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(GIF: Giphy)

So you’re going to college! And you’re going to be living in a dorm room! And it’s going to look exactly like they do in the movies!

Ummm, not exactly. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but most college and university dorm rooms are super small, super drab, and super uninviting. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be that way. You can’t tear up the gross carpet or paint the off-white walls turquoise, but you can add a few cheery personal touches that will totally transform the look and feel of your room.

Here are 15 cute decorations, all $40 and under, to help you make your dorm room look and feel like home.

Finch and Cotter home coordinates throw pillow, $38


Regardless of how excited you are to move away from your hometown, there’s a pretty solid chance that you’re going to experience at least one or two bouts of homesickness. These custom pillows will remind you of where you came from (and they’ll look cute on your new teeny tiny twin-size bed).

ModCloth writer’s block, $14.99


I don’t think this literal writer’s block could help you overcome your figurative writer’s block, but hey, it’s worth a shot, right?

KarinLorenc ceramic succulent planter, $25


Nothing will brighten up your dorm room faster than a cute little succulent plant in a pot. Succulents are super easy to care for, so chances are you won’t even need the extra encouragement from the pot itself.

Ankit Vacation Fund mason jar, $14.80


Chances are you won’t be able to afford a big trip during your first year of college, but if you save your change and small bills, you might be able to swing a weekend getaway. Place this cute mason jar from Ankit on your desk so you’ll remember to save those quarters and dollar bills.

ModCloth Lab-solutely desk supply set, $24.99

lab set

Science majors will love this test tube school supply organizer from ModCloth.

Nature City ocean tapestry, $39


Your dorm room walls will likely be painted a super blah shade of white, off-white, or eggshell. Brighten things up a bit with this wall tapestry from Nature City.

ModCloth You Should’ve Sheen It wall photo collection, $39.99


I love this set of picture frames from ModCloth. You can use one frame for a photo of your family, one for a photo of your friends from back home, and one for all of the new friends you’ll meet at school.

ModCloth Pizzazz Good as Gold laundry bag, $21.99


Instead of letting your dirty clothes pile up on your bedroom floor, toss them in this cute polka-dotted laundry bag from ModCloth.

Rock Paradise book ends, $32


You’re about to become the proud new owner of way more books than one person could ever possibly read in a year. These super pretty book ends from Rock Paradise will keep your new collection looking neat and organized.

Ankit pizza lights, $24.80


Nervous about going away to college because you don’t know anyone yet? Don’t worry about it! Just string up a set of pizza lights in your dorm room and wait for the people to flock to you.

GIRLBYE custom banner, $12

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What’s the point of living in a dorm if you’re not going to have a custom banner hanging above your bed?

ModCloth Dresser to the Nines jewelry holder, $17.99

jewelry holder

There’s nothing worse than tangled necklaces and dozens of lost earrings. This jewelry “box” is a really pretty way to display your pieces and keep them from getting lost and tangled.

Esclair Studios alarm clock, $20


Right now you’re probably thinking, “Why the hell do I need an alarm clock when I have a cell phone?” Newsflash: cell phones aren’t 100% reliable, and your professor isn’t going to care that you missed your morning exam because your cell died in the middle of the night. She’s going to listen to your sob story, and then she’s going to fail you. TL;DR? Get an alarm clock.

Redbeauty watercolor world map curtains, $40

il_570xN.610761135_l3vsA good set of curtains can totally transform a room. Swap the drab set your college will provide you with for these beautiful curtains from Redbeauty. (Just make sure you hold on to the curtains from your college, because you might be charged a fine if you don’t hang them back up when you move out of your dorm at the end of the year.)

ModCloth Pleasurable Planning wall calendar, $29.99


You are going to need to get organized like never before when you start college. This calendar is large enough for you to keep track of your due dates, important meetings, and social events.