This I Believe

Helen - Highland Falls, New York
Entered on September 5, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

Being a full time college student, the most difficult task of transitioning from summer to the school year isn’t as obvious as one would think. Sure, the hours of fun-in-the-sun are gone, the “free” meals made by mom have vanished, and now I have to worry about something called waking up, but for me, the task of setting up my bedroom at school is the most alarming part of the end of summer freedom.

As I started my junior year of college a few weeks back, the biggest challenge was the blank wall space of my eggshell colored bedroom (if you want to call eggshell an actual color.) While my father chose to concentrate on smoke detectors and energy efficient light bulbs during move-in day, all that consumed my mind was the bland room that stood before me.

It took one full week before I was satisfied with the setup of my bedroom. (An easy task? Ha, that’s a funny joke. Let’s see why I seem to be so amused.) Fully unpacking, squeezing all my summer dresses and shoes into my shoebox-sized closet (that, is not an exaggeration), realizing that I forgot a whole suitcase worth of clothes sitting in the hallway and having to re-unpack, finding out my printer died and having to buy a new one to print pictures to go into frames to decorate my shelves, and purchasing the right shade of mustard yellow bed sheets (not crayon yellow, or sunburst yellow, or even highlighter yellow, just mustard yellow thank you) to smoothly tie together the colors in my bedroom rug and wall posters. Oh, the path toward final setup satisfaction was a tough one indeed.

Finally, my bedroom is glowing with the aura of “me-ness.” I am these picture-adorned walls. I am this floral bed comforter. I am my Gustav Klimt poster hanging high above my bed. I am this bedroom. Now, when I come in and out of my room, in and out of class, in and out of the world around me, at least I know that my creation, my bedroom, will always be there awaiting my arrival.

Is this a weird obsession to have? Au contraire! For me, my room is my safe haven. It is the place I go to when the weather is too unbearable to venture into. It is the essential home of my concentration. I believe that being comfortable isn’t an option: it is a necessity. It may be an odd part of college to obsess over, but to me, it is one of the most vital. I do not have some rare form of OCD, or consider myself an uptight housemate by any means. Rather, I choose to see the challenge of my living space as an opportunity to form some sort of stability in the rapid hustle and bustle that is college life.

Three years of bedroom setups down, only one more year of college and the rest of my life to go.