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How to Create the Illusion of Privacy in Your Dorm Room

How to Create the Illusion of Privacy in Your Dorm Room

By Alicia Thomas

Roommates can make or break your college experience. Whether your roommate has a weird obsession with cats or needs to read all her study material out loud to absorb the text, you're going to need a little bit of "me-time" every once in a while, which can be super hard to find when you're sharing a tiny dorm room. If, like Virginia Woolf, believe a person must have A Room of One's Own to achieve greatness (but don't happen to have one at this very moment), there are a few ways to create the illusion of privacy so that your dorm room will at least FEEL like your own space.

1. Remember that curtains are your friend 

If your dorm room has bunk beds, ask to take the bottom one and hang curtains from each of the posts to create a private little fort/tent/cocoon that you can hibernate inside of when you don't feel like interacting with your roomie (or when you're binge-watching Supernatural for the fiftieth time and don't want to be judged). If you don't have bunk beds, no problem, you can use university-approved Command hooks to hang extra-long curtains from the ceiling and create a canopy for privacy. Or you can throw an invisibility cloak over your head when you want to "leave the room."

2. Feng shui-ify your furniture

Okay, we don't know a lot about feng shui, but we know a poorly played game of Tetris when we see one. Rearrange your desks, beds, and dressers to maximize privacy. You can place your desks next to one another between your beds, or place your dressers back to back between your beds, orrrrrr you can put your beds foot-to-foot and put a book case in the middle to divide the space. However you decide to rearrange it, furniture can definitely be used as a barrier to keep your roommate from seeing you playing Neopets every Friday night, and it's a totally free way to create some privacy.

3. Divide and conquer

Privacy screens, room dividers, that thing that Cinderella and Mulan use to get changed ... get one of THOSE THINGS. They're foldable, easily moveable, and they shield you from seeing your roommate walking around in her Hello Kitty undies, while simultaneously adding a mysterious aura of classiness to your dorm room. Win-win.

4. Make a fort 

Seriously. Use bed-risers, then use the extra space created under your bed to make a fort (you could use it for storage bins, but do storage bins awaken a different reality?). Add a fuzzy rug, a mini TV, a DVD player, a book light, and maybe a snack bin. Get an extra-long bed skirt or some curtains to draw behind you, and retreat to your little fort any time you need to get away from your roommate. Or to win at hide and seek. Or to avoid going outside during fire drills. Any will do.

5. Headphones 

If none of the above options will work for you, you can always curl up under the covers, pop on your headphones, and block out the world around you. While it doesn't give you the kind of privacy you might want if you're planning on holding a ritual sacrifice, it will at least make you feel less awkward when sharing the room with this new person you don't really know yet. And it will keep them from knowing that you've been listening to Miley Cyrus on repeat all night.

How do you create the illusion of privacy in your dorm room?

Topics: Life, College Makeovers
Tags: roommates, dorm rooms, college life, sharing, life skills, forts

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About the Author
Alicia Thomas

Alicia Thomas is a novelist trapped in a college student's body. She was just accepted to La Universidad de Sevilla, so she'll be traveling and eating tapas for a while. She likes words. And tea. And you. Yes, you.

Wanna contact a writer or editor? Email contribute@sparknotes.com.