Saying Goodbye to my Dorm Room Bed

The other day I lowered my dorm room bed, returning the space back to its unapologetic blankness as I unscrewed it down to the scratched-up floor.

I have discovered it to be a frequented trend for college students to loft their beds to the highest peak, so they can fill the bottom area with mini refrigerators and dressers galore.

This practice provides a special type of intimacy to the tiny space, crafting it to be the center of their own unique universe.

They personalize something that introduces itself as an unpigmented canvas, which is at first pathetically lonely, dusty and desperate for attention. As I removed the pink flamingo sheets off the mattress and shoved fuzzy pillows into a trunk, I began to feel a bitter-sweet sensation rushing through my body.

Photo Courtesy of Samantha Shriber 

It tickled my fingertips and made my heart drop to the same sooted ground, as though every particle of my body needed to stop and reminisce.

For my sophomore year at Central Michigan University, I made a point to spend my days exploring the community, diving into its secret hiding spots and flourishing in its uniqueness.

I paid for my adventures by spending little to no time in my dorm room.

My preferences favored leather couches in the library over a futon that belonged to a stranger of a roommate.

Chatting with campus activists, angsty poets and coffee shop baristas became more of a frequency than simple greetings to residential hall neighbors.

But despite these daily routines, my bed was something special-- something tremendously sacred.

In a room where I felt that I didn’t belong, that simple spot served as an oasis from reality.

I had the mattress covered in faux fur blankets to keep me warm. They cocooned me in softness and coziness, even during days I was feeling most cold and broken down.

It is where I sat criss-crossed besides a dreamy guy, allowing my passions, dreams and interests to rush into the blushed air, like a waterfall.

It became a safe space for me to fall wonderstruck by those I was attracted to and secured enough to showcase and to find grace in my vulnerability.

A month later, it is where I whimpered into my best friend’s arms over the same guy with droopy eyes, asking the universe why no one tends to stay around anymore.

My friends would fill the tiny space on weekends, chatting in enthusiastic coos and singing along to their favorite Spotify playlists.

Although they occasionally spilled cherry coke and queso dip on the comforter, I was too dazzled by the moment and its aesthetics to ever be upset.

Photo Courtesy of Red Crudele

On my 20th birthday, as I jumped above the mattress with thunderous excitement, they crowned my head with a tiara and kissed me on the cheek, encouraging me to glow like never before.

A tapestry hung directly above my bed, exhibiting a glorious mountain scenery with a canoe paddling in a lake below.

Whenever people complimented it, I would share with them my dreams of visiting every national park in the United States and Canada.

In those moments, guests could see my eyes glisten in front of a pyramid of tie-dyed pillows and a corner covered by Polaroid photographs. They knew instantly how enchanted I am by the Earth rattling beyond my window.

To the next person who moves into my dorm and has the honor of owning my bed, allow it to be your holy spot.

In that special place, you may fall temporarily in love above the pillows, experience true friendship while leaning against the brick wall or the sweet sensation of refuge after a long, exhausting day.

As for the bed itself, thank you for a year of jewelry draped across the edges, pressing the snooze button until my roommate would make passive aggressive comments and not judging me when I needed to cry into a pint of chocolate ice cream. It has been truly appreciated.

Photo Courtesy of Samantha Shriber