Journal of College & University Student Housing Vol. 47 No. 2 - 96

FIGURE 9

Brooklyn's Disney Decor

DISCUSSION
Students used their bedroom spaces to engage in processes of belonging by creating
privacy, personalizing the space, and shaping
a presentation of themselves. In this section,
each of these three emergent themes will be
discussed.

Privacy
A sense of privacy has been identified as a
predictor of student satisfaction in housing
(Amole, 2009), so it is useful to consider
privacy when determining what helps students feel a sense of belonging. For many
students, transitioning to campus housing
means having to share bedrooms, which reduces their sense of privacy (Clemons et al.,
2005). Both Molly and Kelsey's descriptions
of their rooms and bed areas revealed their
strong desire to have some control over who
they were around. Their rooms became sites
where they could choose to be around certain
people (e.g., just with one's roommates) and
not feel like they had to be overly social.
	
Erika's comment about being able to do
whatever she wanted in her room without
needing to be concerned with others emphasized how students find comfort in private

spaces, such as their bedrooms. These findings align with Holton and Riley's (2016)
research on how private spaces can serve a
variety of purposes for students. While other
research has indicated that the multifunctional nature of a shared bedroom can be
problematic (e.g., Amole, 2005), participants
in this study have described this as a positive
attribute of their spaces.
	
Privacy is an important " psychological
factor " that serves as a boundary " to keep
an optimum balance between seclusion and
social interaction " (Keeley & Edney, 1983,
p. 220). While students' bedrooms are one
type of a space that serves multiple functions, they are also unique because they
serve as students' personal multipurpose
spaces. For many students, these are the
only campus spaces over which they have
control. This finding supports research that
highlight trends in college students' desires
for increased privacy and more control over
their personal spaces (e.g., Banning, 1995).

Personalization
Opportunities to personalize spaces are a
source of comfort for students. Within their
bedrooms, they personalized their space by
displaying photos (Hansen & Altman, 1976;
Walsh, 2006), rearranging furniture, adjusting the height of beds, moving dressers,
using desk space for purposes other than
studying, and personalizing lighting for functional or decorative purposes. These findings
support existing research that indicates the
importance of students being able to personalize their residence hall space. Previous
research indicates that bedrooms can function as a place of refuge when residents are
given autonomy to personalize their space
(Clemons et al., 2005), which in turn is connected to their overall sense of belonging
(McKelfresh et al., 2006). Previous research

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