Decorating rooms: soft sophomore comfort

In the last issue of the Record, I explored the artistic tastes of Williams freshmen by looking at what they put on their walls. This week’s installment was meant to provide a distinctive look into the sophomore rooms, but I sneaked around a few samples only to end up facing…the same sights. As one sophomore pointed out, “it is only natural that all rooms should have similar posters as we all buy them from one and the same place, and they are certainly better than having none.”

So I will not go in detail about the posters this time. Instead, I’ll tell you that I discovered an interesting trend among the class of 2003: these guys are not as into decorating the flat planes of the walls because they prefer three-dimensional objects. Armchairs and rocking chairs, as well as small (or even not too small) sofas are quite popular.

The students cover this furniture with blankets, colorful sheets, hand-woven rugs from home, pillows in all kind of sizes and anything (including clothes) that can make them sink down into a chair or a sofa, feeling as comfortable as they want.

Other items common in sophomore rooms include decorative lamps, Christmas lights, additional bookcases, flower pots and, as in the frosh dorms, stuffed animals. It was not without some sadness that I noticed how few purple cows were present in sophomore rooms as compared to those of the freshmen. It seems that after a year, the magic wears out and one begins to combine the beautiful with the useful rather than just going for whatever seems cool at the moment.

Sophomore rooms feature fewer family pictures – most of which are framed, not glued, to the wall – than do those of first-years. They do, on the other hand, have bigger and nicer mirrors. Brad Pitt and the favorite baseball team are still there, but Winnie the Pooh is not commonly encountered. Instead of placing many posters next to each other, sophomores are more likely to go for one calendar or for a big colorful sheet that would cover the entire wall. Some even make use of the ceilings.

Overall, sophomore rooms seem to be full of color and three-dimensional elements that break out from the plane of their walls. What is important is that one has a pillow or chair to sink into, as part of the comfort of being a sophomore.

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