Neville's Court, TrinityRuby Reding

From visiting different colleges, some of which I’ve never been to before, I found how popular postcards are as a decoration, and the variation between new and old colleges was significant. What most students had in common was the feeling that this space was their first place to claim as their own, away from their families. Some people self-consciously tidied up as I interviewed them, while others casually left me in their room to make lunch. The differences between how people naturally have their rooms and how they wished to present it to me were also interesting: most cleaned up in preparation for the photographs, while all of them had something to say about the significant relationship to personal space and the objects they had collected.

Juliette, First Year English at Murray Edwards:

“I’ve tried to make my room as homely as possible, and really create my own space within the walls.”

Ruby Reding
Ruby Reding

Juliette told me that her bedroom is similar to the one she has at home, and this means it resonates a certain familiarity. Plastered over her wall are cultural and personal keepsakes from a holiday in Warsaw – her favourite city – photographs of her friends and literary momentos.

Eli Street, First Year HSPS at Downing:

Ruby Reding

The night before I arrived, Eli had a carnival party for her friend. Her room is spacious and airy and perfect for parties. It features loads of bunting and photographs, and beams of light pour into the room.

Ruby Reding

Nathaniel, Third Year Classics at Trinity:

Nathaniel shares his set with one person, and spends a lot of time in his rooms on the top floor, tucked away in Neville’s court, where, he says, ‘the church bells are my main company’ – sometimes it’s too quiet. In the rooms there are remnants from his birthday party, paintings loaned from the college, framed drawings of himself, a typewriter given to him by his late grandmother and a record player.

Ruby Reding
Ruby Reding

Faye Guy, Second Year English at Fitz:

When Faye let me into her bedroom it was uber clean and the massive window at the end of her room covers the whole wall and looks out onto Fitz’s nice little gardens. Her room was a place to dwell in the dark times of first year, but now it’s organised, and her postcard collection, mostly sent from her grandmother, is displayed on the walls and tucked away in a little brown leather trunk. A collage in the shape of a heart was the invitation to her naming party. Faye shared a room with her sibling growing up so this space is the first one of her own, and I think the meticulous and detailed personalisation of it is telling of that.

Ruby Reding
Ruby Reding
Ruby Reding

Herta Gatter, Second Year HSPS at King’s:

Herta’s room is full of knick-knacks - picture frames from a charity shop skip, left over decorations, paintings, a glass head from the King’s Affair and a pillowcase that her grandmother gave her.

Ruby Reding

Becky Guthrie, Second Year English at Robinson:

Becky told me she likes the white walls in her room, the occasional decoration features a print from one of her ancestors and some cinematography shots she has been working on. The strangest thing about Robinson rooms is the narrow and unevenly shaped balconies, one of which is triangular and can barely fit one person. Her room, as most people tell me, is more her own than the one at home.

Ruby Reding
Ruby Reding

Jiwoo Yoo, Third Year Classics at Trinity:

Ruby Reding

‘Nostalgia’ is the word Jiwoo gave me when I asked him to sum up his room. Jiwoo’s bedroom has remnants of past theatrical endeavors, posters and leftover scraps from sets. It’s also interesting as a place where possessions have gathered since first year, because Jiwoo is an international student and so most things have been left in Cambridge. What also struck me was his relationship with his bedders – they had a long chat when we walked down the stairs and even came to see him perform in a play

 

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