In the “Republicans fooling themselves” thread, commenter “expat” reminisces:
I just saw a piece on Today about girls entering college who are spending thousands for classes about adjusting to college life, including how to get in to sororities. I got a hug and kiss from my parents before they drove off and left me to unpack my clothes and desk lamp (What? No fridge or microwave?).
I well remember my first day of college. My parents had driven me there and said goodbye in a room bare of everything except my clothes, my bed with some plain sheets and a blanket on it, a cork bulletin board (something I’d never used before), and a wooden desk and chair. There was two of every piece of furniture and the bulletin board, thoughtfully provided by the college. A lonely stranger in a very strange land, I sat and waited to meet my assigned roommate.
The idea was that the two of us would go together to pick out bedspreads and curtains. I don’t remember ever getting curtains; I think we just used the sheers provided by the college. But well do I remember our bedspreads, which I thought were great. It was the 60s, and the fabric was yellow/orange/brown Indian striped cotton, of a type that became ubiquitous later—so ubiquitous that I figured I could find a photo of something like it online even today.
And here you go:
Over my bed I later put a poster sans frame, of the Rousseau painting “The Sleeping Gypsy.” It was an odd choice, I suppose—rather disquieting and not really a depiction of restful sleep. But I loved it, and the stripes in the gypsy’s robe echoed the stripes in the bedspread (which was rarely on the bed, as it turned out; I was a lousy housekeeper):
And that, my friends, was it.
I was not alone in my minimalist decorations. Rich or poor, most of the girls kept it to some bedspreads and curtains, and maybe a poster or two. Dorms were a great leveler; the most extravagant act I remember on the part of any of my dorm-mates was the girl who sent her laundry home each week in a little container made expressly for that purpose. It came back in a few days, washed and neatly ironed.
We thought her and her family mad.
But now it’s come to this, apparently, at least for some students:
“It is extravagant,” Knight says. But “I wouldn’t see any other way to do it.”
Sure, dorm rooms in general are looking increasingly chic thanks to college-friendly offerings from outfits such as PB Teen (Pottery Barn Teen) and CB2 (an offshoot of Crate & Barrel). But a small group of students are taking it to a luxe level, doing as Mom and Dad do and enlisting the eye of experts—those who have decorated the family homestead or those based near school…
“It’s traumatic having a child going off to school,” says Knight, 54, a stay-at-home mom whose husband, Sonny, is an attorney. “Doing a finished, cozy, personalized dorm just makes it better for everyone.”
Has sharing a dorm room gone the way of the dodo as well?
I do envy the young those salad bars in the cafeteria, however. Our food was nearly inedible—which did not keep us from gaining the classic Freshman Fifteen.
[ADDENDUM: I put this in the comments section, but I thought you’d enjoy seeing it more prominently displayed: