From our guest blogger, Izzy, who's 20...
I think it’s pretty universal knowledge that adolescent girls like to print photos. It's less common knowledge, however, that boys like to print photos just as much. For some reason, it used to be deemed socially acceptable for only girls to have hundreds of printed photos decorate their bedroom walls. However, the older I get, the more I see boys with printed photos adorning their rooms. They enjoy selecting which photos to print, receiving the prints and seeing them for the first time, and deciding which pattern to put them on their wall in just as much (if not, sometimes, more so!) than any girl. And why wouldn’t they?! A cheesy but perhaps true expression that we all know: “a picture is worth a thousand words”. Not only can looking at your photos remind you of a certain time in your life – whether this be happy, sad, exciting, or scary – printed pictures of your own can make your room feel like home.
In my second year of university, I fully unpacked my room the day I arrived (after making the mistake of not unpacking on arrival day in my first year – I didn’t have time to fully unpack for two weeks!). But for some reason, I didn’t put up my photos until the very end of the first term. My second and third term felt so much nicer – my room was mine; my resting place, workplace, and everything in between. My friends would gaze at my pictures and ask me about them, and I would tell them stories of the past as we created more stories of our own. They were conversation starters, but also special to just me. On a gloomy day, I would look up at a picture of my beloved dog, Dex, and be reminded that the world was not so bad.
I wouldn’t expect it (especially being quite minimalistic in my decorations, and a sceptic about this sort of thing), but adding printed photos to my room made all the difference. I genuinely noticed a positive difference in my happiness levels when I was in my room when it contained photos. And so I thoroughly recommend that, whether boy or girl, you don’t make the mistake I did, and decorate your room with photos from day one.
I’m currently studying for a year abroad in Australia, and I haven’t really felt homesick since I’ve been here; just maybe, the printed photos on my wall are the reason why.
Thank you, Izzy! If you'd like to follow her example, here are some online photo-print services you can try, with lots of free offers to suit a teenage budget:
There are more that we haven't tried but are definitely worth checking out - this review from Save The Student has a list: