It’s hard to attain with tests, teachers, homework, extra-curricular activities and social lives that require attention.
Now, imagine going home and having your own special oasis, a getaway from everything in the world, a place where you can do whatever you please.
Maybe that place is waiting for you.
One forgotten space many college students overlook is their apartment patio. With some work and sweat, a beautiful outdoor living area could be in your future.
Any student wanting to venture into a project like this one should prepare for certain obstacles along the way.
For instance, one of the most important aspects is what kind of decorating your apartment complex will allow.
Ashley Richards, leasing agent for The Exchange, said they encourage their residents to partake in decorating as long as it isn’t offensive or hazardous.
“They pretty much have full reign to do whatever they want I guess, as long as their roommates are OK with it,” Richards said. “We actually promote and encourage people to decorate.”
Deciding how to decorate the patio relies partly on what kind of person you are and what kind of personality you possess, as well as money, roommates and other factors.
Shari Park-Gates, assistant professor of consumer affairs, said when designers are asked to create an area, they begin by interviewing the owner to see what they want from the living area.
“We just might provide a space to live, a space to read books, some special kind of lighting to be used in the evening time,” Park-Gates said. “It would take on a very different look based on what the user wanted.”
One example of deciding what kind of feel you want the patio to have is color. Color schemes are meant to reflect what sort of mood the area will generate.
Park-Gates said if the owner wishes the area to be lively, they should incorporate bright colors, but if the wish is for a more soothing space, a soft color palate should be used.
“Function comes first,” Park-Gates said.
The designer also determines what should be done with a space depending on what sort of living arrangement the resident is in.
“It depends on how the space is going to be used and who the user is and what are their limitations,” Park-Gates said.
For instance, most college students enjoy the occasional get together.
“If you want to party in your space, then the designer would plan with that in mind,” Park-Gates said.
Another possible option for an apartment patio would be plants.
Although plants and flowers require a certain amount of attention and care, theycan be a great addition to your outdoor living area.
Donna Dallas, manager for Blooming Colors nursery, said there are many things someone must consider before beginning any sort of plant care.
“Anything can grow in a container,” Dallas said. “You need to figure out how much sun; full sun is six-plus hours a day, part sun is four or less. There is a big difference in morning sun only, afternoon shade, morning shade and afternoon sun.”
For college students on the go, Dallas suggests getting plants that are less time consuming and don’t require as much care such as cast iron, liriope plants and certain shrubs.
Dallas said most students stick with the indoor plants, but she sees some buy plants for their apartment patios. A student favorite is cactus because of its reputation of being easy to care for.
Dallas said to consider many factors as you decide what you want to plant in your garden.
“Good drainage, good potting soil, make sure you have your sun requirement, and it’s in the proper-sized container,” Dallas said.
It may seem like a lot to take in, but the result could definitely be worth it. With some thought and preparation, you may find yourself taking some time to relax outdoors more often.