The power of door decoration

Touring throughout Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute's differing freshman dorms, there is a clear difference in the personalities of the people that live in them. As a freshman who resides in BARH, our hallway seems, at times, very bleak. My roommates and I decided that our hallway needed a change. Partially out of boredom and partially out of a curiosity to meet new people, we started to decorate our door. Most just have a simple door decoration provided by the RA. Some of the most common additional door decorations are white boards that let residents and hallway roamers express their thoughts. When my roommates and I added the inevitable white board to our door, our favorite thing to add were tallied polls. We always received very opinionated answers that varied from the usually tallymark response.

The whiteboard was just the beginning of our dorm decorations. We soon started to add Post-it notes of our favorite roommate moments through quotes or drawings. Then, our obsession with dorm decorations escalated quite quickly. When our first birthday celebration came around, inflatable balloons spelling out “Happy Birthday” hung outside our door in the hallway. As the seasons started to change, Halloween decorations soon covered our door. Fuzz from our fake spider web appeared all throughout our hallway. Although no new decorations have been added, my roommates and I have several ideas to make our door festive for the upcoming holiday season.

When the topic of door decorations would come up in conversations, the most common response to, “Do you have door decorations?” is “no, but I’m thinking about adding some.” A lot of times I follow these responses with “you should definitely decorate your door” or “you want to see my door?” If you were to ask me if all this effort is really worth it I would respond with a most definite yes. My door decorations not only brighten my day, but hopefully brighten the days of those who pass by as well. A simple Post-it note can be enough just to give yourself or someone else a smile. When it’s so easy to spread a little happiness, how could you resist?

To me, decorating our door makes it feel more like home. My roommates have similar opinions and agreed that it provides personality and brightens our room and hallway. Sometimes my favorite moment of my day is coming back to my room and seeing what new comments have been added to our white board or reminiscing on old memories illustrated through Post-it notes. BARH may seem quiet and a little bland, but our hallway, I think, brings a little light to our home away from home.