Maximizing Life Success Through Dorm Decor

Patricia Oprea

Most college students fill their rooms to the max with mementos in the form of pictures, posters, notes and ticket stubs from movies or concerts. However, furniture and decoration is never thought to have a deeper meaning beside its arrangement.

Too many people, however, the position of furniture is thought to create positive or negative effects on one’s life, and is interpreted through the Chinese art of “Feng Shui.”

This term translates to “wind-water” and originated from Chinese astronomy.

On Tuesday, Nov. 27, as part of November’s 30 Days of Wellness Program, Lynne DeRobertis and her sister Susan Federico put together a program on this ancient art rooted in mysticism for UNH students.

How to destress one’s life through room arrangements was one of the first topics discussed. Some of the tips included adding a water feature for calmness and making sure it flows near the center of the room. Plants are also key to bring life into the space and remove negative energy and toxins from the room.

Pointy plants like cactus are a big no-no; circular ones are more ideal. Sharp corners in general are to be avoided; they can be countered by hanging a crystal or covering the area with fabric. Another positive introduction of ch’i is having a beta fish in the dorm room.

The bathroom has some rules as well, such as that it is best to close the door during the night to help people sleep more deeply and feel refreshed upon awakening. The toilet seat cover should always be kept down when not in use; to leave it open symbolizes wealth and money flowing down the drain.

There are also many rules regarding mirrors, and how they can create both positive and negative ch’i. “Never place a mirror directly in front of your bed,” warns DeRobertis. “You never want to see yourself when you’re sleeping,” and create a double of you.

However, if your desk faces a wall, she strongly suggests placing a mirror on the wall in front of it to double what you see and remedy the fact that your back is facing the door.

Cardinal directions play an essential role in determining good Feng Shui, some directions being better than others for certain pieces of furniture. The magnetic compass was originally invented for Feng Shui and has been used ever since; the north is attributed with change, the south with fame, the east with the future and the west with youth. With respect to these facts, it may be helpful to place powerful objects in the south corner of your room, a study section in the east sector, or even a bed in the southeast, which is attributed with romance.

The placement of the bed in a room is a key; you want this to be as far away from the door as possible. There should also be much space around your bed, meaning it should not be placed against any walls. You should also be able to see the door from your line of sight while lying in bed without having to turn around. If your back does happen to face the door, a mirror can be placed to counter that.

Feng Shui is to some an art form for good health, and to others just a vague process based on inventive ideas. Either way, it never hurts to freshen up a space, especially for the spring semester.