Category: Campus Living

The Making of the Zen Den

When I came to campus, I knew I wanted to create a space I felt comfortable, relaxed, and rejuvenated in, that was open to my friends. ¬†I heard the term “Zen Den” from another school at a conference I was at, and I knew I needed to make one in my dorm! Here is what it features:



  • board games, brain games, and cards
  • a Buddha Board (Google it)
  • a water fountain
  • 3 boxes of crafts and art supplies
  • mandala coloring books
  • self-help books, hand outs, quizzes, and resources
  • a tea set and tea kettle
  • brightly colored paintings, fabric, and pillows
  • battery-operated LED string lights
  • a wireless speaker
  • an LED, oil-diffusing humidifier
  • a fan


The best part about it is that it is all under my lofted bed. I can paint a canvas, read a book, give myself a manicure, or have a tea party all in my dorm. I am so happy I have created this space that my friends and I can feel safe and relaxed in. Please steal this idea for your dorm!

20 Reasons Why I Am Excited for the Fall

  1. To see all of my friends I have not seen all summer! I think there is only 1 friend I made from Elmhurst that I have seen this summer… My days are always great when I see all of my friends around campus!
  2. New school supplies! I know a lot of people say this… but its so true. New notebooks, folders, binders…. hey, maybe I’ll even get some new pens!
  3. I start the semester with A’s! I have to stay motivated to maintain good grades throughout the semester. Maybe I should consider quitting some of my jobs as well…
  4. Beautiful weather. Fall is my favorite season. I am hoping it doesn’t get too cold too quickly considering the unusually cool summer we had.
  5. Our beautiful campus. The trees and the changing colors and the sunset over the mall, I really should spend as much time on campus as possible!
  6. Active Minds planning. Hopefully I get it all done this summer, then watch as the events come unfold and students come together.
  7. Longboarding to classes. It’s good I’m excited for this because as a commuter, it’s kind of necessary. I am hoping to avoid the worst traffic, so maybe I’ll be able to enjoy the rides this time!
  8. Orientation as a Transfer Lead. I want all transfer students to follow in my footsteps, and even do more! I am amazed at how much I was able to accomplish as a transfer and I truly want to prove it to everyone that it is possible for them to as well.
  9. Planning Halloween festivities. I had so much fun last year around Halloween because I was able to spend some time with some great friends I made. Halloween is my favorite holiday as well. I already have some ideas of costumes.
  10. Being 21. It is so nice to not have to worry about being underage. And I don’t even mean drinking. Just having the freedom to go to many places I was unable to previously go is less stressful.
  11. Starting new jobs. Who knows what job… but hopefully it will be exciting.
  12. Rocking all of my business professional clothing on campus. That has been the only new style of clothing I have purchased recently… maybe I will start a new trend.
  13. Honestly, Chartwells food. I am on the run so much I truly appreciate being able to purchase a reasonably-priced, healthy meal from our cafeteria. I don’t understand why everyone is always so picky and bashing on them.
  14. Applying for grad school and finally having a clear picture of my future. I am also excited to dive deeper into my major.
  15. Um, I’m going to Las Vegas over Labor Day Weekend… why wasn’t this #1? Well, I guess I see where my priorities are!
  16. Meeting new people. As cheesy as that sounds, I do love meeting new people!
  17. My therapist is coming back after having a baby! She is honestly like my best friend so I cannot wait to catch up with her and see her regularly again. That woman challenges me more than I could ever challenge myself, I love it.
  18. National Active Minds Conference to California. I love getting closer with the Active Minds members and meeting unique individuals from all over the world. Anyone is welcome to go, by the way, so reach out if you are interested!
  19. Learning! Duh! I spent HOURS getting the perfect schedule with all classes that I am extremely excited for. I am pretty much done with my major… so now I am just enjoying some electives!
  20. Making new professional connections and reconnecting with advisers, mentors, etc. I love catching up with them and informing them of my achievements and seeing if they have any new opportunities for me.