Keeping With The Current
Posters Can Pose Quite A Challenge
Published: Wednesday, September 5, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 18:01
To kick off the new year, I wanted to discuss the most crucial and time consuming facet of the dorm decoration process—poster selection.
My three plus years have taught me that nothing in the college world produces a bigger internal dialogue, divides more roommates, or has bigger social implications than what we pin up on the drywall in our bedroom and common areas. It’s for these reasons that so many of us have meticulously searched through the temporary stands around campus and poster websites online in search of the poster/banner/flag that most adequately expresses us.
A few of you might think I’m exaggerating the significance of dorm room poster selection. I’m sure there are some out there that don’t think twice about it—those who throw up a headshot above their bed simply because Audrey Hepburn looks so classy with that two foot cigarette holder or pin a movie poster in the common room because they love the scene when Russell Crowe split that chariot rider in half. But for those rash poster posters, take a moment to consider what the graphics on your dorm wall say to the world.
Still don’t see the significance? Think about every time you walk into a new dorm, perhaps going there to meet a friend of a friend in a Gonzaga forced triple, or you weasel your way into a classy soiree at a Gabelli townhouse. Just like any animal in an unknown landscape, you assess your surroundings to get a better understanding of the place and the people who live there. Nothing provides an outsider more definitive info than wall decorations.
A Mod that, for instance, has a poster with a pyramid of red cups sub headed with the poetic, ironic phrase “Get Your Balls Wet” is going to throw a much different party than a mod with a mural of two toddlers kissing in front of the Eiffel Tower. And the eight-man with a headshot of Thom Yorke is going to provide a much different atmosphere than the nine-man with the Tom Brady Fathead in the bathroom.
Okay, I know, of course, that I may be jumping to conclusions and assigning crude stereotypes to a relatively insignificant facet of college life, but what’s on your wall in your dorm is no different than, say, what’s on your wall (or, I guess now, “timeline”) on your Facebook. It’s a way to show the world what you are interested in, or, more superficially, what you want the world to think you are interested in.
But before I get into a more expansive argument about social projection identity, things should be put into perspective. It is still just a cheap piece of shiny paper. It’s not the end-all be-all if you choose to hang Lil Wayne over Drake, and you shouldn’t tear down a poster of your favorite Pulp Fiction scene just because it’s in another couple dorms. Just take a few seconds to think about what you’re saying to other people.
I know for my roommates and me (and I’m sure this is the case for others), it has taken a long time to agree upon what we want on our walls. Currently we only have Dean of Partyology Spuds Mackenzie, the canine Bud Light sponsor for decades past, hanging on our wall. It shows to the outside world a message that we all agreed upon—that we are a dog loving, fun-time having Mod that indulges in adult beverages from time to time.
So the message that I’m trying to convey is quite simple—hang up what you want to hang up. If you love Nicki Minaj but aren’t the intended audience demographic, who cares—hang up the cover art from Pink Friday. If you are still obsessed with Pokemon, throw up a Charizard banner above your bed. Boston College is a surprisingly diverse school when it comes to personalities, so hang up, and for that matter, wear, eat, sing, and watch what you want. You’ll still find friends whether you have a poster of 2 Chainz or Three Dog Night.