Saturday, July 25, 2009

Life is not fair...

I tell ya, kids have it so easy these days. And I'm not talking about all the hand held video games and portable DVD players. I'll admit, that DVD player makes life easier for me as well as Madeline. I think that's a great invention.

No, I'm talking about college kids. The amount of stuff available to them boggles my mind.

When I went off to college (let's just say more than 10 years ago, but less than 20), my options were limited.

My first year, I lived in a dorm. I was one of the lucky ones in my dorm. I had what was called a Plex Room. We had three bedrooms, a small living room, and a private bathroom. What sold me on the room was the private bathroom. In the dorm (which was the only one on campus at that time), the communal bathrooms had open locker-room style showers. Absolutely no privacy. For a girl who rarely even wears tanks tops, the thought of being nekkid with everyone else every morning was enough to bring a halt to my college career.

We had two girls in each bedroom. The six of us got along pretty well, in fact, three of them are now Facebook friends (yes, I graduated college before Facebook). We were the only six girls on the first three floors of the dorm (there are only four floors total). So, we pretty much had to stick together.

Preparing for that first year of college was difficult for me. Not emotionally or mentally. I was ready to leave the nest and be on my own. I went to a school 500 miles away where not a single person I went to high school with was going. No, for me, it was difficult to find the basics to live comfortably away from home for the first time.

Like most dorms, our beds were Twin Extra Long. Which meant that your normal twin sheets, didn't fit on the bed. I had to order my sheets from the JC Penney catalog and there were no trendy colors available. I think I had beige and pastel blue.

There were no compact, modular storage systems. I had to use milk crates stacked on their sides because I couldn't fit any additional shelving in my room. There were no little handy shower caddies (although I didn't really need one).

There were no replica posters of the Beatles or Jimi Hendrix available at Target. In fact, there was no "dorm line" available at Target or Bed Bath and Beyond or Wal-Mart. We had to make do with normal products available for any home.

And we actually had to get creative to decorate our space. We didn't buy a hot pink plastic beaded curtain at Wal-Mart. No, we actually went to a bead store and found a hand-made curtain. We didn't have mass-produced, pre-framed art from Target. We found pictures from magazines, catalogs, old calendars that actually showed our individual personalities and interests. We somehow ended up with a gift of a single, discarded hub cap, which we then painted to look like a globe. We all had artwork from home that represented a place we had visited or a special person in our life.

Now, granted I haven't visited a dorm room since I lived in one, but judging from the increased availability of mass-produced, trendy items with brand names like College '09 or Dorm '09, kids these days do not have to work to piece together a comfortable and functional living space. And that makes me long for the days of Kurt Cobain.


  1. Every time I go to Target, I TOTALLY want to buy all that dorm stuff, and use it to decorate my house. I'm just that cheap and lame!

  2. I worked in a graphic design shop one summer and I painstakingly sacnned in about 100 pictures, cd covers and, album covers (vinyl!). I put them all together in a poster that became a game; if anyone could guess all the artists in the poster I would buy them a CASE of beer and you know what I never bought a single case of beer!