“College life is about three things: homework, fun, and sleep…but you can only choose two.” A. Stern


This time of year, and especially Will’s posting on the first snowfall, and Tom Bernard’s wonderful account of the ‘Snowball Brigade of ’88’, has me wondering about the day to day life on campus. In particular, I’m curious about dorm life and the relative need for a cozy and inviting living space once the Berkshire winter begins.

The first room my son was given, was on the ground floor of one of the Quad buildings. We didn’t arrive with much, nonetheless, there was a fair amount to carry from auto to building. We were surrounded by other families doing the same. There was an energy, an excitement, and a tension borne of the conflicting desires of students anxious to be rid of parents, and parents anxious to prolong the process of saying goodbye.

The scene was hectic. And though we were parked right next to the building, we were facing the doorless backside, which meant that actually getting our load of stuff inside, would mean carting a lot of bags and boxes a fair distance around to the front of the building, while navigating the efforts of all the other freshmen and their parents. My son surveyed the situation, turned to us, and said, “Wait here.” He disappeared. A few minutes later, we heard his whistle, looked over, and saw him leaning out of his first floor window, grinning, arms outstretched to receive the first box. An older gentleman, rather natty and distinguished (and whom I imagined to be a professor), was strolling by just as all of this was taking place. He glanced over, and with an amused expression, dryly uttered something to the effect of, “Now that boy’s using his head.”

The dorm room was incredibly small, but quite cozy. And when I saw it next, on Family Days weekend, it had acquired the patina, which only the habits and priorities of a couple of active freshmen, could manage to bestow.

His room this year is bigger, and brighter. And though I haven’t seen it yet, I have reason to believe that a fair amount of effort was put into making it an appealing space. I remember well, the imagination and resourcefulness needed to personalize a dorm room on a limited budget. That in mind, any suggestions and ideas for current students would be wonderful. Also, trips down Memory Lane regarding one’s own dorm (or fraternity house) experience, are highly encouraged.

As well, here is a fun link, “The Art of the Dorm Room” from the Williams website.

Print  •  Email