Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Advertise in our classifieds section
Your classified listing could be here!
October 4, 2022

Don’t wait, decorate for the holidays

Hope Gullatt

As November begins, an air of excitement fills college campuses around the nation. Days are shorter, tests begin to thin and fall break nears. Many students see this time of year as the “home stretch,” looking to the holidays as a reprieve from academic stressors and anticipating a lack of deadlines or test dates.

Many new college students are accustomed to decorating their homes for the holidays. Now that they live in dorms and apartments, some students may choose to continue the practice and spread the holiday spirit throughout campus. But despite the winter joy, an age-old argument plagues roommates and friends: when is an acceptable time to decorate?

Waiting to decorate after Thanksgiving gives dorm students just two weeks of decorations. Meanwhile, the first three weeks of November are void of festivity. This holiday season, consider decorating in early November and enjoy a longer season of festivity as opposed to two short weeks.

Radio, television and film freshman Avery Martin explained that it’s never too early to decorate for the holidays. Despite some people’s insistence that decor shouldn’t go up until after fall break, Martin says that earlier may be better.

“For me, having my room decorated for fall or Christmas reminds me of home,” Martin said. “I feel like it brings the family aspect to college.”

Government freshman Jud Willett also cited the benefits of a festive atmosphere but insisted on decorating when the time is right. 

“It just lightens the whole mood, ya know,”  Willett said. There’s studies that say you’re happier if you decorate your house. But, you have to have the meal of Thanksgiving. Once you have that, then you can decorate because it’s officially over.”

Several studies cite the benefits of decorating your home because it can lead to increased dopamine and a boost in energy levels. 

Despite the positive benefits of decorating, Assistant Director for Residence Life JD Castro said that only 15-20% of residents decorate visible fixtures like doors. The majority of dorms are decorated after fall break, and while the number of decorated residences is far from a majority, Castro said the decorations are a positive sign.

“People decorating is a good sign, at least for us, that people are feeling comfortable,” Castro said. “They feel like that’s a place that they can call a home away from home.”

Castro recommended that students in dorms speak to their resident assistant (RA) to decorate within dorm code and stay up-to-date on potential events like door decorating contests. Frequent ideas include bulletin board decor, festive pillows and other pieces.

While the majority of residents may refrain from decorating until after the break, if at all, the science shows that decorating earlier can have positive results. As finals season rolls around, we should kickstart a little boost of happiness. This holiday season, get a head start and bring the festive spirit to UT before the break.

Doud is a journalism and government freshman from Conroe, TX.


More to Discover