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Dorm-Room Décor

Your new home… yawn. Time to decorate!

As an impoverished college student, coupons and thrift stores are your two best friends. But that doesn’t mean you have to live a Spartan existence, devoid of comfort and style. Here are some affordable ways to spice up your dorm room—or your off-campus bedroom—on a limited budget.

Light it Up
Add interesting lamps for some nice mood lighting. Dorm-room lights are usually florescent and can hurt your eyes after hours of studying. Hit up local thrift stores to find funky lamps and shades. Get small Christmas lights, rope lights, or other decorative string lighting to hang on the walls and ceiling. This adds a nice touch and will make your room seem like a penthouse suite compared to those boring rooms with only an overhead light.
Outdoor Décor
Climbing shoes + hook = decor

Use outdoor gear as decoration. Instead of stashing your skis under the bed, prop them somewhere visible and useful—maybe in a corner, where they can double as a coat rack. Hang up a hook for your climbing shoes. Like the classic old snowshoes on the cabin wall, outdoor items add individuality to your room—and keep you from having to search the closet when it’s time to head outside. Just don’t forget that gear is for activity first and decoration second.

Get Creative
Make it new again with artwork. Art can come in all forms and it doesn’t have to cost thousands of dollars to make your room look awesome. Once again, Bozeman’s numerous thrift stores often have cool paintings for under $10. Rummage through the fabric bin and find a makeshift tapestry. Don’t forget about garage sales; scour Craigslist and the Bozeman Daily Chronicle for locations each weekend. If you can’t find anything you like, make something yourself. You don’t have to be Picasso or Rodin; just pick a medium and go crazy. You can also alter thrift-store pieces to make them more to your liking.
Thrift stores have cool stuff for cheap

 

Other Ideas
Use old fabric as a throw for your bed—just make sure it’s been washed. Make a collage with photos of friends and family (you might not miss your parents at first, but homesickness will eventually set in). Get a small potted plant to bring life and color to your room. And when they hand out free posters on campus, look at them from an aesthetic perspective; they might just be worth hanging up.
For a full list of area thrift stores, check out this year’s MSU Pocket Guide, which will be available around campus starting August 6 and online at digital.msupocketguide.com on August 13. More style-on-a-budget ideas can be found in last year’s guide.
Becoming a part of the MSU community.

Welcome to the Pocket Guide

So you were walking around campus and happened to find a copy of the MSU Pocket Guide lying around, its sleek cover and unassuming size standing out from the ubiquitous and humdrum reading material scattered around MSU.
Maybe while flipping through the pages you found a great place to eat, 
discovered a new study spot, or read about a cool MSU program you never new existed. Perhaps a special sale on skis caught your eye or you learned that you can rent a raft from the Outdoor Rec Center for only $40/day. Maybe that column on parent-sitting kept Mom and Dad from noticing that your laundry hasn’t been done in two months, or our list of student discounts saved you enough cash to finally get off that Ramen-only diet.
Whatever caught your eye, eventually you found yourself here, at the MSU Pocket Guide blog: an ongoing companion to our once-a-year publication. This blog is a place for staying informed, engaged, and entertained—we’ll post a little bit of everything, including the best spots to go fishing, updates on what’s happening around MSU, and weekly reports on what it’s really like to be a student. Not to mention life and leisure in and around the great town of Bozeman, Montana.
You already have enough homework, so let us do the research and planning for you. In addition to this blog, we’ve got a Facebook page and Twitter feed for daily updates. Head to our website for photos, money-saving coupons, contests, and more articles and info on student life.
If the outdoors are what you’re after, check out our parent publication, Outside Bozeman Magazine, and learn more about the recreational world of southwest Montana. With our help, you can get outside and experience the best of what Bozeman and MSU have to offer—without the frustrating and time-consuming trial-and-error period. School itself is an epic adventure; no need to make things any harder on yourself when you finally get a break for some outdoor fun.
So head down to the Western Café and eat like a king, then hike the M to burn off the calories, or shoot up to Bridger Bowl for a powder day. Hit-up a music venue downtown, climb the Bozeman Boulders, or simply enjoy a cup of coffee at Wild Joe’s, with ample seating, tasty treats, and reliable WiFi. These are just samples of the abundance and diversity that exist beyond the usual student haunts. Plenty more exist.
Once you get a chance to really see what MSU and Bozeman are all about, it will become pretty clear why this little mountain town will be one of the best places you’ll ever live. Our goal is to get you there sooner rather than later.
Welcome to MSU. Welcome to Bozeman.
—The MSU Pocket Guide staff