Street » In Defense of
For freshmen, it’s the dreaded unknown. For upperclassmen, it’s the all-too-well-known fear of the worst fate a bad draw time can bring you. For a few newly minted Tigers, the TigerApps room guide offers a tantalizing — and sometimes heartbreakingly revealing — glimpse into the reality of the next nine months. Others remain blissfully ignorant of their fates until they cross the thresholds of their rooms, when the horrifying realization dawns.
I speak, of course, of room square footage. More specifically, I speak of the question it raises for those who don’t have enough of it: So, um, who’s gonna take top bunk? A few marginally lucky people — they weren’t lucky enough to get bunk-free rooms — are blessed with roommates who think top bunks are just grand. “I LOVE top bunks,” their roommates say. “They make me feel like a pirate on a tiny twin-XL ship.”
The rest of us, however, are stuck staring at a ceiling a foot away from our faces — or dreading the moment when the tables turn next semester — wondering what we could have done to alter the trajectory that landed us in this unfortunate spot. Should we have broken into the building a week in advance to camp out in front of the rooms we didn’t yet have access to? Bribed Housing? Gone to a different school?
It’s pretty grim.
But, hey, chin up! The bunk-bed life is not as terrible as it might have seemed at first. If you hadn’t already arrived at that conclusion by yourself, get ready to be enlightened.
For one, leaving your beds bunked instead of trying to force a de-bunk makes space for “so many activities,” as Brennan Huff once said. And if, like Brennan and his stepbrother’s experiment, things end badly with your bunked beds — if the average student can take apart bunked beds, what’s stopping gravity? — well, you’re on top.
Also, top bunks keep you from becoming a ghost of a human when stress levels get too high. When you’re finally about to climb into bed after staying up until 4 a.m., and you’re starting to feel like a ghost made of pale shivery ectoplasm because you’re so, so tired and it’s so dark and deathly quiet outside, you have the groove of the wooden rungs of the ladder beneath your feet, the groan of the bed springs as you fall onto your mattress … and then the sound your body makes when the flimsy partition gives way and you hit the cold, hard ground. It reassures you that you have heft and substance and that you are warmly, solidly alive.
If you’re into Morse code, you have access to channels of discreet communication with not one or two but three of your neighbors, depending on how your room is situated. Too shy to actually talk to that cute guy or girl who lives on the floor above you? Thanks to your top bunk, you can instead tap out “…. . -.– / ..- .-. / …. — -” on your ceiling to tell him/her how you feel. (Just try not to send your message when the object of your affection is probably asleep. Or with someone else.)
And it would be gross neglect not to mention the advantage top-bunkers have if/when they decide to wage war against their roommates. The place to be during battles back in the day was at the top of a hill; from there you could see everything and pick off anybody who was trying to charge up to attack you. The top bunk is the dorm-room equivalent of a hill. If your bed is tucked up against two walls, only two sides of your bed are vulnerable, since you’re protected from most aerial offensives by your elevated position. Your roommate, on the other hand, will have to be vigilant to attack from any angle. The walls that protect you won’t protect him because you can use them to slide down a variety of unpleasant surprises. (Also, remember what we talked about: You’re on top if the whole structure “suddenly” collapses.)
We could think of more reasons that having a top bunk is awesome, but we’re sure you’re more than convinced by now. Who knows? Come second semester, maybe you’ll love it so much that you’ll want to keep your top bunk instead of relinquishing it to your roommate. (Current bottom-bunkers, we’d advise you to leave this article lying around somewhere your top-bunk roommate can find it.)