Journal of College & University Student Housing Vol. 47 No. 2 - 98

continuous process of filtering previous and
new possessions throughout the students'
time at the university. This finding aligns
with Holton and Riley's (2016) research,
which revealed that the temporality of living
in the residential space affected the objects
students chose as part of their presentation.
Brooklyn may have included such decor to
project her current identity as a committed
Disney fan, someone connected to Disney's
culture and/or someone who values youthfulness and the alternative worlds of Disney
characters. As Gosling and colleagues (2013)
point out, personalizing a bedroom space is
both a personal and deliberate experience.

IMPLICATIONS AND CONCLUSION
Findings from our study revealed how residential students utilize their bedrooms and
bed areas to engage in critical identity work.
Residents employed these spatial practices
in their bedrooms as a way to develop and
project a sense of belonging. These findings
have implications for both research and practice. As our results have illustrated, in-depth
insights can be gained through an examination of students' use of campus spaces. This
is especially true for spaces where students
have some control or agency, such as their
bedrooms.
	
Future research might examine whether there is a relationship between specific
student identities and how they design their
bedroom spaces. For example, there may be
a specific population of students for whom
the opportunity to personalize these spaces

is especially important for their sense of belonging. Additionally, researchers may benefit from examining how students choose to
curate items in their rooms. These insights
may reveal the salience of different identities
students feel they need to project in order to
connect with their peers. Additionally, scholars of college student development would
benefit from examining student bedroom
spaces over time; understanding how and
why students change these spaces may provide insights into changes in individual student identities and their relationships with
their peers.
	
Student staff, such as resident advisors
(RAs), would benefit from learning about the
impact of residential spaces on the development of student belonging. RAs could then
design programs or decorations for their
halls that provide support for identity work
and social connectedness. This might include offering opportunities for residents to
personalize their individual areas and share
valued aspects of their identities with fellow
residents. RAs could also refer to their residents' bedroom spaces as they get acquainted with them and as they encourage the development of community.
	
Given the insights gained through this
study's findings, campus designers and facilities management could explore ways to
support more personalized student bedroom
or bed area design. They could, for example,
build more flexible bedroom areas that better enable residents to express themselves;
when students have opportunities to design,

Students used their bedrooms to engage in the process
of creating a presentation-that is, showcasing aspects of
themselves and their identities that they wanted to highlight
to those entering and observing the space.

Volume 47, No. 2 * 2021

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