A well-decorated dorm room is one way students are battling mental health issues that can come with leaving home for the first time.
For second-year student Melanie LaPlante, turning her dorm room into an oasis was a great distraction during her first year.
“I had a roommate last year and we went and we got matching tapestry and matching bedspreads just so that it would look all in unison,” said LaPlante.
By combining a love for matching décor and personal touches, LaPlante felt that she was able to combat some leaving-home jitters.
“I definitely think bringing pictures and mementos that people gave you back home with you to university helps so that you don’t have a fresh start. Bringing stuff from your past life helps with homesickness and things like that.”
Without a roommate this year, LaPlante was able to bring some more furniture from home and change the layout of her room in Harrington Hall.
The therapeutic decorating came with another perk, LaPlante won second place in the St. Thomas Best Residence Room contest.
To enter the contest, students had to post a photo of their dorm room on the St. Thomas University Residence Life Facebook page. The three photos with the most likes won first, second and third place prizes.
LaPlante won a $50 Winners gift card.
First-year student Jaylene DeAdder won the third-place prize of a $25 Cineplex gift card.
For her, being able to bring her room from Kentville, N.S. alive in Fredericton was special.
“I really like the colours and I like that I was able to bring some of my stuff from home, and everything that I brought from home is really special to me,” said DeAdder. “I was really excited to leave and especially because I made my room look like how it does at home [so] I don’t feel homesick.”
The teal accents of her single room come from her bedroom at home and her organizational skills have allowed her to make good use of the space.
“I brought two SUVs full of stuff but it doesn’t feel like a lot,” she said.
Her organization helps highlight the photos above her bed. They feature her four-legged best friend.
“The hardest thing about leaving was leaving my dog. My mom asks why I don’t have photos of her and my dad up on my wall, but I really miss the dog.”