Tell us about your favorite spot in your home. Why is it your favorite spot?

My room at college truly became a “home away from home” in the first semester of my junior year. I roomed with my best friend in a cozy corner room on the main floor of the oldest dorm on campus. The dark carpet contributed to the warmth of the space, while the large windows let in enough sunshine to brighten up the whole room. Tucked away at the end of the hall, our room wasn’t noisy from the daily traffic through the halls. I loved this room: not only because I shared it with my best friend, but because it holds so many of my favorite memories of junior year.

Is there a particular story about how this spot came to be arranged/decorated the way it is?

I arrived on campus before my roommate, so I was the first to start setting up our little home. The first thing I did was adjust the layout so that the beds, desks, and dressers no longer looked like a cookie-cutter dorm room. Up went the string lights and the photos, and pretty soon the room felt unique and inviting. When my roommate arrived and settled her things in, the space became a unified room. Not that we had matching bedspreads (or matching anything, for that matter!). But what we did have suited our personal taste and blended well into a homey environment. Her hand-painted quotes adorned one wall, and my photos of our friend group decorated another; her rug gave the floor some color, and my bedspread added a splash of mint green. Every time each of us walked in, we felt secure, at home, and at peace with our surroundings.

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Have there been particularly inspiring or moving moments in this corner of your home? Or, is there a particular feeling you get when you are in this space in your house?

Throughout the semester, our room became my secure refuge and home base. We called it “Patty’s Place,” after the charming cottage described in Anne of the Island, where Anne Shirley resided with Miss Patty and Miss Maria while studying at Redmond. In my first two years at school, I was never thrilled to return to my dorm room after school breaks, and I sometimes didn't even want to be in my room in my spare time. But in the first half of my junior year, I loved my room, and I never grew tired of it. It brought a smile to my face to come back after a long day to a room glowing with string lights and to know that I could chat with my best friend long into the night. Our room also became the meeting place for our girls’ small group, and every time we all met, the girls commented on how cozy and inviting the space was. 

But most memorable to me about our “Patty’s Place” are the many nights in which my roommate and I watched Downton Abbey. We would come back to our room, work on some homework together, and then reward ourselves with chocolate, or popcorn (or both!), and an episode of our favorite BBC show. Though we devoured enough episodes to get us through the first four seasons in one semester, watching the show never got old or tiresome. And what was most comforting to me was that our watching it by ourselves in our room resulted from a security, not an insecurity. I no longer had the dreaded FOMO that plagued me during my freshman and sophomore years, making me run around like crazy trying to soak up every event with my friends. Instead, I was content to be in my room with my best friend, watching our favorite show. I was secure enough in my friendships to know that my friends would not disappear if I stayed in my room every so often. 

I don’t intend to keep this nightly dose of Downton habit up in my forthcoming senior year; I intend to spend my last year in college being as active as I can on campus. Nevertheless, spending the first half of my junior year this way helped me to be comfortable with myself and my friendships and not run myself ragged trying to be at every single event. It helped me to be at peace with where I was, savoring the little moments with my best friend. Our “Patty’s Place” gave me some of my favorite memories from college thus far, memories I know I will cherish always.