So you’ve finally arrived at college, and everything is unpacked, your parents are out the door, and you’re free. Time to spread those little wings and bloom into a beautiful independent-contributing-to-society-citizen-butterfly. Feels good, right?
That’s because you’re drunk already. Welcome to the good life.
There’s just one problem: your jail cell eggshell white walls are bare. Devoid of self-expression. What’s to be done?
In college, posters are everything. Not only do they cover up those disgusting cinderblocks, they can also provide inspiration, foster creativity, and a conversation piece for when you bring home that drunk girl and need something to talk about for a few minutes so it doesn’t look like you just brought her back to hook up–even though you probably did, you sly bastard.
So posters are an important outlet for your individuality, to make your space truly your own. But while Barney teaches us that everyone is special in their own special way, there are some patterns that arise in dorm decor that are, well…annoying. There are some wall garnishes that show up over and over again, and can make you seem like everybody else. To kick off our living in dorms guide, here are the top ten posters that you should avoid, to make New College You stand out from the crowd:
10. James Dean Looking Scared and Alone
Everyone who’s trying to seem independent and cultured gets that poster of James Dean wearing an overcoat and dangling a cigarette out of his mouth, looking like a lost kitten who hasn’t slept in days. Girls and guys seem to use this one as an off-the-beaten-path choice for a rebellious man’s man, but because everyone uses it as an off-the-beaten-path choice, it therefore loses that “alternative” status. Girls like him because he has that moody outcast thing going on, plus, let’s be honest, he’s a pretty good-looking guy. Guys like to put him up in their rooms if they want to seem artsy with a little bit of a dark-side edge. Sounds solid, right?
Look, I know James Dean is that big symbol of rebellion that everyone thinks is so dangerous, but…have you seen Rebel Without a Cause? I have never seen a bigger overdramatic emo pussy than James Dean in that movie. Oh sure, he ends up with Natalie Wood and does all that car racing shit, but he spends like half the movie sobbing his eyes out because he’s so misunderstood and fights with his mom. Is that something you want gracing the walls of your humble abode?
Instead of Whiney McBlubberpussy, what about Steve McQueen? Steve McQueen is an absolutely unmitigated badass, without a doubt. While James Dean was a mopey little shit in the (3) movies he made, Steve McQueen did the following things: escaped from a Nazi prison camp multiple times, chased gangsters through the streets of San Francisco in a 1968 Mustang Fastback, broke into museums and stole art while having an affair with Faye Dunaway, and assembled a posse to save a town from a group of Mexican bandidos terrorizing the townspeople. Thus, he fulfills several of the man’s man requirements, which all self-respecting men dream of: fighting Nazis, having a crazy car chase, art heists, and most important of all, assembling a posse. To do anything. Posses are awesome, especially on horseback.
So there you have it: If you think James Dean is badass, go draw about your feelings in your dream journal. Don’t put him on your wall. If you do, Steve McQueen will come back from the dead and beat the shit out of you.
9. Dave Matthews Band
Look, I understand our school is Lax Bro Mecca, but you don’t need to rub it in. Also, Dave Matthews just sucks, no matter how you slice it.
8. The Philadelphia Phillies
Thank God I wasn’t here in 2008 when the Phightin’ Phils won the Series. Everyone at Syracuse is a damn Phillies fan. They overcompensate with enthusiasm to numb the crushing inferiority complex that comes with playing in the National League. It’s like being the tallest at the midget convention. Also, the fans of other teams don’t vomit on little girls. Don’t be one of these people.
7. Samuel L. Jackson and John Travolta in Pulp Fiction
I have to admit, I really have no issue with this poster. Pulp Fiction is an awesome movie, and the hitmen are two of my favorite characters. Plus it’s a great picture.
Unfortunately, the big drawback to this one is that EVERYONE has it. I mean everyone. Quentin Tarantino could probably buy a huge yacht and an individual private island in which to moor it from the proceeds of these posters. But like I said, it sells really well for a reason. Cool guys, cool movie.
So if you’re in search of something with that kind of buddies-with-guns motif, go back a few years to the original buddy movie, and get yourself a poster of the last scene from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. It has all the right ingredients: Redford. Newman. Bank Robbers. Guns. All frozen in immortality. A great alternative to Pulp Fiction.
6. The BFFL Collage
You had that perfect group of girlfriends in high school. You told each other everything. You shared laughter, tears, and held each other’s hair back while you threw up on graduation night. You had a Miranda, a Samantha, and a Carrie. To memorialize your little Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, you have the collage with pictures of all the good times, with words and phrases like “Dance,” “Love Life,” “Laughter,” and “Shoes” splattered around them like confetti. You swore when you left that you would be “friends 4evaaaa.”
Quick heads up: that’s not going to happen. Get ready for some big awkward silences over Thanksgiving break, as you slowly realize that you have nothing to talk about anymore, that you’ve all moved on. Nip this one in the bud. Keep your former friends off your walls.
Stay tuned this week for part II of the Living in Dorms Guide, as we count down to the #1 Most Annoyingly Over-Used College Poster in the History of the Universe.