Journal of College & University Student Housing Vol. 47 No. 2 - 95

Residence Halls and Student Belonging

or hung by ribbon or string lights. These decorations were purposive and personalized; in
Figure 6, which depicts three beds situated
closely to one another, the different angles of
the beds, placement of desks, and wall decorations signal the varied spaces carved out
by each resident. In addition to photographs,
students accessorized their spaces with other
decorations, such as tapestries, Greek letters,
and posters.

comfortable in my room because I can be
[in] comfortable clothes and I don't have to
be dressed up because no one will see me
other than my roommates who I am very
close with. "
FIGURE 7

Use of Decorative Lighting
to Personalize a Space

FIGURE 6

Student Room Decorations
and Demarcation of Personal Space

FIGURE 8

Natalie's Room
Presentation
Students used their bedrooms to engage in
the process of presentation-that is, showcasing aspects of themselves and their identities that they wanted to highlight to those
entering and observing the space. For example, one participant's photo of her bed area
featured plush bedding, string lights, and
tapestries covered in a glow of pink light
(Figure 7), and another (Figure 9) displayed
numerous Disney items as decor. Conversely, students' rooms provided some respite
from the pressure to present themselves
outside the comfort of their bedroom. Natalie submitted a photo of her portion of the
room (Figure 8) and explained, " I feel most

92

The Journal of College and University Student Housing

The sense of control students
felt within the privacy of
their rooms connected with
their desire to personalize
their spaces.



Journal of College & University Student Housing Vol. 47 No. 2

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