Four white cinderblock walls will likely encapsulate your room for your first year of college, the warm comfort of your lifetime home stripped away as you’re thrown into an unwelcoming new room with some stranger.

Despite the unfamiliarity of a new dorm, there are many different ways to adapt it by bringing lively decorations and making the bold decision on whether to loft your bed.

A simple way to lighten up the room is to invest in some white or colorful lights. They are usually inexpensive, especially if you find them at a thrift store, and they can be easily hung with small Command hooks. Their glow opens the room up significantly to make it more inviting.

Unfortunately, you can’t paint the walls, but tapestries can add remarkable color. Spruce up the walls with little posters and printed pictures of you and your friends and surround yourself with good reminders of times past and of new memories.

The next step is to maximize the room’s square footage by rearranging the beds. As said in “Step Brothers,” there can be so much room for activities if the beds are slightly moved around.

Lofting one bed provides the opportunity to put a futon underneath it. Lofting both beds gives you the chance to have a television facing the futon with potential extra space for a microwave, refrigerator and additional shelving for extra clothes. This is the traditional idea of a dorm room — each roommate has their own side and then a little communal space.

A different take on the traditional dorm  room forms the beds into a “T” shape. Achieve this by lofting one of the beds and placing it perpendicular to the wall in relation to the window. The other bed will remain down and be placed parallel to the window underneath the lofted bed. It can nicely divide the room from your relaxing area and the desks where you do your schoolwork. This bed formation provides a great amount of room on the opposite side of the dorm room, where you can still arrange a futon and TV.

Another alternative is to construct traditional bunk beds. Choosing one side would be ideal. However, if you are feeling bold, the beds can be placed horizontally in relation to the window, directly in the middle of the room opening up more space on either side of the beds.

If you or your roommate don’t want either of your beds to be lofted, there a few other options. Both beds can remain low to the ground, and you can push them both against the wall on one side of the room. Ideally, they should remain parallel to the window wall and a few feet apart from each other. The TV can be placed on the opposite side of the room from your beds, allowing you to comfortably lounge and watch your favorite shows. This model would help you save money by forgoing the futon.

If you don’t have a roommate, you can follow this same style by utilizing both beds. Pushing both of them together would make a “mega-bed,” which maximizes the comfort of the tiny beds many new students might not be used to.

Traditional dorm rooms do not have to be bland and boring. This little home away from home can be brought to life if it’s given a little love and creativity. Take some time arranging and decorating your dorm — you may end up feeling like you never left your old bedroom.