DIY origami paper shapes are a great way to add life to an otherwise barren dorm room.

DIY origami paper shapes add life to an otherwise barren dorm room.

No matter how much a university boasts about its facilities (even if it is a school with a $6.5 billion endowment), a dorm room is far from the ideal home. The carpet is stained with hair dye, the walls are somewhere between white and the color of DUC eggs and the heap of clothing on the wooden block known as your desk is a constant reminder that you haven’t done laundry in three-plus weeks. So, next time you’re lying in bed — looking up at that white/DUC-egg ceiling and having your daily existential crisis — think about these free and inventive ways only Emory students can decorate their rooms.

Kaldi’s Cups

The truth is, it’s the second month of the semester and you’ve already wasted all your Dooley Dollars on mocha muffins and peanut butter cookies. But, have no fear, Kaldi’s water cups are free. Each time you visit Kaldi’s, save a plastic cup. After collecting around 10or so, hot glue them together until you have something that resembles a beehive. Nail the cups to the wall (using nails 1/8th of an inch wide or smaller, of course), rims facing outward. You can store small items, i.e. keys, expo markers and sticky notes in these makeshift shelves. If inclined to do so, paint the cups before setting them up. Examples include polka dots, stripes or the almighty blue and gold.

Ali’s Cookies Sample Spoons

If you are a frequent customer of Ali’s Cookies, you are no stranger to those tiny ice-cream-sample spoons, but little did you know that they are the perfect dorm room decorations. Align the spoons so that their necks are pointing toward the center of an imaginary circle and the curved ends are facing outward. All you need now is some glue, and voila — you’ve created a flower. Larger spoons can act as a second layer. Again, use paint to give the decorations some personality.

The Emory Wheel

If all else fails, take up origami; paper shapes can be great additions to dorm rooms. Find your favorite designs online and get going. Common shapes include boats, swans, butterflies and hearts. After completing the designs, attach the shapes to string and hang them from the ceiling to display your talents. Don’t fret about buying real origami paper. The Emory Wheel, which you can find in most buildings on campus, is a great (and free) alternative to expensive colored paper.

Make the most out of Emory’s resources and you won’t have to spend a dime.

Or you could just get a job, make some money and buy real decorations. Your choice.

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Nicole Sadek (20C) is from Charleston, S.C., majoring in English and creative writing and international studies. Sadek previously served as editor-in-chief, social media editor, copy chief, managing editor, editor-at-large and editor-in-chief.