Maintaining Your Tuftsanity: Just add color

It all started with window markers.

I tossed them into my suitcase for school along with some other random items such as animal ear headbands and rollerblades, because you never know exactly what you’ll need here at Tufts. Forget lined paper, extra batteries or tissues; logical necessities like those can just as easily be “borrowed” from friends (I kid, but only partially). My mother thought I was absolutely insane as she watched me stuff these nonessentials into my already overflowing pack, but as it turns out, they were (debatably) the best things I brought to school this year.

You may be wondering why on earth a sophomore in college needed to bring window markers. The real question is, why not? Tufts’ dorms are covered in walls that only ever get decorated with flyers for various clubs and events on campus. Though I’ll admit that some of the more recently renovated dorms have been painted with actual colors (imagine that, dorm walls that aren’t white!), they’re difficult to find. Knowing this, my suite in Wren Hall made it our ultimate goal to decorate every surface possible because as we lock ourselves away to hit the books (aka sit on couches with our books and computers ready, only to distract ourselves until we’re exhausted and decide to just go to bed) we need some color to spice up the claustrophobia-inducing painted brick walls.

So when I whipped out some window markers from my suitcase, our window art began. Currently, our common room windows showcase drawings of a bug-eyed unicorn, a rainbow, Larry the Lobster and some quotes from The Shining that should probably be erased so as to not completely terrify passersby. Alongside the confusing subject matter drawn on the window hangs a multitude of colorful flags, posters of everyone from Kramer to The Beach Boys and a cardboard cutout of Poe from Star Wars.

I won’t go into the explanation behind this seemingly random combination of decorations because honestly, I’m not sure there is one. The real point is, the many hours we spend sitting in that common room trying desperately not to have a full-blown panic attack over the five days’ worth of homework we need to finish in one night are lightened by the colorful walls, smiling faces and overall ambience of the room. Freshman year taught me that sitting by myself while staring at intimidating bookshelves in Tisch or the dull brown color of the dorm room desks is a fantastic way to lose my mind and my sociability all at once, and thus these window markers saved me.

Granted, finding the time to cover a window with drawings and go poster hunting is a challenging task unless you’re an avid procrastinator like me, so take this advice as you may. Go find your version of my window markers and jazz up your study space’s color spectrum. It might just help you be your most productive self yet.