How to Create Inspiring Spaces: College Dorm Edition

by April Hooper

Some days, my to-do list feels like a taunt. All I can do is sit back in my chair, stare out the window, and let my mind wander to avoid all the tasks I have piling up. No matter how good of a writer I am, sometimes the words just don’t come. When my inspiration has run dry, all that is left to do is wait. 

Motivation comes and goes… and goes and goes and goes (trust me, I’m a college student — I get it.) 

But as we all know, you can’t always afford to just wait it out. As the New Year rolls around, it’s even more important to go and find that inspiration YOURSELF. That’s why I ALWAYS make sure to create a workspace for myself that constantly inspires me and brings me joy. 

I’ve made my desk my happy place. Normally, the place where essays are written and homework problems are completed with only mild understanding of the topic would not be a place I want to spend time. But by surrounding myself with beautiful and inspiring things, EVERY time I sit down to work, I feel mentally prepared to accomplish my goals.  

In order to create this space, I first ask myself: What makes me happy to look at? 

For me, I am all about the aesthetic, so I focus on colors. Yellows and blues always make my day a little brighter. PRO TIP: Pinterest is a lifesaver to help you collect images that go together and create an aesthetic that matches YOU

In addition, I find items with sentimental value and place them on my desk. Now, every time I look at the zebra figure on my lamp, I remember my trip to Kenya, and every time I see my old Polaroid camera, I am reminded of my mom. 

Next, I think to myself: What represents me and the work I’m trying to do? 

I would describe myself as artistic and eclectic, with an appreciation for all-things vintage. In my workspace, I’ve incorporated artwork that I adore, thrifted records, and random objects that just SCREAM April. For example, I have an empty pesto jar sitting on my desk because I LOVE pesto and it just feels like me. 

I ALWAYS add things to my space that remind me of my goals and the life I want to live in the future. For me, that means I have a map of Greece on my wall, an edition of Vogue on my desk, and my own personal paintings hanging nearby. These objects represent my love of travel, fashion writing, and art, three things that I dream of doing in the future. Even in the midst of writer’s block, this helps remind me WHY I’m doing what I’m doing. 

Lastly, what inspires you! 

For me, I find that other people’s creative works inspire me the most, so I have printed out pictures of my favorite bands, songs, and movies and taped them above my desk. By surrounding myself with these creative masterpieces from people I look up to, I feel inspired every time I glance at my wall and have the urge to create something just as impactful. (And yes, I do have FIVE pictures solely dedicated to Harry Styles). 

Then I put all of these things together in an aesthetically pleasing way, so when I sit down to do work, instead of being overwhelmed by my massive to-do list, I am filled with inspiration from my carefully crafted picture wall and the collection of items around my desk. It is a place that PERFECTLY represents ME, boosts my creativity, and pushes me to create things that I love. I enjoy my work when it’s done in a place that feels like home. 

Now when I’m struggling to find inspiration, I turn my eyes from the window and look to my desk, and it NEVER fails to make me smile. 

GIRL, I know finding inspiration day after day is HARD, and sometimes, even an inspiring workspace isn’t enough. If you want a support system of STRONG women to help encourage you to achieve your goals, join the Ditch the Clique COMMUNITY today! 

who is April?

April Hooper is a public relations student at Messiah University, minoring in marketing and gender studies. She always has a coffee in hand and is rocking a thrifted outfit with handmade accessories. When she graduates, she dreams of living abroad, owning as many cats as possible, and writing for a living. 

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