A home away from home

When the class of 2023 arrived on campus this fall, many wasted no time transforming the blank walls of their rooms into extravagantly designed spaces that reflect their unique personalities. 

The Room of the Year competition began at UofSC three years ago as a chance for students to showcase the innovative ways they’ve revamped their on-campus rooms and apartments.

“Students work so hard on their rooms and it involves coordinating with their roommate, who sometimes that haven't even met yet, creating a space that makes them feel at home and expressing themselves as individuals,” says Haley Cunningham, the coordinator of the 2019 Room of the Year contest.

That was exactly the case for Morgan Cooper and Madison Parker, whose extravagant room won the 2019 Room of the Year competition. Decorated in pink, this room is complete with decorative pillows, an accent rug, matching ottomans and of course, “gamecocks” spelled in gold lettering.

Cooper and Parker didn’t know each other before deciding to attend UofSC, but met on the class of 2023 Facebook page. The two freshmen later decided to become roommates after meeting for lunch and discovering they had a lot of shared interests.

The roommates also shared a vision for how they wanted their room to look.

“Our goal was to make it feel like a home away from home,” says Cooper. “We both combined our ideas and added our favorite colors to make it unique.”

“I had several people from back home mention to my mom and me that we should enter our room if USC had a contest like that,” says Cooper. “A few days later, it popped up on my Instagram and around Patterson, so we decided to post on my Instagram and the results were great.”

Several students entered the competition by posting photos of their rooms on Instagram with the hashtag #UofSCROTY19 for a chance to win $200 worth of gear from Barnes & Noble for each roommate in a traditional or suite style room or $300 worth of gear for a student in an apartment style room.

“As the years have gone by, entries have steadily increased and allowed students who may be considering calling Carolina home next fall to take a glimpse into the on-campus living and learning experience,” says Cunningham.

To view more Room of the Year entries, search the hashtag #UofSCROTY19 on Instagram.

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