5 tips for decorating your dorm room


There are definitely some unique challenges when it comes to dorm room decoration.Let’s consider the likely facts: bare (and unpaintable) walls, ugly bed, carpet last replaced in the 80s, and uncooperative roommate. If this sounds like your new home away from home, don’t despair. There are some ways to combat the bleak dorm room nature and turn it into a cozy college bungalow. Here’s how.

1.       Find out what you are and are not allowed to do. Many college dorms provide a list of house rules to residents when they first move in, including any policies regarding dorm décor. Will you be allowed to paint? Hang things on the outside of the door? Add furniture? Update the window treatments? If you aren’t given a list like this or you aren’t sure about a specific idea, ask either an RA or a longtime resident. There’s nothing worse than discovering that you owe a hefty fine at the end of the semester all because your thumb tacks left punctures in the wall.

2.       Decide your style. Are you funky or formal? Hip or hand-me-down? Decide what kind of look you are going for—is it the traditional dorm style complete with movie posters and weird lamps? Or do you want to create a relaxed, homey haven that has scented candles and accent pillows? If you are stuck, picking a theme or a color scheme can help. If you have a roommate, try to involve her or him in the planning process and see what you can come up with together.

3.       Keep some rules in mind. Often, less is more, especially in a small dorm room space. Instead of cluttering up the walls and the floor with a lot of . . . creativity, choose one or two larger focus pieces to help give a sense of unity and serenity to the room. You can dress these things up with little details, like poster frames for your artwork or window treatments to match your comforter. Save the walls by using temporary hooks or other adhesives that won’t leave marks.

4.       Plan your budget. Most students don’t have a lot of money to spend on décor. Decide what you are willing to contribute toward the project. Ask your parents for help.

5.       Pick up inexpensive pieces. Now’s the fun part. Shop around for high-quality, but affordable décor. Hit up thrift stores, bargain markets, and hardware depots to find what you need. Go for items that are well constructed and that fit with the overall look you are going for. Think outside the box and consider using inexpensive items for purposes other than those originally intended, such as hanging fabric on the walls or creating artwork with fall leaves. There are usually wallet-friendly ways to construct what you cannot find.

With this plan of action, your dorm will soon become the most fashion-forward on your floor.


Understanding the basics of Lymphoma treatment


Each year, 48,000 new diagnoses of lymphoma are made in the United States alone.Because it is one of the leading causes of death from cancer, a lot of work is being done in the diagnosis and treatment of it. Lymphoma can affect almost any part of your body, because your lymphatic system consists of your stomach, skin, bones, intestines, lymph nodes and more. Lymphoma happens when your white blood cells multiply abnormally, which in turn, enlarges your lymph nodes. It can also affect your bones and blood cells, which can result in anemia. Anemia, in turn, has many symptoms and side effects.

The Types of Lymphomas

Typically, there are two different classifications of lymphoma cancer: Hodgkin’s disease and non-Hodgkin’s. Hodgkin’s offers a 75% recovery rate, while non-Hodgkin’s boasts 50-60% of patients who do not show a recurrence in five years or more. The types of lymphomas are classified according to the type of tissue that is affected.

Symptoms of Lymphoma

Of course, you should always talk with your doctor if you feel like something is not right. With lymphoma, you may notice some swelling in your abdomen, groin, stomach, skin, neck or armpits. Most victims have a loss of appetite (which results in a loss of weight due to the nausea), fatigue from the anemia, itching, bone pain, fever, night sweats and bloating.


While doctors do not know the actual cause of lymphoma, they do not think it is hereditary (though there may be some genetic factors). It usually occurs between ages 40 and 70, and might be due to some environmental factors or infections. If you have had exposure to a lot of radiation (even in therapy), then you might be at risk, or if you have AIDS.

Lymphoma Treatment

Lymphoma treatment usually consists of radiotherapy. Radiotherapy has been shown to limit the number of recurrence, especially long term, and in some cases, cure the individual of the cancer entirely. Some doctors might recommend this therapy even if the cancer victim does not notice any symptoms yet, and might do a combination of radiotherapy and chemotherapy. For individuals with low-grade lymphoma, bone marrow transplant may be an option, though it is relatively new and unstudied. As with any type of cancer, lymphoma treatment carries an element of risk to it, but because the success rates are so high at causing the cancer to go into remission, most people believe it to be worth the risk.

How to take pictures of Christmas lights for your holiday cards

christmas-lights-for-holiday-cardsWhether you want a twinkling backdrop for the photo for your holiday cards, or you want to have perfect pictures of Christmas morning – you will need to learn some of the ins and outs of how to take pictures of Christmas lights.

  1. Equipment – You will need the proper equipment in order to get the best shot. The type of lens you use will depend on whether you want a close up of some lights or a wide angle of your entire house in all its lighted glory.
  2. Settings – It’s important that your lens can capture fast apertures (somewhere in the f/4.5 area), because that will give you the “star” twinkling effect that you’re looking for. You will also want a camera that has a flash and a manual mode. The white balance is important in order to get the colors right on the lights, so you want to set that to “Tungsten”.
  3. Meter the lights first – You don’t want over-exposed pictures, and even though these lights are dimmer than some, they are sill light sources that will lose their colors if over-exposed.
  4. Timing – If you’re going to be taking your pictures outdoors (like a picture of your house), then you will want to wait until just after sunset. This time works best because the sky still has some light in it to help your picture, but not enough that your Christmas lights will be outshone. For indoor pictures (like for holiday cards), make sure there is some natural light, but not so bright that your picture looks washed out.
  5. Flash – Use the flash to even out the lighting in the rest of the picture (which will be slightly dark because of your exposure time and aperture). Try using a manual flash so that you can tweak things more, since you will probably have to experiment a little bit.

If this is your first time taking pictures of Christmas lights, remember that practice makes perfect! Make sure you don’t stay outside so long that you, your family, or your camera start to see adverse affects from the cold, but take the time to get the right shot.