi Rajaram, HelloGiggles
For Shruthi and her roommate, keeping their dorm decorations the same helped make their transition to school during a pandemic feel more normal. She shares that, thanks to the many safety rules her school has implemented, she hasn't felt as nervous as she did when the semester started.
The only major thing she and her roommate changed in their dorm was the amount of disinfectant wipes, hand sanitizers, and face masks they bought. "We make sure our space is clean so we can have new friends safely come over and hang out,” she says. “I think everyone’s been modifying their rooms by being more precautious; everyone is in agreement that we need to keep each other safe.”
Niya Nyun, Pearl River Community College
Niya Nyun, HelloGiggles
Niya is a first-year nursing student who decorated her dorm room to make it feel warm and cozy and make it a relaxing place to study. She also says that she's taking as many safety precautions as possible. “I clean my room and wipe it down every time I enter, and I clean it at least three times a week," she says. "I have bleach detergent, disinfectant spray, Lysol wipes, and lots of antibacterial soap.