Due to the ongoing global pandemic, many students are encouraged to stay in their homes and dorm rooms while attending classes online to ensure their safety.

Some Penn State freshmen took more time to decorate their rooms due to the extra time they plan to spend at home this semester.

Katie Porco said she definitely spends more time in her room because of the pandemic and the high number of positive coronavirus cases on campus.

“I took time to decorate my room because we are going to be in our rooms a lot doing school work,” Porco (freshman-hospitality) said. “It is best to have a good environment, feel more comfortable and be more at home.”

Porco and her roommate put a lot of thought into getting their dorm together for the semester.

“My roommate and I collaborated and got all kinds of different picture frames to hang funny photos of people we love,” Porco said. “My roommate has ‘wacky’ Adam Sandler on her wall, and I have Michael Cera on mine. We wanted it to become a conversation piece.”


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Porco said she also has several throw pillows not only for comfort, but to make the room look more “fancy.”

Similarly, Emily Nordmann spent a lot of time decorating her room this semester.

She said she has a tapestry of Paris, many photos of family and friends and LED lights to brighten the mood inside.

“I spent more time decorating my dorm because I knew that I would be spending more time inside than outside,” Nordmann (freshman-division of undergraduate studies) said. “I brought a lot of things from home to give my room that ‘homey’ environment.”

Nordmann said she wanted to make her room look extra nice because it is where she said she would be taking all of her Zoom classes.

“I didn’t want to spend hours doing my work in a dorm with white cinder blocks as my walls,” Nordmann said. “I feel more comfortable here with decorations, and it makes me feel a little better about my whole semester being online.”

On the other hand, Caleb Roberts said he did not spend time decorating his room, thinking Penn State might send students home earlier than planned.

“I originally thought we were going to be sent home earlier than the fifth week of school, therefore, I did not decorate my room for fear I would have to pack up and take it all down,” Roberts (freshman-aerospace engineering) said.

Additionally, he thought it was unnecessary because students are not allowed to have a lot of people in their dorm rooms because of coronavirus limitations.

However, he had a change of heart because he wanted to make his room more vibrant when studying.

“Thinking about it now, I think it would be fun and different to make my room more of an at-home atmosphere,” Roberts said. “With extra time on my hands due to coronavirus, it’s definitely possible.”


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Nevertheless, Jill Heilig, similar to Porco and Nordmann, went all out to bring happiness to her room.

“I did decorate my dorm more in-depth with my favorite things because of coronavirus, just because I wanted to give it that home-like feel,” Heilig (freshman-film) said.

From completing school work to hanging with friends and everything in between, Heilig said she spends a lot of time in her room.

“At the end of the day, comfortability is key,” Heilig said, “and I want to be reminded of all the things I love, especially amid a pandemic when everything is out of our hands.”

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