Some students living on campus go the extra mile to make their dorm rooms feel like home.
Kelsi Mills, a freshman theater major from Moody, and Mallory Lewis, a freshman athletic training major from Moody, decked the hallway leading to their room in Cowart Hall with all they could find in the Walmart Christmas section.
“I think we probably spent under $75 on all of that,” Lewis said. “On the inside (of the room) we have a tree, and I think that’s the most expensive thing we bought.
“Then we bought ornaments and stuff like that.”
Mills and Lewis said while they knew each other in high school, rooming and decorating together helped them bond and become best friends.
Other residents of Cowart noticed the roommates’ decorating and, according to Lewis, responded positively.
“People are like, ‘What are y’all doing?’ We’re decorating,” Lewis said. “It’s fine; we don’t ever care.
Mills and Lewis created a makeshift mantle using disposable boxes to hang stockings on. To cover the boxes, they laid a plaid, Christmas-colored blanket scarf over them.
They also created a small fireplace underneath the mantle, complete with small logs and flameless LED candles stacked on top.
A green garland hung over the door is accented with white Christmas lights.
The door is located right beside the elevator on the first floor, causing it to be seen by nearly all the residents in the building.
Mills said the best way to encourage others to decorate is by example, and it has already worked.
Mikaylah Johnson, a freshman international business major from Prattville, said she and her roommate saw similar activity in Hamil Hall, where they live.
“We saw girls down the hallway do their Halloween decorations, and we thought it was so cool, so we were like, ‘We should do something for the holidays,’ ’cause we love Santa Claus and stuff like that,” Johnson said.
Unlike Mills and Lewis, Johnson didn’t spend any money on her decorations. Christmas lights circle the door and are plugged into a convenient outlet by the door.
“I wasn’t using them,” she said. “I was gonna put some in the room, but I wasn’t using them so I was like, might as well.”
Although it is not in their job description, some resident assistants (RAs) also decorate the hallways of their buildings.
Cheyenne Davis, a sophomore history and anthropology major from Millbrook, and her colleagues decorated the RA station in Trojan Village 400 with artificial snow, a fireplace and even a tree brought by one of the residents.
“A lot of kids don’t get to go home, so we try to make the dorm feel more like home for them,” Davis said. “Also, it helps to relieve some of the pressure from the finals.
“Kind of like, ‘Better days are ahead; Christmas is among us almost.’”
The overwhelming majority of decorators on campus are female, and it becomes much more apparent during the holiday season.
“I guess girls get into the spirit a little more,” Davis said. “They like to buy Christmas decorations when they come out.
“Girls’ dorms are generally more decorated, maybe because they care more about what other people think of them, about how they’re perceived.”
Calvin Cullen, a freshman sport management major from Clay and a resident of Gardner Hall, decorated his door with a Christmas wreath.
He said he thinks the reason most guys don’t decorate is that they don’t spend time thinking about it.
“I simply believe if you have decorations like we do, why waste them?” Cullen said. “Why not put them up and hopefully show that we love this time of the year?”