Personal Bubbles in the Orange Bubble: Princeton Students and Their Dorm Rooms (Part 3)

By Lisa Gong

An ongoing photo project exploring how Princeton students cultivate their own little private pieces of campus.

Read Part 1. | Read Part 2. | Read Part 4.



Hometown: Paris, France

Major: English

Certificates: Creative Writing

Activities: Nassau Weekly, Outdoor Action Leader, Equestrian Team

Dorm: Whitman College – Baker Hall

Dorm Inspiration: It’s a collection of the little parts of home that I miss. There are a lot of communities that I call home, and it’s important to me to have the people and places I love present in my life here.

Elicits Strongest Memories: The white tapestry on the wall. It’s from Jaipur in Rajasthan. I like it because of the little elephants. I got it on my gap year in India and it brings back a lot of memories.

Brings Most Joy: The paintings of the trees – my sister is an artist and gave one to me before I left for college, and one when I turned 18.

No Longer Like: The pictures, because they’re peeling off the wall…

Dorm Style: Haha I kind of think of it as a forest – maybe because it’s usually a mess.



Hometown: B: Hobgood, NC // D: Princeton Junction, NJ

Major: B: Aesthetics (Independent Concentration) // D: History

Certificates: B: Urban Studies // D: South Asian Studies

Activities: B: reading, writing, running // D: St. Danger (student band), 2D Co-op

Dorm: 1901 Hall

Dorm Inspiration: B: Apartmento Magazine/NOWNESS films (hints of Wes Anderson?) // D: Brandon is an aesthetics major, so I couldn’t just be a slob.

Elicits Strongest Memories:

  • B: Fulton the Hook evokes rather strong memories. It called out to Doug and I while we were running one day (i.e. it fell off of a truck, struck the stone wall of the Washington Street bridge, and made a charming sound).
  • D: Mountain goat horn — brings back memories of trekking in the Himalayas.

Brings Most Joy:

  • B: My desk brings me quite a bit of joy. Often I just want to study, write and read there. Also, I like to treat it as a landscape in which I am often changing the parts and what is on view.
  • D: The couch! It’s from the 50s and a wonderful hand-me-down from Scott Leroy, one of the administrators for the Bridge Year Program, which Brandon and I both participated in.


No Longer Like:

  • B: I do not like my tie drawer as much as I used to. I wore a tie almost everyday in high school, so I collected a lot over the years; however recently I have developed a much more informal sartorial leaning.
  • D: My fountain pen. It won’t write!

Dorm Style:

  • B: Like Jazz (a Bebop rhythm with Latin hints)
  • D: “The Roach & Eel” or, as a portmanteau: “The Rochanelle”. We thought it had a nice ring to it.



Hometown: Laguna Niguel, CA

Major: Operations Research & Financial Engineering

Certificates: Being a beast, interior designing, decorating rooms, picking posters out, and passion for fashion

Activities: Yo fuck activities

Dorm: Whitman College – Hargadon Hall

Dorm Inspiration: My girlfriend thought my white walls were too boring, so she printed out some of my old Pokemon drawings and gave me some kewl posters to put up.

Elicits Strongest Memories: During an internship a while ago, I was pretty bored, so I started a Tumblr called “derrilickmypokeballz,” which unfortunately doesn’t exist anymore for some unknown reason (Author’s note: he has since recreated it). The point of the Tumblr was for me to draw every one of the original 150 Pokemon in MS Paint with my laptop’s track-pad from memory. Gooood times.

Brings Most Joy: The Mr. Mime cus it’s too lit.

No Longer Like: All the shitty posters I got from the poster fair two years ago. I got a bunch because I lived in the depths of the Forbes Annex with cinderblock walls. It felt like a mental asylum, so I tried to brighten things up. But instead, I just ended up getting a poster of a cartoon Tyler the Creator that would stare at me every night while I slept.

Dorm Style: A rare delicacy of style, taste, and passion for interior designing



Hometown: Hong Kong

Major: English

Activities: The Nassau Literary Review, Fashion Speaks

Dorm: Lockhart Hall

Dorm Inspiration: I’m a stress-decorator, which means I decorate my room (when I’m really supposed to be doing something else more important). I find it really alleviating. It doesn’t even really matter what goes up, just as long as I get as much as I can on the walls. I’ve been living in dorms since I was 14, so I now kind of have a routine down (this fall will be my eighth time moving into a dorm room) in the sense that I always have my Polaroid wall, Christmas lights and the Hong Kong flag. I’m also kind of a hoarder and save a lot of crap like ticket stubs and cool flyers, so I have a lot of material to work with. I essentially treat my walls like a scrapbook.

Elicits Strongest Memories: Probably my Polaroid wall, just because there’s so much on there. I have this rule that every Polaroid I take has to go on the wall, no matter how old or ugly or irrelevant the photo is. So every time I look at it, I see something I’ve forgotten about. And it’s fun because it’s mostly pictures of other people, not me. But it’s weird because I remember almost every single Polaroid I’ve taken — I remember where I was, I remember the context, I remember why I was there. Plus the whole wall itself reminds me of high school, because I started putting it up my junior year, and it’s fun to recall the different configurations the wall has taken in the past couple of years.

Brings Most Joy: My bed! I pushed two school beds together so I have a pretty huge spread. Always a great place to crawl into after your 3-hour seminar.

No Longer Like: Maybe the wall. As fun as it is to look at, it does contain some photos of people I don’t like anymore, or memories that are not ones I want to relive. Sometimes I jokingly refer to my Polaroid wall as my “wall of mistakes”.

Dorm Style: Erratic, or meticulous, depending on how you see it.




Hometown: Austin, TX

Major: Art History

Certificate: European Cultural Studies

Activities: Nassau Weekly, WPRB

Dorm: Mathey College – Edwards Hall

Dorm Inspiration: The misery of Forbes’ linoleum floors swore me off of depressing dorm rooms.

Elicits Strongest Memories: San Jose SXSW poster

Brings Most Joy: Line Magnetic amplifier

No Longer Like: Rolleiflex (camera) (don’t use as much)

Dorm Style: Not gonna do a description as there’s no way to do that without sounding obnoxious

Read Part 1. | Read Part 2. | Read Part 4.

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