What does a college dorm room look like? That was the question for which I was absolutely dying for an answer whenever I visited colleges. In my experience, most schools didn't actually have an option to look at dorms when on tours. You'd have to stay overnight to get an inside look. Oberlin did have a specific room in South to show to prospies, but nobody actually lives in that room. There are even business cards in there for the company that furnished the room.
I'm the kind of person who thrives in very specific living setups. I get very picky about the physical organization of my living space. I can work with what I'm given; there isn't One Correct Way for me to set up my room that would backfire if I had a diagonal wall or something, but I'm certainly very particular about how my room is set up. I'm also someone who plans ahead, and I was so obsessed with my future at college during the summer months that I wanted to have my room layout all figured out before I even started packing.
I applied extremely early for Sci-Fi Hall, so I expected to be living in North/Langston. I meticulously inspected the floor plans available on Oberlin's website, but despite the fact that they were to scale, I still didn't know the measurements of the furniture Oberlin provides, so I couldn't really plan out a layout. I tried to find pictures of dorms, but the pictures were either of dorms I was certainly not living in (Asia House, freshman dorms, or the many language houses) or they were unfurnished.
So, now that Early Decision II results are in, I wanted to provide future Obies with a possible glimpse into your future in the event that you end up in North/Langston, and provide you prospies who aren't sure if Oberlin is The Right Place a chance to see inside a dorm. Maybe it'll help you make the decision that's best for you, which I hope means you'll come to Oberlin! Or maybe you'll get scared away by just how much superhero paraphernalia I have in my room and run for the hills. Either way.
Before I go further, I should let you know that my room was a complete sty up until this week. I have a possible transfer student coming to spend the night in my dorm on the 27th, so I had to clean my room sooner or later. I then thought of doing a blog post about my dorm, and then spent three hours rearranging things, cleaning things up, vacuuming, and generally making my room look super pretty. I've been good so far about keeping it clean, and I don't think I'll let it get so messy again.
So, let's begin!
The first thing I should mention is that Oberlin has a very special situation regarding dorms. Divided doubles abound here, which means that many of our rooms that hold two students have a dividing wall between the two sides of the room. I have the "inside room," or the one not directly connected to the hallway. When you walk into my room through the door on our dividing wall, this is the first thing you'll see:
My bed is against the wall opposite the door, and my desk is between my bed and the window. I usually keep my suitcase under my bed, but I've been lazy about unpacking since Winter Term ended. This is how the room was set up when I first moved in, and it gave me plenty of space. I was really okay with how the room was set up. I did modify the desk, but I'll get to that in a moment.
Here is a closeup of my desk:
I keep a large desk calendar under my laptop (which is really there just for show; I generally do laptop stuff on my bed), and my desk is the first place I go every morning because I keep my medication there. I have a clock, my Kindle, some stuffed animals for décor, two of my Magic: The Gathering EDH decks, and my lamp and fan. I have tons of writing utensils and other necessities in the drawers--flash cards, tacks, tape, important documents, all that stuff.
I keep my coat on the back of my desk chair so I remember to take my medication before I leave the dorm. Trust me, in Oberlin, you will never forget your coat. I used to use my chair as a bedside table, but that caused my room to feel really cramped, and I decided to stop doing that and instead put it at the desk where it belongs. Maybe I'll get a nightstand from the thrift store to replace it.
Opposite my desk is my dresser and mirror:
This used to be much messier. I had makeup everywhere. Now, all my makeup is in the top right drawer, and I finally set up my jewelry towers. Now I just have to wait until the weather is warm enough to actually put effort into wearing jewelry. In the red bag are all my fashion scarves, which I definitely don't need during winter. I keep my washcloths in the bag in the back, and my makeup removal wipes, Febreeze, and dry shampoo on the left side. I also keep my DS games on my vanity.
Here's the other side of my room:
As you can see, I am a huge nerd and have a metric ton of posters, as well as a Spider-Man comforter. Now, that bookshelf wasn't always there. In fact, that's actually the top part of my desk. To my knowledge, some of the Oberlin desks have the top shelves nailed on or otherwise permanently attached, but some don't. Mine didn't, and since I'm under five feet tall, I figured it would be more useful on the floor than on top of the desk, where I wouldn't be able to reach past the first shelf anyway.
A close-up of my bed, facing the desk:
I love my stuffed animals. They're presented very properly there, but I usually line them up between my bed and the wall to lessen the chance that I'll roll over and be surprised by the cold, hard slab of scary in the middle of the night.
Closeup of the first and second shelves of my bookcase:
You can't see the bottom, but I keep my snowboots, sneakers, shower caddy, detergent, and some other random stuff on the floor under the first shelf. I keep all my Magic cards, Loot Crates, and some old materials from high school on the first shelf, and the second shelf is dedicated mostly to my books for class, but also to my cups, bowl, and some tea and food.
Closeup of the top of my bookcase:
This is where I keep all my friendship bracelet materials (they're in that stack of plastic boxes and the orange shoebox), tissues, some board games, most of my tea and food (oatmeal, sugar, more oatmeal), and all my hair dye stuff that I just got and am very excited to try out.
And last but not least, a glimpse of my closet:
I keep tops (sweaters, jackets, sweatshirts) on the right, fancy clothes on the far left, warm weather tops and dresses on the left, and jeans in the middle (though I also use a spare drawer for jeans if I don't feel like hanging them up). I've managed, somehow, to keep my shoes fairly well-organized at the bottom.
So, that concludes the tour of my dorm room! I hope you enjoy, and I hope to see your dorms someday too!