Given students’ need to self-isolate in their dorms or off-campus apartment this semester, many have taken extra care to incorporate comfort and familiarity into their living spaces. Whether on the Atlanta campus, Oxford campus or in off-campus housing, these students have decorated their rooms to remind them of home.

Photos and Familiarity

Uncertain of her plans for the fall, Josephine Shia (20Ox, 22N) dropped her apartment lease in July after Emory announced its transition to remote learning.  But after she discovered she had two in-person lab classes, she frantically scrambled to find accommodations and ended up living in her friend’s living room. Equipped with lots of colorful lights, photos and tape, she aimed to transform her makeshift bedroom into home.

“I incorporated home by making it super comfortable and including personal touches such as photos of friends and family that make me happy, as well as including touches of my favorite color,” Shia said. 

Courtesy of Josephine Shia

Art and Aromas

Zimra Chickering (24C) aimed to replicate the aesthetics and smells of her colorful bedroom back home. She filled her dorm with familiar scents, displaying hot sauces, cinnamon, tea bags, sage spray and eucalyptus containers from home. To recreate a cozy aesthetic, she brought copious amounts of decorative pillows, tapestries and blankets. She also hung up posters from the Art Institute of Chicago, a museum she described as a second home, due to working there for nearly four years. 

Chickering noted her decorations were part of her identity. , “I also brought pictures of my family, bi-pride flags and a Yiddish sign in order to bring parts of my identity with me into my dorm like I have at home,” she said.

Courtesy of Zimra Chickering

Flourishing Among Fluorescences

As someone who gets homesick easily, Aditi Mishra (22Ox) focused on making her room feel exactly like home. She hung string lights from the ceiling and window to cast an ambient glow over her entire room, and decorated the walls with tapestries of landscape paintings. Adorning her living space is incredibly important to her because of her family’s beliefs. 

“I’ve always been told that making your living space one that you love only means that what you put there will flourish,” Mishra said. “I hope that by loving my dorm so much and making it such a comfortable and beautiful space, that I can bring that same happiness to my experience at Oxford.”

Courtesy of Aditi Mishra

Quality and Colors

While decorating her apartment, Anjelica Abraham (21C) focused on investing in quality furniture and decorations, as she hopes to continue using them long after graduation come this spring. She also noted the personal importance of owning a kitchen table and multiple couches, because she enjoys cooking for multiple friends. 

Although she did have to spend some money to buy new furniture, she didn’t forget to bring along some old memories. She incorporated personal touches from home by displaying photos of friends and family, artwork from independent artists, colorful lights and more.

“I like having bright colors in my apartment because my walls are kind of a dingy beige color, so I cover the walls with things that make me happy, like a tapestry and a lot of these stick-on butterflies,” Abraham said. 

Courtesy of Anjelica Abraham


Whether it’s through photos, posters, tapestries, lights or a combination of them all, students have personalized their surroundings to make them comfortable and cozy. Though quarantined away from their families, these students replicated a small piece of home through creativity and a trip to Target.