Going away to college can be a challenging experience for many First Years. The overwhelming anticipation of living on your own and experiencing new things is exciting. However the responsibility of becoming independent and the challenges that accompany it can often times prove to be quite burdensome.
Now that I am a Junior attending University, I’ve learned quite a few trades and tricks that I wish I could have told my Freshman self. The main one being that decorating your new apartment or dorm room doesn’t have to be an overwhelmingly expensive experience!
Decorating your new living space is a very liberating process. Your living space is a reflection of yourself, and despite what you may think, your supplies for this creative process do not have to derive from an IKEA or Target.
Habitat for Humanity ReStores are nonprofit home improvement stores that sell new and gently used furniture, home accessories, building materials, and appliances to the public at a fraction of the retail price. While their proceeds are used to build homes, communities, and hope locally and around the world. During my first day interning at Habitat ReStore I walked around the store to get a feel of their merchandise and their prices. Needless to say I was wonderfully surprised at the quality and affordability of their items. One thought kept replaying in my head, “Man, I wish I knew about this place as a Freshman!” I recalled all the wasted time and money I spent shopping for overpriced mirrors and picture frames online, when I could have bought similar pieces at ReStore for over 75% off retail prices
Shopping for your new independent space should be a time full of incitement. Being aware of affordable methods is definitely the key to making the experience as stress-free as possible. I encourage college students to branch out and visit the ReStores in their areas. Make your living space somewhere you’d like to call home, while helping others afford a home of their own.