Surviving a small dorm room

Matt Sussman and Matt Sussman

By now your mom is crying over you in college. They all cry.

They are driving back home and they already miss you. On one hand, their little baby is all grown up and on his or her own. On the other hand, your mother can finally have that sewing room she’s always wanted.

Mother is terrified that you and your roommate won’t be able to live in that tiny dorm room. After all, even Guantanamo Bay prisoners are able to stretch their arms back without clanking them on the loft.

None of this is a concern to you yet. You have “your own room, sweet!” You might even say it’s a “tight crib.” Referring to it as a crib isn’t such a bad idea in this case–your two month old nephew has a crib of comparable size.

In a week, the allure of “your own room, sweet!” will begin to fade. The existence of floor space will soon be an urban myth. There’s no place to put those construction cones you stole from Wooster Street. (Theft of construction cones is not officially endorsed by the BG News or any of its contributing staff.)

Eventually, the few square feet in which you and your roommate coexist will not seem like enough elbow room. You may end up releasing your frustsration by murdering your roommate in the still of the night. (The BG News does not endorse murder–be it strangulation or tickle torture. They also do not endorse the blaring of Whitesnake’s “Still of the Night.”)

Thankfully, like Gloria Gaynor, you will survive. Even if you don’t know how to love, I know you’ll stay alive. You’ve got all year to live in a small enclosed space, but I don’t think you’ll crumble, I don’t think you’ll lay down and die. You will survive. (Hey, hey.)

There are countless space-saving techniques. Stack your empty pop cans on top of each other and tape them together to not only preserve desk space but give your room that “totemy” feel.

For those living in Harshman or Kreischer, take the doors off your bathroom cabinet and place them in your closet. Promptly fill your closet with 37 pairs of shoes (for girls) or random athletic equipment you will never use (for guys).

Try losing some weight, lardo. That’ll save space.

When you’re done chewing gum, don’t throw it away. That takes up space in your garbage. Instead, throw it upwards and don’t worry about until May when you have to scrape it off using a high-powered scraping device.

The food courts have those styrofoam to-go boxes. Don’t ever bring them back to “your own room, sweet!” They take up space, and as we have already discussed, we are trying to save space.

If you can make “your own room, sweet!” look awesome, it might make you forget about its size. Go to The Shed and buy something really kitschy, such as a glow-in-the-dark spider web. Hang it in the corner, and hopefully in two months you won’t be sorry you bought it.

Make your roommate extremely ill. Slip some West Nile into his morning Pepsi. He’ll go home for about a month, and the place will be yours–all yours! (evil laugh)

You may think you can save space by not bringing a computer, but you will need one–if only to talk on IM. If you don’t stay on IM all day and all night, well, you’re just not cool.

You don’t, however, need to bring a printer. What do you think you’re gonna need it to print out homework or something? Ha! The University emptied the pockets of your parents (another reason they are crying), so swindle the University out of their paper supply by printing off your homework in the residential computer labs. Print off your five-page papers. Print off 157-page novels you need to read that professors coyly put on Blackboard for you to read. Print off semi-nude pictures of Lindsay Lohan and Anna Kournikova, and paste them in your room. This will also save you space, because it will keep actual girls out of your room.

This column will end with thoughts of Lindsay Lohan and Anna Kournikova. That way, the guys will associate hot bods with space-saving techniques. (And for the ladies, I have six words for you: Johnny Depp, Matt Damon, plastic crates.) That way, when Mommy calls, tell her there’s no need to cry until the grades are released.