Transforming My Residence Hall Into The Animal Kingdom

Each semester, I am required to change the theme of my residence hall. My journey with designing door decorations began with the decision to fill my hallway with cats fall semester of 2015. Then I changed my door decorations and bulletin boards to birds. This year, I started off with narwhals which were received even more positively.

For my last semester, I decided to create a theme that would encompass all animals and exclude no creature. I designed The Animal KINGdom. This truly brilliant idea was thought up while sitting on my bedroom floor searching my brain for which animal I could pick next. My mind wandered and eventually settled on squirrels. I tried to visualize squirrels on every door. Squirrels everywhere. But how could I make this better? What if each squirrel had a crown?

This is how ideas are born.

I opened up my laptop and got to work. I needed to make a royal squirrel template that could be duplicated close to 40 times on different squirrels. One for each resident.

“Yes, very good. Yes, this will do.” I told myself.

While looking at my newly crowned squirrel, I started wondering if I could somehow incorporate other animals into this. It was then that the idea hit me that every animal can be a King! They’re all already a part of the Animal Kingdom!

I quickly began to crown every animal I could think of.

I ran over to our Residence Life office and printed out 80 pictures of animals with crowns on top of their heads. Back in my residence hall, another Resident Assistant on my staff helped me cut out and staple my animals throughout my entire hallway. Slowly but surely, the Animal Kingdom came to life.

Each door had two unique animals on it to represent the two residents living inside. I created a community-wide bulletin board where each student’s animal was puzzled somewhere into our Kingdom! (Again, special shout out to my fellow RA and friend Emily for staying up to help me put all of this together.) My residents are the most amazing group of first year students I ever could have hoped for. It was important to me that they had a lively and fun theme. I couldn’t go backwards after having narwhals which they really seemed to like. They’ve made this year a breeze for me and I’m going to miss being a Resident Assistant for all of them. Best experience I ever could have hoped for!

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