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Little House on the Quad: The College Guide to Cottagecore Dreams

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Little House on the Quad: The College Guide to Cottagecore Dreams

by Tessa Barker

If one good thing has come from the internet, it is the idea that we can subscribe to a lifestyle that has no practicality and no resemblance to our real lives. Whether you’re a gamer who casts from the middle of rural Iowa, or a forest fairy living in the big city, you can escape to your dream world through a screen. I would also recommend looking into a semester abroad.

A semester abroad, however, may not be feasible for arguably the most popular “core” or lifestyle aesthetic that came out of 2020: Cottagecore. The quiet souls longing for solitude, a babbling brook, and bread to bake until they run out of firewood (to fuel their wood burning stove, of course) don’t seem like the types to whip out their computers in the middle of harvest to submit their psych homework. No, they’re more into reading from dusty, unmarked books as they sip floral tea.

If your wardrobe consists of a few too many 90’s-inspired peasant pieces and your plants get more care than you tend to give yourself, you’re probably dabbling in cottagecore. Congrats, move forward two spaces and collect your first sourdough starter.

In all seriousness, you probably don’t have time to halt your degree in English or herbalism and move to a cottage off the grid. I mean we can’t all be Hannah Lee Duggan. But we can bring the Little House on the Prairie vibes to you no matter where you’re attending college. Cottagecore dreams can be made anywhere thanks to a few on-brand products and the courage to be your true self. 

If you’re already questioning how many blouses are considered too many blouses for a 20-something year old to own, you probably don’t need too much help from me to make college life feel like the English countryside, but here are some of my recommendations. For your dorm, try a linen comforter or one with a light-colored simple pattern. The cottagecore color palate consists of dusty earth tones, and hazy pastels. For decoration, try pressing wildflowers (or store-bought) and putting them in some vintage frames (from your local thrift shop). You really can’t mess up pressed flowers. I know it’s not on brand, but make sure you hang them with 3M strips, because no amount of fresh baked goods will convince your RA not to fine you for holes in the walls. As for lighting, the garish overhead will never do your soft features justice. Opt for some twinkly lights and flameless candles placed generously around your room. Speaking of candles, instead go with a diffuser with a few drops of this awesome essential oil giving off lavender field vibes because again, no number of fresh pastries will put out a fire.

You can put any scent into your diffuser, but there really isn’t anything that screams “the 2005 Pride and Prejudice is my comfort movie” quite like lavender does. The earthy yet feminine smell of lavender is perfect for anything from everyday wear behind the ear to nightly use to promote relaxation. In fact, lavender essential oil has been known to be used for a number of emotional and physical health benefits. Personally, I like to use this Lavender Spray on my pillowcase to help me sleep and to promote dreams that resemble the meadow scene in Twilight Breaking Dawn Part 2. Don’t pretend you don’t know what I’m talking about!

While lavender is a great aid for relaxation and winding down for bed, I know there are some tortured sould who need a little extra help. For that, I recommend the AROOMATHERAPY “Cottagecore Dreams” playlist curated by yours truly.

“Cottagecore Dreams” was an exceptionally unique playlist for me to create and what started as a few slow indie songs thrown together, turned into a story of the perfect cottagecore evening. I wanted the song titles to tell a story, and while I’m no Laura Ingalls Wilder, I think their configuration would make her proud.

“Cottagecore Dreams” is the quaint little story of a journey to solitude “To the Mountains” and into an evening written up in a storybook. It takes listeners over “Warm Foothills” and down “Cottage Roads” to a cozy cottage surrounded by field “Mice,” “Wild Lavender,” and “Lilac.” Upon arriving at the “Haven” that is a small cabin you can spend your evening drinking “Dandelion Wine” and “Pressing Flowers.”

Not to interrupt what I think is quite the dreamscape, but the playlist also features a number of up-and-coming artists I am very excited about. Logan Bowden, who is also half of Logan and Isabel, creates the most lulling music. I could have included his entire discography in this playlist but chose to stick with the most on brand title. Speaking of on brand, he and Isabel create all their music in a tiny house built by Isabel in the mountains of Idaho. Now those are cottagecore dreams! OK, back to your regularly scheduled program.

The sun is setting, and a cool breeze settles in. Bundle up in a soft “Cardigan” and begin to “Settle Down” for an evening of conversations under the moon. Fighting heavy lids to get one last glimpse of the “Lavender Moon” is a struggle that only succumbs to “The Beautiful Dream.” Dreams of fairies and foraging and flower fields that go on for miles. “Asleep at Last,” in your cloud of a bed you can “Slumber” peacefully.

Sounds nice right? This playlist is basically an adult bedtime story that will calm and relax you after a long day in the bustling world. College life can be fast-paced, exhausting, and not conducive to your goals of becoming a spinster in the woods. But wherever you’re calling home for the next few years, whether it be a dorm room or a studio apartment, AROOMATHERAPY can help you achieve the cottagecore aesthetic. Simply fire up the old diffuser with 5-10 drops of our pure lavender essential oil, play our “Cottagecore Dreams” Spotify playlist and sink into this magical landscape.

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