Campus Cribs: Julia Davis ’14

Julia Davis ’14 finds the messiness of her room to be an oasis in the strict rigidity of college life. - Nathaniel Boley/Photo Editor.
Julia Davis ’14 finds the messiness of her room to be an oasis in the strict rigidity of college life. – Nathaniel Boley/Photo Editor.

“It’s bewildering. A labyrinth of laundry and diet drink carcasses.” “It’s like a tornado went through.” “It makes me want to die.”

This is how friends have described my bedroom – a spacious dingle on the first floor of Woodbridge. So when the Record decided to profile the most frightening room on campus for our Halloween edition, I agreed to air my dirty laundry. Actually, it’s clean. Mostly.

“When I first saw your room, I was aghast,” said Narah Moon, ’14, a friend and former entrymate. “This overwhelming sense of horror veils over you. Clearly, there’s no use for the furniture because everything is on the floor.”

Yes, my room is messy. Yes, it startles visitors – both due to its impressive size and the overwhelming sense of entropy it exudes. “It’s dark and huge,” said Rose Corteau ’14. “I’ll just say the salient points: Coffee grounds. Old issues of Women’s Health Magazine. Clothes. Everywhere.”

“What I don’t get is why there’s laundry hanging from the ceiling,” Moon said. It’s a fair question with a simple explanation: I refuse to fork over an extra $1.50 to dry my clothes. Instead, I hang freshly washed laundry on the pipes attached to the ceiling. It’s an inexpensive, environmentally friendly option. But it means that my room sometimes looks like H&M exploded.

“It’s also a mountain of Mountain Dew,” said Kathy Quezada ’14. Visitors often seem scandalized by my diet soda stash. At present, there are 72 cans in my arsenal, 48 of which are Diet Mountain Dew – a truly matchless beverage that offers a citrus-flavored and highly-caffeinated taste of heaven. But for nights when I hit the hay early, I call on my caffeine-free standbys: Fresca and Diet Sierra Mist. I think it’s important to keep a few boxes of my favorite beverages close by at all times, particularly when the going gets rough.

“When I saw your room, it made perfect sense,” said Quezada. “It’s like everything in it is so you.” It’s like living on the site of an archaeological dig into my own past. I’m constantly uncovering fascinating items I’d forgotten I had – long-lost relics from freshman year or summer internships. Just last week, I found some sidewalk chalk, a Flava Flav clock and the Klingon-English dictionary. These items (and the haphazard manner in which they’re arranged) let me relive my history throughout the day.

“But it looks like two people live in this room!” Moon said. “There’s this evenly spread mess on both sides.” True. However, I believe – and I hope my physics-inclined friends will back me up on this – that entropy is inevitable. The second law of thermodynamics states that isolated systems naturally evolve toward disorder; maintaining a highly ordered system requires additional energy input. Thus, maintaining a neat bedroom would require me to expend energy. Between homework, the job hunt and extracurricular obligations, I’d be crazy to squander what little extra oomph I have attempting to fight the forces of physics. It’s better to spend it on things that actually matter – especially if I’m not wasting time looking for stuff. “The great thing is that you seem to know where everything is,” says Quezada. “You’re like, ‘Of course my I.D. is under this huge pile of clothes and magazines.’”

In contrast to the floor, the walls are completely barren. I’m not big on DIY dorm room decorating. I have neither an eye for design nor the time to assemble cute collages of home photos. It’s ironic, since the home I grew up in looks like a spread in a Martha Stewart Magazine. Our little farmhouse is neat as a pin, and my mom is constantly brainstorming projects to spruce the place up even more. She, along with many people, assumes that that my chaotic and unadorned room makes me depressed and stressed out. She says I’d feel better if I cleaned it, but I’ve got to disagree.

Particularly at this school, there’s something oddly calming about having a messy room. It feels like an oasis of mayhem in a desert of rigid orderliness. Here, professors demand polished pieces of tightly organized writing, friends schedule lunch dates a week in advance and students’ airtight schedules are dictated by the demands of endless extracurriculars. Our success is determined by our ability to execute our responsibilities in an orderly fashion; our grades, our leadership roles and even our friendships are largely contingent on our ability to establish a schedule and stick to it. Those aren’t skills that come naturally to me.

A messy bedroom feels like a breeding ground for freedom and creative energy – the one place on campus where I’m not being evaluated on my ability to adhere to an outline. It’s a safe space where I can be my disordered self.

“Your room’s very relatable,” said Corteau, with a laugh. For anyone who’s ever struggled to fit in as a type B personality at this type A-plus institution, my door is always open. Literally.

While some people think my room is appropriate for “Campus Cribs: Nightmare Edition,” I think it’s a dream come true. It’s massive, centrally located and overflowing with my interests. And if I had to describe it in two words, I’d say the following: “Sorry, Grandma.”