How to Be a Hostess When You Live in the Dorms

Don't let a lack of space keep you from hosting!
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Don't let a lack of space keep you from hosting!

I used to dread having people over. I'd have to clean up beforehand, clean up afterwards, go grocery shopping so my guests would actually have something to eat, and do my best to entertain them. But eventually I grew to love hosting. I think it's a big moment when your friends trust you with a large part of their night. 

It's so much easier to get people together when you have a larger apartment or home. Not only do you have a full kitchen, but there's space for everyone to sit around the TV or lounge on the couch. When I first moved into my tiny dorm room last year, I wondered how I would lure anyone in. I imagined it'd be hard to get people excited about our room. But the truth is, you don't need a flat-screen TV or a hot tub to be a good hostess!

Here are five things to do when inviting people over to your dorm:

1. Utilize Your Speakers and Music

If you're inviting a bigger group of people over, there can be an awkward lag between when the first person arrives and when everyone else gets there.

Put some music on in the background. That way, if you're not feeling as talkative, there's not dead silence. Even if you're with a small group of close friends, music can boost everyone's mood.

2. Have Some Treats!

If you're inviting people over, it's always a good idea to have something to munch on. Last year, we kept a cookie jar and some smaller bags of cookies so that we could pass it around the group. Popcorn is always fun for movie nights, and if you have a microwave in your dorm it's so quick to prepare.

Even if you're not cooking a five-course meal, it's nice to be prepared for hungry guests.

3. Cozy Up with Pillows and Rugs

Everyone loves a cozy atmosphere! | Photo Credit

Everyone loves a cozy atmosphere! | Photo Credit

There's usually nowhere to sit in a dorm. You may have a futon or small couch, but that still won't fit a big group of people. Our solution? Buy a fluffy rug, cozy blankets, and a few body pillows. Anything that's soft and distracts your guests from the fact that they're sitting on the floor.

I've talked before about the under-the-bed fort my roommate and I made last year, but it really was our best idea. Also, most dorms don't have the cutest floors (ours was a boring gray tile), so adding some color will make the room feel less sterile.

4. Invest in Good Lighting

The right lighting can make your guests more feel more comfortable and "at home," but can also set the mood for whatever you're planning that day.

Having a game night? Turn on your funky disco ball lamp! Movie screening? Small twinkle lights are perfect. After all, you don't want it to be so dark that your friends trip over everything while going to the bathroom.

5. Make Your Guests More Comfortable

It's always a bit awkward walking into a house and wondering whether or not to take off your shoes, where to put your coat, etc. The same feeling applies to entering a dorm room.

Indicate where guests can put their shoes if they choose to take them off, and have some spare hangers available in case your friends don't want to just throw their sweaters on your bed. Always do your best to make guests feel at ease in your space.

Your thoughts?

Don't be afraid to invite people over to your dorm room! What you lack in space and furniture you can make up for in gracious hosting.

What are your tips for hosting friends in a dorm room? Will you be trying any of these things? Tell us your best hosting tips in the comment section below.