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Adding lights is an inexpensive way to make your dorm feel more at home. (Abby Van Ess / The Signpost)

It’s the new school year and that often means a new room. Whether you’re a new or returning student living in the dorms, the sigh of moving is a shared reaction. Although moving is rough and tiring, you do have one thing to look forward to, and that is decorating your room.

Home. After a while, that is what the dorms become to you. You want to feel at home, especially if this is your first year away from your family. You want to make your room and shared spaces as “homey” as possible. When first moving into the dorms, you walk into this big empty room with plain walls and may start to think “How I am going to live here for a year?”

Pictures, frames, collections, posters, tapestries and Christmas lights are what my dorm room is currently decorated with. Pictures of family and friends are always nice to have because it helps with homesickness. Having a place to put the pictures frames is essential.

And frames are fun to play around with. Not only do they add some artistic feel to the room, but they’re also cheap. Even putting up some typographical frames and quotes like “Home is where the pants aren’t” make the room feel more like home. The Dollar Tree even carries frames and cute pictures of all sizes to choose from. You can use the frames loosely and stagger them just add a unique look to the room or you can use them for collections.

I, for example, have been collecting movie ticket stubs since 2011. Although the frames were a fantastic price, I can’t say my collection has been cheap. I have saved every stub since 2011 and currently have four 8 X 11 framed papers with all the stubs displayed. Next to them, are some movie posters that I decided to print of some of my favorite movies. The printing center in the Shepherd Union has great pricing and quality for our college student budget.

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Quotations and pictures with frames from the Dollar Store are a low-cost way to liven up the walls in your dorm. (Abby Van Ess / The Signpost)

If you don’t have time to head to the Dollar Tree, Society6 is an online store that my friends and I have used several times to buy tapestries. They’re constantly having sales and have a wide variety of prints and images that are sure to suit your fancy. A tapestry can be used in diverse ways. For example, it can be hung on the wall, draped over your bed, used as a makeshift curtain or for building the ultimate pillow and blanket fort in your living room.

When decorating your fort, or just your room, lights become essential. And Christmas lights fit this bill perfectly. Not only do they look cool, but they also add a relaxing feel to the place, especially around finals week. Wal-Mart sells them year round as well, starting at $2.99 for an 8ft strand of mini lights.

Although the “College Student Budget” is a real thing, there are endless ideas and ways to decorate your home away from home without breaking your budget. So don’t stress, just dress –– your walls.

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