When you first come to college, it can be hard to adjust to a new place without feeling homesick. With nearly half of UP’s student body living in the dorms, many students have decorated their rooms to feel more at home on The Bluff. The Beacon explored a few of the most unique dorm rooms on campus to see how students have transformed their once empty rooms into a space that felt like their own.
We talked to three students from Mehling, Villa and Shipstad to learn more about their hobbies, day-to-day life on campus and all about their unique dorms:
The Dance Party Room
Freshman psychology major Sean Hovland lives in Villa Maria Hall, one of the all-male dorms on campus. Hovland has a passion for DJing and brought his turntables with him to college. He is known for entertaining friends and neighbors by mixing his own music and hooking up his fluorescent neon lights for the ultimate music experience.
The Beacon: How long have you been DJing and how’d you get into it?
Hovland: I’ve been DJing for two years now. Basically I started getting into electronic music and watching a lot of DJ youtube videos, and then for one of my birthdays my parents got me my turntables.
The Beacon: What made you decide to bring your equipment to campus on move in day?
Hovland: Other people wanted to, like, see it and I figured it’d be fun so I decided to bring it to school.
The Beacon: So, you make your own music? Who do you let hear it?
Hovland: Yeah, I make my own mixes. I usually just DJ for my girlfriend and our friends when we’re hanging out in my dorm.
The Craft Corner
Freshman communication major Catherine Cieminski lives in Mehling Hall, one of UP’s all-female dorms. Cieminski has covered her walls with handmade collages and posters and is known for her crafty nature and unique sense of style.
The Beacon: How long have you been collaging and how did you get into it?
Cieminski: Probably since like eighth grade. My grandma is kind of a hoarder and had bookshelves full of old magazines like Vogue and National Geographic that I would always look through. I would flip through them and one day just started cutting out the pictures I liked.
The Beacon: What made you want to collage your dorm room walls?
Cieminski: I spent all of high school collaging my bedroom at home, like floor to ceiling collages covered every inch of my room. Doing it here made it feel like more of my space and like I wasn’t so far away from home.
The Beacon: How often do you collage now?
Cieminski: As much as I have time to. It helps me destress from school and it’s something fun to do with my friends on a rainy day.
The Beacon: What stuff do you need for collaging and where do you get it?
Cieminski: I just use printer paper, Mod Podge glue and scraps from magazines or books. I like looking through the nature books or old magazines at thrift stores. They always have good stuff.
The '90's Pad
Sophomore business major Stephen Laphen lives in Shipstad, one of UP’s co-ed dorms. This is Laphen’s second year living in Shipstad, and his second year decorating his retro room. Everything in his dorm room is either from 1991 or prior, including his computer, snacks and television.
The Beacon: What makes everything vintage so fascinating?
Laphen: Well when I was probably like 12, I was really into the 1980’s. So I thought ‘I’ll live like it’s 1983’.
The Beacon: So, everything you own is from 1991 and before?
Laphen: Yeah. I don’t know if you know this, but we follow the same calendar now that we did 28 years ago. Same holidays, same days, everything. So now I don’t own anything newer than ‘91. That’s the year it is now for me.
The Beacon: What do your friends think about your hobby?
Laphen: Well, it was bit of a culture shock for my roommate last year. He still calls me sometimes to prove to his current roommate that I exist. But yeah, most people that know me do know and think it’s cool. I’m definitely proud of what I’ve built up.
Colette Clark is a reporter for The Beacon. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.