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The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

Mississippi Facebook group redefines dorm decor

Courtesy | Tamara Wingerter and Stephanie Knight
Dorm Rooms of Mississippi and Beyond hosts an annual cover photo contest. Photos compete for hundreds of likes and the winner is featured on the group’s banner.

In the age of social media, the landscape of freshman dormitory living has undergone a makeover. Facebook group “Dorm Rooms of Mississippi and Beyond” has taken this shift in stride, offering incoming students and parents a virtual look into the world of dorm room decor.

Mississippi State University alumnae Stephanie Knight and Tamara Wingerter created the Facebook group in 2020. Wingerter was inspired to create the group by the glamorous dorm rooms her friends were creating for their children.

“I just admired the rooms, all my friends and their talent,” Wingerter said. “…and then Stephanie came in and said, ‘Hey! Why don’t we make a page?’ and that’s where it all got started.”

In just under four years, Dorm Rooms of Mississippi and Beyond has gone viral, garnering 64.4 thousand members. Posts include Amazon must-haves, dorm room transformations and parents asking for help with dorm measurements.

Some boy’s dorms are also very popular on Dorm Rooms of Mississippi and Beyond. (Courtesy | Tamara Wingerter )

“People are so kind about answering questions,” Wingerter said. “Somebody will ask, ‘Can somebody please go to this dorm and look in the handicap-accessible rooms and measure under the sink?’ and sure enough, somebody who went to New Maroon Camp will do it, and the answer will pop up, without fail.”

Although some dorm rooms feature expensive-looking lamps, rugs and art, Knight and Wingerter mentioned how easy it is to keep a budget.

“I think people across the nation look at this and all they see is spoiled rotten little southern girls,” Wingerter said. “But, we have moms and dads that are finding furniture at Ross and yard sales. You don’t have to spend a tremendous amount if you don’t want to. We have one of our moderators who really talks about the bargain aspect of it. She did her daughter’s room for hardly any money.”

Knight offered advice for incoming students looking to decorate their dorm.

“It’s about what makes you happy, Knight said. “And I think that’s the bottom line. What makes a kid feel good and is a place to study, and a place to eat, and a place to have friends and visit.”

Madeline Dyess, a freshman microbiology major, has one of the most popular dorm rooms in the group. Unofficially known as “the tiger room,” it is decorated with neon signs, a pink accent wall and, of course, a tiger rug.

“A lot of people thought it was over the top,” Dyess said. You either love it or hate it. But to me, it was important that it didn’t feel like a dorm room—that it kind of just felt like a bedroom or something you’d have in your house.”

Dyess said that the dorm room decorations helped her connect with people.

“It was definitely the hangout spot for the year,” Dyess said. “My friends loved bringing their friends to see it. It was so much fun to be able to do that. How I met a lot of people was just through mutual friends bringing them to see my room. It was definitely a conversation starter that helped me throughout college.”

However, the process of moving out has been hitting Dyess hard.

“It’s definitely difficult,” Dyess said. “We’re trying to sell as much as we can. Everything that’s still intact, it’s so difficult, but we’re managing what’s been sold and selling it through Facebook marketplace or just mutual friends who liked our dorm and wanted to do something similar. I like how my dorm can be an inspiration to others.”

Between managing Dorm Rooms of Mississippi and Beyond, dorm room decorating has recently been personal for Wingerter, whose daughter is coming to MSU in the fall.

“I’m in the middle of it right now!” Wingerter said. “We have a group chat with me, my daughter, her roommate and her roommate’s mom. We talk in it almost every day about the design of the room. We’re not using a designer. We’re just doing it ourselves and we’re trying to do it on a budget.”

About the Contributor
Kate Myers
Kate Myers, News Editor
Kate Myers is a freshman communication major. She currently serves as the News Editor. [email protected]
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