How to Make Your Dorm Room Feel Like Home at Thanksgiving

The holiday season can be challenging when you’re far away from home, especially when Thanksgiving rolls around. Being stuck on campus can make it difficult to create a celebratory atmosphere in your dorm room. However, with a little creativity and effort, you can make your dorm feel like a home away from home.

1. Create Your Own Traditions

Even though you may not be with your family, you can still enjoy Thanksgiving traditions with friends on campus. Invite them over and create your own unique traditions that you can all participate in together. Here are some suggestions to get you started:

  • Movie Night: Gather your friends and watch classic Thanksgiving movies or any other films that bring you joy during the holiday season.
  • Order Some Pizza: Instead of cooking a traditional Thanksgiving meal, order pizza with your friends and enjoy a relaxed evening together.
  • Host a Game Night: Organize game nights where you can play board games or video games. Friendly competition and lots of laughter are guaranteed.
  • Share Your Stories: Spend time reminiscing with your friends about past Thanksgiving memories and share stories that will make you feel connected to home.

Creating new traditions with friends can help you feel like a part of something special during the holiday season.

2. Keep Some Holiday Staples on Hand

If there are specific holiday treats that you enjoyed with your family while growing up, try to find them at your local store. Items like apple cider, pumpkin pie, or your favorite childhood snacks are usually available everywhere during this time of the year. Consider asking your family to send you some homemade treats, like your mom’s world-famous peanut brittle. Not only will you get to enjoy your favorite treats, but you can also share them with your friends and spread the holiday cheer.

3. Get into the Spirit with Decor

Bring the warm and cozy atmosphere of fall into your dorm room by incorporating seasonal colors and decorations. Look for blankets or pillows in shades of brown, red, and orange to give your room a festive touch. Consider organizing a DIY decoration night with your friends. Here are a few fun and easy ideas:

  • Decorate a Pumpkin: Buy some pumpkins and gather your friends for a pumpkin decorating session. Get creative with paints, markers, and accessories to make unique designs.
  • Craft a Wreath: Utilize corn husks and create a beautiful fall wreath to hang on your door. It will greet you and your friends with the spirit of Thanksgiving each time you enter your room.
  • Make a Doily Banner: Use doilies to craft a charming banner that you can hang as a decorative touch in your room. It adds a delicate and festive atmosphere to the space.
  • Add Scented Candles: Look for scented candles in stores like Wal-Mart, Target, or Home Goods. Candles with fragrances reminiscent of the holiday season can create a warm and inviting ambiance, as long as candles are allowed in your dorm room.

Adding these small touches to your dorm room can make a significant difference in creating a holiday feel.

4. Create a Homey Space

Regardless of whether you stay on campus or go home for Thanksgiving, it’s always nice to make your surroundings festive during the holiday season. Remember, your dorm room is your home away from home during the school year, so make the most out of it. Consider the following tips to create a cozy atmosphere:

  • Adjust Lighting: Use fairy lights or string lights to add a warm and inviting glow to your room. This soft lighting can create a relaxing ambiance that mimics the coziness of home.
  • Play Holiday Music: Put together a playlist of your favorite Thanksgiving and holiday tunes to play in the background. Music has a way of setting the mood and evoking nostalgia.
  • Display Photos: Print out photos of your loved ones, pets, and past Thanksgiving celebrations to hang on a bulletin board or create a gallery wall. Seeing familiar faces can instantly make you feel more connected to home.

By taking the time to decorate and personalize your dorm room, you can transform it into a space that feels warm, inviting, and reminiscent of home, even during Thanksgiving.


In conclusion, although being away from home during the holiday season can be challenging, there are several ways to make your dorm room feel like a cozy retreat. By creating new traditions with friends, keeping holiday staples on hand, adding festive decorations, and creating a homey space, you’ll be able to embrace the spirit of Thanksgiving and make lasting memories, even while on campus.

Remember, home is not just a physical place but a feeling of warmth and love, and with a little effort, you can capture that essence in your dorm room. Happy Thanksgiving!

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