I'm Not A Stalker, But...

I love looking into other people’s dorm rooms. Since our doors at the Air Force Academy are open for the entire morning to be inspected, it makes it really easy when I’m walking to and from class to peak in and see some cool stuff. And since almost all of our rooms look the same, have the same layout (lucky juniors and seniors can move their furniture around however they want and I plan on creating a fort when that day comes for me), it’s really cool to see how people personalize their rooms.

Whenever I’m watching a movie, I love seeing how someone’s room is done. Our bedrooms define us in this weird way. We’re given this blank space and basically can do whatever we want with it. It says a lot about who you are. Are you messy or neat? Outgoing or shy? What are your interests? What do you do with your life? It’s like a commercial on TV—you get a quick preview of what’s going on. You literally make that room into your personality.

Maybe it’s because our rooms here are so alike that the little individual decorations really stand out. When decorating one senior’s room close to graduation (a tradition at the Academy), we bought him a large stuffed horse to go along with a cowboy theme. We told him he didn’t have to keep it, but I see it sitting on his bed every morning when I walk to class. A biology major across the alcove from me has little stuffed plushy germs, both the cutest and weirdest thing I’ve ever seen. One person has an entire arsenal of Nerf guns on his desk, ready for ambush. One senior has filled her shelves with stuffed animals, while the girl next door has a board covered in patches from parachuting and all the places she’s been. One junior has what he calls his “leadership library,” chock full of books to help us become better people.

My room is where I go to relax and just generally be me. So I guess my room is an extension of me. It’s like how when you stay in a hotel, everything is kind of weird because you set up a pattern. I know where everything is, I have my system, etc. Going into other people’s rooms is always a little weird. Because what’s different for me is totally normal for them. When I would go over other kid’s houses for playdates, I was always astounded by how differently people lived from my family. I would try to imagine what it’d be like living there. Sure, I was a weird kid, so probably most people didn’t do this. But I always wanted to know how other people did things. Maybe it’s the engineer/nerd in me: I like figuring out how things work. It’s like when you’re driving through a city at night and you can see into other people’s houses. It’s cool seeing what other people have or don’t have. Between me and my roommate, we have seven different types of cleaning supplies, more than we’ll ever need, but other people only have one box of Clorox wipes and they’re good to go. Cleaning supplies might be a strnge example but you get what I'm saying. The long-winded point I’m slowly getting to is that everyone is different in a neat way, and seeing their rooms is like getting a glimpse of who they really are.

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