The Columbia Olympics: Decoration/Room Set-Up

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Welcome to the Columbia Olympics. Through this series, Bwog hopes to prepare you for at least some of the events that you will participate in at Columbia. Unlike the real Olympics, no one’s too young, too old, too juiced, or too angry to participate. Since everything must be judged, though, we have included gold medal outcomes at the end of each post.

Thanks to the constantly long lines on move-in day, and the rather packed schedule at the start of Orientation Week, many first-years (Columbia-speak for freshmen) no doubt are still contemplating just how to make that special 110 ft. single or half of the 215 sq ft. double their own. How does one turn that whitewashed cell into a new home? Use the comments to add your own advice.

  • Decide immediately whether you want to loft your bed or put it on risers. Even if you don’t want the extra space (or can’t leap in and out of a lofted bed), you don’t want to have to rearrange everything later.
  • Use every corner and every tabletop of space for bins, refrigerators, etc.
  • Know how to loft a bed – nobody wants to start their college experience with their father in the hospital with a gash from a falling bed frame.
  • If you didn’t loot your local Virgin megastore for cool posters (or are ambivalent about defining your identity so early in the year), a New York subway map looks good on any prison wall (and is actually pretty useful when first adjusting to the city).

  • Make sure you really like any posters you do put up – you’ll be staring at the same cast for months at a time.
  • If you’re in the habit of collecting cards (restaurant, contacts, etc.), pin those up into a useful collage (better than finding a decaying stack in your drawer at the end of the year and thinking, man, I should have gotten off campus more).
  • When putting up stuff, instead of wall putty or double sided tape that will just fall down, use a staple gun. It keeps things attached to the wall and the holes are so small you won’t get charged for it.
  • None of these steps will matter if you don’t have a lamp to make up for the terrible ceiling lights.

Gold Medal Outcome: Incorporate a dance routine.

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  1. the room  

    on that commercial is like twice the size of my room at home...let alone my room freshman (or sophomore or junior) year. I would kill to have that room here (or dance moves like that).

  2. Yay!

    things like this make me so excited to be going back to Columbia. I had a metro map on my wall, and I rearranged my room about 3 times during the year because I was sick of it haha

  3. the copy editor

    resturant? spell-check, bwog.

  4. room

    Here's an idea I used (more for the girls): Buy some wall hooks to hang up hand bags/tote bags. It saves space and looks really nice.

  5. curious

    how do you loft your bed?!?

  6. Restless

    I like rearranging my room throughout the year-- it spices up a very small, cramped space. Varying the height of the bed is fun, as is changing the way you face-- door, window. Also a good idea to put in mirrors (if you haven't noticed by now, the ones they provide are usually foggy and gross).

  7. Anonymous

    The two chicks in that Target ad definitely have some sexual tension.

    I predict they make out (at least) by the end of freshman year.

  8. clg

    lots and lots of hooks: over-door, wall hooks, special hook/hangers.

    couldn't agree more with the lights. a lamp is the bare minimum, but if you want to light your whole room relatively evenly, white strand lights do the job well.

  9. Curtains!  

    a good set of curtains will help make your room feel that much more homey while adding extra protection against peeping toms

  10. ugh

    I don't want to go back to school.

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