Back to school dorm ads look nothing like dorms at UNC

Unless you’re one of the lucky ones in Granville

Where my cRAiGE, HoJo and EHaus peeps?

Maybe you’re about to start school or maybe you’re coming back for another round at the Thrill, either way dorm shopping is one of the most important steps of prep. Also like pencils and books and stuff, but the mini-fridge gets priority!

Those large spreads in magazine catalogs and on TV commercials make it seem like you’re going to have your own mini apartment in your dorm, but, sadly this is not the case. You will learn the importance of small living and down sizing. Also, how important organization really is. Especially when it’s May and you’re moving out and saying, “Wish I was more organized, that would have made everything so much easier.” But, of course, you repeat the same messy pattern the next year.

dorm sweet dorm

Dorm, sweet dorm

At UNC, the main freshman dorms on South campus are way smaller than you think, so realistic prep is necessary. Don’t go in thinking you’ll have room for a tiny love seat couch under your slightly lofted bed because, trust me from experience, you will only be let down. If you get Granville, congrats, you have enough space to keep your beds on the ground and not have to wear shower shoes.

To give more concrete examples of how off these ads are/sucky our dorms are, let me just show you some college dorm ads from these previously mentioned catalogs and commercials and tell you what is real and what is oh-so-fake.

The Container Store's 2016 ad

The Container Store’s 2016 ad

So, I’m going to start with the loosely packed thread around this whole pile they call packed supplies. The second that baby hits the highway, say goodbye to your belongings. And, you don’t need that desk chair, the school provides one for you, not to worry. Also, how did all of those people fit their whole lives into a mini cooper? When I moved in I needed a mini UHaul. At least they seem happy about their decisions.

The Container Store's 2016 ad

The Container Store’s 2016 ad

  1. Why are they all dressed up in their rolled pants? (anything above pajamas or athletic gear is considered dressy)
  2. Where is this mini fridge? At this angle, we should be seeing at least one bed in the frame.
  3. Why don’t they look exhausted from late nights in the UL and long hikes down to their dorm?
  4. The only thing super accurate is all that popcorn on the floor (see freshman Avery circa 2014)
Bed Bath & Beyond's 2016 ad

Bed Bath & Beyond’s 2016 ad

If only I was that crafty. The possibilities would have been endless. I put some photos of myself and friends up on the walls with double sided tape, hung up some twinkle lights and deemed the whole thing Pinterest-worthy.

Of course, the next year, I just slapped a tapestry over the whole wall and was content.

If you can come up with decor as sophisticated as this, I applaud you. But, if you can’t, not to worry because your room is really only meant for sleeping and a casual Saturday afternoon binge watching and there’s not that much wall space to work with anyway. Feel free to overflow into the hall of the suites because maybe your suite mates will appreciate your decorating skills as much as you, or at least get a good laugh out of it.

Bed Bath and Beyond's 2016 ad

Bed Bath & Beyond’s 2016 ad

Excuse me, sir? Do you mind telling me how you got that couch up four flights of stairs on move in day? Or how you have enough taste to hang real art on your walls?

And where is your bed? It should be lofted to the heavens, but all I see is a futon. Do you sleep on that? (actually, maybe you do sleep on that)

Last time I checked, the south campus elevators were very tiny and very slow and very crowded on move in day. But, hey, you seem to have your life together so kudos.

miss you cRAiGE >3

miss you cRAiGE >3

Check out my freshman dorm. This picture is obviously from move in day because look how clean it is and the bed is made. See the twinkle lights from earlier? Don’t they really class up the whole place? At least kinda?

Screen Shot 2016-07-21 at 5.52.57 PM

And what about all that desk space, huh? You get just enough room to pile on every shirt you own over a short span of time and the occasional binder and spiral notebook.

Come move in day, hopefully, you will come in with realistic expectations of your set-up and only one mini fridge for your roommate and yourself, because that’s about as luxury as it’s going to get. Maybe you’re in Granville and most of these problems will be nonexistent for you (congrats).

Think small decorations that won’t clutter the room (boys, I already know I don’t have to worry about you too much) and closet space savers because they will save more than closet space, they will save your life.