Decorations raise spirits

Featured Image: Honors Village Townhouse 310 prepared for the holidays with assorted decorations and lights including a crocodile. Stephanie Clark | Courtesy

With the holidays rapidly approaching, students at Virginia Wesleyan are brimming with anticipation and excitement for a much-needed break and a time to celebrate with their families.

While students prepare to return to their homes, some students in V4 have chosen to follow one of the most cherished traditions by adorning their porches with festive outdoor decorations, such as lights and inflatables.

Likewise, during the warmer months, students put up hammocks and plants. 

Recently, ResLife has been cracking down on the removal of these outdoor adornments. 

However, I believe this could not be more wrong, as adornments actually provide a sense of community, allow students to express themselves and encourage students to come to campus.

Outdoor decorations like hammocks and lights have the power to transform a simple townhouse or apartment into a warm and inviting atmosphere, providing a strong sense of community. 

The sight of twinkling lights and cute, playful inflatables reminds students of the holidays while uplifting spirits and allowing joy to be passed on throughout the campus. 

Seeing friends spending time outside in hammocks with plants around them shows others that the community here at Virginia Wesleyan is strong and amiable. 

These outdoor adornments bring students together and allow others to appreciate the festive displays, while encouraging them to express themselves. Everyone knows that college is a time of self-exploration and self-expression.

While being away from home, it can be difficult to find ways of displaying your personality to others. Decorating outside allows students to showcase their unique personalities, and encourages them to be creative. 

Not only does this allow students to relax and feel more comfortable where they reside, but by allowing students to express themselves and decorate as they please, their overall mental health can be improved. This furthers the quality of the experience at Virginia Wesleyan. 

Outdoor decorations are also an artistic expression of who the students at Virginia Wesleyan are, and present to potential, future students the engaging and collaborative environment on campus.

While ResLife views outdoor decorations as unprofessional and off-putting to prospective students, many students at Virginia Wesleyan disagree and believe that their outside adornments are actually inviting and encourage potential students to come. 

When I first came to Virginia Wesleyan University to visit my friend, I noticed the hammocks and outdoor signs. 

They were alluring and brought me a sense of community. College students would sit outside in their hammocks with music playing, and it encouraged me to apply to the university.

I believe that outdoor decorations showcase how campus life here at Virginia Wesleyan truly is: friendly and welcoming. 

These creative displays of diverse personalities can actually be highly influential in the college decision-making process, capturing the hearts of potential students and making them more likely to apply to the university.

Outside decorations present a sense of community in college campuses, allow students to showcase their diverse personalities and encourage prospective students to apply by creating a welcoming and homey environment. 

Adornments reveal the inviting community at Virginia Wesleyan and stimulate joyful spirits throughout the campus. 

Decorations also assist in students’ overall mental health by reducing stress and depression.

Outdoor decorations encourage potential students to apply by leaving a lasting positive impression and sparking their interest. 

It is essential to recognize the positive impacts that these decorations have on campus, and embrace their presence to enhance every students’ overall collegiate experience.


Stephanie Clark is a first-year double major in International Studies and Hispanic Studies. She is involved in the Marlins Go Green and Young Democrats on campus. Her two favorite decorations on her V4 porch are the Hanukkah lights and her Christmas crocodile. She can be reached at


By: Stephanie Clark