Words on my walls
Most students decorate their bedroom walls with posters. They customize their turf with their favourite movies and TV characters. They personalize their area with photos, Christmas lights, speakers, jerseys, colourful bedspreads, empty 26 bottles, hats, maps, calendars, lava lamps, record collections, instruments and even glow in the dark stars for fuck’s sake. Why? Not only to have a “sweet set up” — whatever the hell that means -— but to give visitors and themselves a window into their personality.
Artifacts that surround a student’s bedroom have become concrete representations of individualism.
They inspire an understanding of the inhabitant. They’re reminders of uniqueness.
My walls, besides a mainstream Steve Jobs poster quote and the eight rules of Fight Club, are dominated by a different collection of display: my articles.
Every piece I’ve ever written and published has been cut out and pinned around my bedroom. Why? Not to exclusively demonstrate pride in my work, nor to convey some hyped level of underlying work ethic, but because there’s no greater indication of who I am than those cut out words.
There’s a lot there.
Ideas for societal improvement. Political irritation. Critiquing the system of academics. Frustration from an argument. Thoughts on entering an unexplored territory. Excitement over a stomach-churning experience. Testing social boundaries. Responding to a hate crime. Thanking my father. Grieving the loss of a friend. Happiness. Sadness. Inspiration.
These articles say more about who I am than any poster ever will.
Whatever’s been prevalent in my life over the last couple years of university has been written and published, pinned to my walls’ growing collection — my expanding web of columns and newspaper visuals creating a portal into my past and a looking glass for my future.
These printed articles are a roadmap to my life.
Writing encapsulates pain and suffering. But it’s also an escape, a plane out of reality that flies high enough to oversee whatever’s happening down below.
Sometimes it takes cranking out an article for an opinion to truly surface, and sometimes it takes a surfaced opinion for true individualism to unfold.
As my last printed article as editor of the opinion section, I felt the need to express just how liberating this section has been for me.
Doing more than giving me a voice and encouraging subjective outlooks, this section has allowed me to grow as a writer and challenge the thoughts that could be brought to a page.
No matter the struggles that have consumed me this year, my keyboard has always been my oasis, my safe haven, my launching pad into far-off realms that can be slapped onto my wall like a bunch of pretty post cards.
As an aspiring novelist, writing is everything to me. And these pinned articles represent what ‘everything’ actually is.
As students struggling to stay on our own two feet, our hope is not only that we are deemed unique, but that we are understood.
We walk this planet hoping to differentiate ourselves from thousands of others, to know ourselves and be known by those who matter to us, yet we often find ourselves lost within the contradictory ideals of conformation.
We want to be different, yet not all of us are willing to do what constitutes as different. Not all of us are willing to speak our mind or do what makes us happy.
I don’t have any all-mighty advice for uncovering your roadmap.
For me it was writing words, for someone else it could’ve been writing codes.
Our ideas and aspirations are projected into our passions. And nothing will tell you more about yourself than the finished product of your dedication.
So if you want to get to know me, you can find me in the archives of The Cord.