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The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

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Molly Birch

My name is Molly, and I am in my second year at NMU. I come from Midland, MI, probably one of the most boring places on earth. However, we do have the only Tridge in the world, so that’s pretty nifty...

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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

Opinion — Its okay to outgrow your college friends
Opinion — It's okay to outgrow your college friends
Megan PoeApril 12, 2024

Personalizing Your Dorm

Without proper decorating and personalization, living a semester in a 12 feet by 12 feet dorm room can be a lot like spending a semester in a prison cell. The key to surviving dorm life is to make it either as homey and comfortable as possible, or to make it outrageously fun and entertaining.
Sean Friedenstab, a freshman business major, decided to take the outrageously fun and entertaining route. He transformed his newly-acquired concrete home into a wild tiki party.
“I had a tiki-themed graduation party, so I had all of these decorations and just went with it,” Friedenstab said. “It all just came together.”
Friedenstab’s new home, located at 163 Halverson, features a large double loft decorated with lights and bamboo sticks. At first glance, it appears as if the whole loft is made of bamboo – it’s all part of the illusion.
Grass skirting lines the walls and strategically placed Hawaiian leis are scattered about. Under the lofts are two matching desks and a large bulletin board, complete with a bamboo border. Also, to remind all visitors that this is still college, another wall is decorated with a “beer pong constitution” poster.
A metal tiki statue stands guard near the room’s entrance and fancy pacific lamps hang from the ceiling.
As an added bit of humor, hanging from a corner of the loft are a set of steel testicles which Friedenstab says “protects you from hitting your head on the corner. Once you see the balls, you’ll watch out.”
Another exceptional feature of this Halverson home away from home is the over-the-top sound system, which doubles as a wake-up call. “You can hear it all the way out into the main area (of the building),” Friedenstab said. “And we have our alarm clocks hooked up to it.”
West Hall resident director Paul Johnston said many students this year have been giving their dorm room themes, much like Friedenstab.
“I’ve seen a lot of international themes. I’ve seen a room made in a Japanese style,” said Johnston. “I’ve see a lot of color themes. We have a few rooms here that are pretty decked out in pink. Everything you can imagine they have in pink.”
This year’s batch of accessorized and personalized dorms don’t measure up to those of the past, however. Johnston said the best he ever saw was a few years ago during the “How Rad Is Your Pad?” competition.
“Someone had pretty much turned their room into an entertainment center with a main control board,” he said. “They could dim the lights, they could turn their TV on . and turn down track lighting. It looked like a little movie theater.”
These extravagances are not for everyone, of course. In the end, it is up to the students to decide what they would like to do with their new concrete homes.
“Some students enjoy having a theme and atmosphere around them,” Johnston said. “Some students won’t spend a lot of time on their room because maybe they spend a lot of their time in the library.”
For more information on dorm rooms, or for loft-building guidelines, visit Northern’s resident housing Web site at

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