This one might seem obvious, but many designers say that if you want to make a room feel bigger, put less stuff in it.
After living at home all your life, you might wonder how you can do without your big dresser, bookcase and every piece of clothing you own. But it's best to use this time to prepare yourself for a complete overhaul of your lifestyle -- and this includes leaving a lot of stuff behind. This will be essential if you want to make your dorm room look and feel spacious.
Don't despair. Downsizing your life to the bare essentials will not only help your dorm room look bigger -- it can be healthy and therapeutic. College is a transformative time for many people, so it's a good time to reassess what really matters, and simplify down to that. And after all, you're at college to study, and if you plan to do much studying in your room, you should minimize distractions.
Along the same lines, you should cut the clutter out of your life. If you have messy habits, do yourself (and your roommate) a favor with a resolution to store clutter away out of sight in designated drawers or shelf baskets. Clutter can make people feel confined and agitated, but cleared floors and surfaces open a room up.