By Tracy Haney/Accent editor

When I moved into Keene Hall last year as a freshman, I admit I brought my entire world. After packing two car loads with what I then thought to be “the essentials,” the bedroom I had known since childhood oddly appeared a mere shell of its former self.

But it didn’t matter, because I was leaving home to become what I had been waiting four years to be: a college student.

Lesson one: There is no space in a dorm room.

As I walked into my new home on the 14th floor, I suddenly realized I may have overpacked. The room was tiny and my spirits sunk even lower when I remembered I was sharing the small space with another person, a stranger at that.

My closet started filling up quickly as I began unloading my things. The entire space underneath my dorm issued bed became overtaken by shoes, and desk space only goes so far.

I was in trouble.

I mean, did I really need all those shoes? What purpose would sweatshirts serve in the August heat?

But I continued unpacking the boxes, confident I would find space somehow, somewhere.

My roommate hadn’t arrived yet and I found myself gazing longingly at her empty side of the room, wishing I could have just a little more space.

Finally, I finished unpacking into my new home. And while everything managed to fit, I knew it was only a matter of time before my “organized” mess became a complete disaster area.

A lot of you are probably familiar with my story.

Anyone who’s moved into a dorm room knows the woes of limited space.

But, there are ways to make a dorm room livable, even comfortable.

Don’t be afraid to rearrange. Eventually you’re going to come up with something that works great for you and your roommate.

Utilize shelves. Not only do they offer more space they can help you remain organized.

Plastic containers are a great investment. They fit neatly under beds and can hold items like food and cleaning supplies you don’t want sitting out.

If you are in the market for a computer, laptops save a huge amount of desk space and you can take them to the library or study rooms to type up those dreaded English papers.

And finally, leave what you don’t need at home. Your bedroom makes for a great storage unit. I would suggest leaving winter clothes and shoes at home until there is some relief from the summer heat.

But, no matter how undesirable living in a dorm may seem, keep a positive attitude and remember, you’re not alone.

There are thousands of other students in the same situation as you and living in the dorms isn’t that bad. It’s a once in a lifetime experience and can be a great way to make new friends.

Reach Tracy at