A dorm can be much more than just a room to sleep in.

Students who live on campus have the opportunity to transform their dorm into a personal space for creativity and relaxation. The thought of leaving home may cause feelings of uneasiness and loneliness for some, but on-campus housing allows residents stay plugged into campus life.

To transform a dorm into a home, students like Erin Hockman incorporate their personality into bedding, furniture and decorations.

“When deciding how to decorate my dorm room, I automatically knew that I wanted to use my favorite color, turquoise,” said transfer student Hockman. “The color fits my personality and reminds me of my home.”

Hockman is a junior at ETSU and is adjusting to living on campus for the first time. She has made a lot of friends so far and looks forward to meeting other students who live in her residence hall.

She also makes sure to keep safety in mind when entering and exiting her room and residence hall.

“I always ensure that my door is latched shut when I am leaving for class or after I have just entered inside of my dorm,” she said. “I am always aware of my surroundings when walking to and from class.”

Alexis Henderson, resident advisor in Lucille Clement residence hall, encourages students to treat their dorm the way they would their own home.

“Always keep your doors shut and locked even if you are stepping away for just a second.” Henderson said. “Never exit your room or the residence hall with your door ajar or standing wide open. Most importantly, always be cautious of any visitors whether they came to visit with you in your room, your roommate or someone in the building.”

For students who are still getting familiar with living on campus, Henderson had one piece of advice:

“Be active in your hall and in building those friendships with people who live doors down from you,” she said. “A resident advisor’s job is to be a positive image for the students who are under their supervision, and I hope to be just that for the incoming freshman and transfer students.”