This week’s survey of junior rooms showed the class of 2002 to be less likely to experiment with decorating its rooms. Rather, the juniors have tried to be more practical, filling their rooms with more bookshelves than sofas, armchairs or even posters. Before you think of junior rooms as well-equipped but boring, let me point out that one of the most attractive features of shelves (besides what seems to be an endless capacity for storing textbooks) is that you can put your stuffed toys on them.
Junior rooms do feature many stuffed animals, with the star of freshmen dorms, Winnie the Pooh, being quite a presence. Tigger is another prominent figure, and I must admit I have often been tempted to kidnap on of my JAs Tiggers. Of course, there are many other variations on the stuffed toy theme, including hand-made toys that can be hung on the wall.
Speaking of walls, juniors seem to be very fond of corkboards and message boards. Almost all the rooms I saw had more than one. The fun part about these is that one can draw on them or put funny stickers on them so that a scary or smiley face pops up in the midst of a junior’s “to-do” lists. Stickers are a common feature of junior rooms, ranging from alien faces to TV shows to those that have messages like “you don’t have to be crazy to live here, but it helps.”
As far as posters go, juniors seem to go for one bigger poster instead of putting Monet, Dali and Klimt all on the same wall. Abstract paintings are very well liked – Kandinsky and occasionally Malevich are often present. So are black and white photos of landscapes and buildings. Many juniors have some space allotted especially for postcards from different countries, and they also keep a niche or two in a book shelve for framed personal photos (no more sticking the faces of all the people you care for to a wall).
Some juniors seem to have a penchant for interesting, colorful curtains – much more fun to use than nondescript off-white curtains or blinds. Once the curtains are removed, one can enjoy looking at some flowerpots, placed on windowsills or shelves. The juniors seem to have more flowerpots than sophomores and freshmen, and also more vases, jewelry boxes and many cups and glasses (hmm, now we know who drinks the most on campus).
The class of 2002 seems to look for convenience and carefully avoids excess in decoration; however, the numerous Winnies, Tiggers and teddies on their shelves show that no matter how old you get, you still need some of this warmth, softness and color, especially when you have no space for your next “don’t forget to do” note on one of those message boards.