What does your bedroom wall say about who you are?

Back in March, when schools across the country closed and we transitioned to online classes, I started to notice a common thread between my classmates. With our class divided into little squares on Zoom, I could see that my fellow students' bedroom walls were covered from top to bottom with decorations. My own background contained posters depicting my favorite actors, musicians and even buildings from my hometown.

Learning from home seemed to remove us from the social constructs of our school's halls, and we transitioned from expressing ourselves through our clothing to expressing ourselves through our rooms.

It was fascinating to see the essence of my classmates, some of whom I'd known since kindergarten, displayed all over their walls. These Zoom sessions offered a glimpse at my classmates in their natural habitat and at their most vulnerable. As summer classes began, I asked myself and a few other teens, "What does your bedroom wall say about you?" and "Does it even matter?"

Taylor loves dressing up in clothes that give off a "Mamma Mia vibe," but since quarantine started she's been wearing comfortable sweats and yoga pants. Taylor describes her style as "cute, rustic, thrifted, bright colors. Whatever makes me happy." Her love of bright colors translates to her room, which is painted hot pink and teal.

After her school closed, she started taking Zoom calls while seated on her bed. "My bed is comfy, but it does show that I'm a picture person," Taylor says. "The wall that I sit in front of has all my favorite pictures. I'm a scrapbooker, and I love taking pictures...I like to capture moments." The rest of her room is full of posters for her favorite Broadway musicals, DIY art and pictures with friends.

"Over the years I've started to take stuff down, but I've kept things that I've made or something like that," she says. "I've tried to organize it but keep the childish spirit of my room intact."

For Presley, a competitive gymnast, homeschooling was nothing new. "I did Zoom meetings once a month to check in with my resource teacher just to check in and turn in my work," she explains. "I sat on my bed in my pajamas—that's my study space."

She redecorated her room with a  minimalist bohemian vibe in mind, that perfectly reflects her "tomboy, '90s, chill" personal style. She likes to keep her room simple, "I don't like a lot of things on my wall; It kind of freaks me out a little bit," she adds. "There are a lot of plants, peach, and blue colors, it's very beachy." 

Presley says her favorite part of her room is her record collection. "I love turning it on and just vibing in my room. I think people find out a lot about me through my music."

Demi channels her "quirky" sense of style into her room by decorating with letters from her pen-pals and her art collection, but she usually takes her Zoom classes in her upstairs guest room. She prefers having a separate space for studying that's free from the distractions of her room.

"I'll usually go into the guest room on my third floor, which has blank walls," she says. She feels that the antique furniture from her grandmother's house helps her stay in an academic mindset. "It's a space to think clearly, and it feels like a professional space, and my room is more of a creative space."

Teens want to work in a place that makes them feel good. For some, it's their poster-filled bedrooms. For others, it's their kitchen table or their parent's desk. While you might want to show the world your room decor, the best place to take classes is a quiet space where you can sit comfortably and focus on your lessons, wherever that might be.

What does your study-from-home space look like? Show us on Insta @girlslifemag!

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by Elise G. Esquibel | 8/22/2020