Or, “How to Keep Your Disney Obsession without Frightening Your Roommate”
by Blake Taylor
It’s college acceptance time!! Across the country, high school seniors are anxiously checking mailboxes for those letters… For those who are Disney fans, the prospect of moving into a dorm may mean thoughts of leaving childhood Disney bedroom decorations behind. But that’s not the case!
To say the least, living at college is very different from living at home. Being on your own schedule, managing your time, choosing for yourself what to eat at every meal… and, of course, dorm life. All freshmen at my school are required to live in an on-campus dorm during their first year, and it’s arguably the biggest transition from high school to college. I consider myself an introvert and wasn’t particularly crazy about living in the same room as someone else, much less sharing the same bathroom with 30 other people. However, that’s not to say that just because you live in a dorm your life has to be miserable. If you maximize your space and get a little creative, there are countless ways to add your own personality to your room while still maintaining roommate boundaries, and as a Disney fan you won’t have to look very hard for ideas.
You walk into my room at home, and you are immediately surrounded by Disney. Of course, I knew I couldn’t just haul everything to school. For my dorm, I brought enough things to make me feel at home, but not so much that it feels overboard (as in, not enough that my roommate tells his friends that he feels like he lives in the Disney Archives …or at least, I hope not).
The room is distinctly divided between the two people, and I try to keep all my things on my side. Being a basic dorm, this means there isn’t a ton of space, but there’s certainly enough to work with. My desk has a couple of pictures, a one-a-day Disney calendar, a plaque with a Walt Disney quote on it, and a few Vinylmations and action figures—again, enough to make my desk an inviting workspace but not berzerk with stuff. Hanging above my desk is a poster for the recent Muppet movie.
My bed at home has Mickey Mouse sheets, but I thought that would be too much for the dorm. Instead I have plain blue sheets… but I did bring along my Toy Story pillow and Sherriff Woody (both of which were brought by Santa when I was three). Hanging on the wall near my bed is a California Adventure postcard, an Epcot Guidemap, and a Disney wall calendar. (I finally had to use duct tape with that last one… we’re not allowed to use thumb tacks or nails, and poster puddy would not work on that thing!)
Not only do these make me feel at home in my room, but they also never fail to be a great conversation starter. My whole family is into Disney, so being away from home has opened my eyes to what is and isn’t common knowledge to those who aren’t enveloped by Disney 24/7 like the majority of you reading this are. For example, my roommate noticed that my one-a-day Disney calendar said Pinocchio was released in 1940, and said he didn’t realize that Disney animation had been around for so long. Another person saw my Muppet poster and said he didn’t know that Jason Segel was in the film, and I was then able to share that not only was Jason Segel the lead role, he was also the primary force behind the film even existing in the first place. The difference between Disney and Pixar is another concept I’ve had to explain on several occasions (that one is actually tough to put in words!). Others have said they had a Sherriff Woody when they were little or commented on their own Disney memories that the things around the room reminded them of.
If you’re a Disney fan, you probably love watching Disney movies. I brought a lot of my favorites with me to school, but have to rotate some of them out each time I go home so that my family doesn’t complain that I’m watching all the good stuff. I usually watch them on my laptop with headphones to avoid having extra noise in the room out of courtesy for my roommate (that, and my family would kill me if I left them with no DVD player!).
There may not be a ton of space in a college dorm room, but that doesn’t mean there’s no room for Disney in it. Grab some of your favorite movies and souvenirs from the Parks, and you’re all set.
Blake is a college student focusing on Creative Writing and Media Studies. He enjoys making his family of six watch the parade on Main Street and then sprint to Frontierland in time to see it again. You can follow Blake’s random Disney ramblings on Twitter at @blakeonline, or at BlakeOnline.com.