When I was 6 years old, my family moved houses. For the first time in my life, I got to pick a room that was not inhabited by my sister before me; the walls, the carpet, the closet — I got a say in all of it. In eighth grade, however, I switched schools and my new friends came over to my house for the first time. Upon entering my room, they commented on how the pink wallpaper, floral carpet, and girly antiques did not match my personality. Looking around, I realized that my bedroom was once again, not mine. Although everything was neatly in the place I had set it, the only decorations were a doll that had belonged to my mother as a child and a tray of perfume bottles that belonged to my grandmother. Even though my bed did not initially belong to my older sister, my younger sister slept in it before it was mine.
Since then, I have added a bookshelf filled with my favorite reads, memorophilia, and photographs. However, no matter what I add, the remnants of my first-grade self and my mother’s input will always dominate the space. College students tend to complain about how their dorm rooms do not compare to their real rooms at home. The truth is: the ventilation may suck, I split the space with a roommate, and the entire hallway sometimes smells like sweat, but my room at school feels a lot more “mine” than the room in which I slept in every night for 12 years.
There is something nice about the idea of being given a blank cube of space to call mine for each year I spend here. Since I moved into my room at the beginning of the year, my roommate and I have rearranged our room quite a few times. We’ve pushed our beds across the room, completely rotated our desks, and entirely changed the material covering our walls. My space represents who I am in this moment and it is subject to change accordingly.
We all change with time. I am not the same person I was when I was 6, I will not be the same person tomorrow, and I will certainly not be the same person next year. The thought of taking all of my decorations down at the end of the semester seems exhausting but so is living in a space that is telling of someone else’s personality, not my own. The room I inhabit next year belongs not to me, but to the person I will be a few months from now. I look forward to the personal redesign that comes with this change.
Image credits: Giphy.com