Dorm tour, Kat Lee

I'm so excited to share today's guest post by Kat! I know that this will be such a treat for those of you reading from the Bryn Mawr community because Kat is basically a campus celebrity; she's [probably] Bryn Mawr College's official Instagram's most regrammed account (I haven't counted, but I'm 95% confident with this statement). For Instagram enthusiasts at Bryn Mawr College, having your photo regrammed by the college's official Instagram is pretty much the greatest accomplishment ever. I've had the honor of appearing on their feed thrice (here, here, here, and yes, I am keeping track).

A few of you have asked me to make a post giving you a tour of my dorm room. Contrary to what my Pinterest might lead you to believe, I do not have a knack for interior decorating. Last year I left my half of the dorm room virtually empty and mooched off my roomie's crafting skills, but this year I'm determined to personalize my room and add some homely touches. I had planned to get it all done over fall break, but it seems that I am forever running behind schedule. So today I've invited Kat to share her [Pinterest/Instagram/Tumblr-worthy] space to give you an idea of a Bryn Mawr College dorm.


I, on a semi-regular basis, tell Audrey how much I love her blog. Probably like every other time I see her. And this has been since first semester of freshmen year when we had our writing seminar together (#tbt). So, when she asked me to guest-write a post on her blog, I immediately said yes. Not remembering that because I am a computer science major, I have not written a creative piece, pretty much since that first semester.

I’m kind of a hoarder, but I’m also kind of a minimalist. Those are two polar opposites. What’s maybe more accurate is that I collect things, but I aspire to be a minimalist. Last year, I lived with two roommates, spread amongst three rooms. We didn’t get along, but we coexisted, semi-peacefully. (There was a lot of passive aggressiveness). My room, because my roommates were so often walking through it and because many of my friends congregated there, never really felt like my space.

A lot happened to me between my freshman and sophomore year, some good things and some bad things. I grew up a lot. I became more nostalgic. I thought a lot about where I would go from here, ‘what’s next?’ became a permanent facet in my brain. And I tried to reflect these things in my new space. (“New” because it’s a new building and also because I live in a single, *whoop whoop*).

My desk is the hub of my room. And because I spend approximately 85% of the time in my room there, it is a mess 100% percent of the time. However, other than books and binders and loose papers, which I could probably find a better place for, the most prominent feature is all of the toys. I have too many desk toys, or well desk things. Presents from last year's May Day, rubber ducks from work, a Totoro that my mom sent me for Valentine’s day last year, dried lavender because I will forget to water pretty much any plant no matter how droopy they start to look. I seem to accumulate things to put on my desk. They are my past, gifts from friends and family, mementos of events and travels, birthdays and spur of the moment purchases. They’re the little things that carry stories. They are the past. Eventually some of them will get thrown away, and others will just get lost in moves from place to place, but the memories will stay. And that’s kind of the important thing.

Above my desk sits a gallery wall. This wall is more centered around self-care. It features some of my favorite things, including comedy quotes, musical lyrics, fashion prints, covers from the New Yorker, as well as ‘What I Wish I’d Known’ by Nora Ephraim (which, if you’re at a transitional point in your life, or really at any point in your life, just read it, it’s super relevant). Though some of the prints are nostalgic, like the ones from the New Yorker, depicting my favorite city and home--New York City--and were bought outside my favorite place in the whole world--the Metropolitan Museum of Art--they are mostly reminders that sometimes I just have to take care of me. These are my present. College is stressful, and it’s hard, and sometimes it sucks. And you always think everyone else has all of their sh*t together (sorry Audrey, am I allowed to swear here?), but they don’t. Sometimes it’s nice to remind yourself of the things that you love, things unrelated to whatever you’re studying, and that just make you happy.

Above my bed is my ‘Instagram’ wall. If you know me, you know that Instagram is pretty much the only social media platform that I live on regularly. (A lot of my friends seem to think my life revolves around Instagram, though to be honest, it might). This is my wall of favorite places, and also, of the places I hope to go. It features everywhere from Paris to Bali to Greece, back to Bryn Mawr and suburban New Jersey. It reminds me of Dr. Seuss’s Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go.

This is my future. Bryn Mawr is a beginning. And from here, who knows what’s going to happen? Right before fall break, my dean asked me, “What are your plans for after Bryn Mawr?” I mumbled and stuttered the usual things about school and research and industry, but really, who knows? When we bid our goodbyes, in just over two and a half years (WHAT), I may still not know. But, what I know now, is that this is just a beginning to whatever is next.

If there is one thing I miss, living in a new building, it’s the history of the buildings at Bryn Mawr. In many of the older rooms, little plaques hang in between the windows. These plaques have the names and years of women who came before. My freshman hall advisor lived in my freshman dorm her freshman year, and the current hall advisor for that hall lived there her freshman year as well (perhaps, I will be the hall advisor for that hall my senior year, though with my zero inclination toward being an HA, probably not). Bryn Mawr often feels magical because of its history. The buildings are old. They’re ghosted with women past, strong, empowered women, who studied long before it was socially acceptable and who went on to become powerful figures in, not just in our Bryn Mawr history, but in our history as women. And I feel extremely lucky to get to pave my own history in the same halls as these thousands of women before me.

Keep up with Kat @whatkatsby!

PS: so college

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