I entered my freshman year of college in the fall of 2008—an election year. It was the first election I would be old enough to participate in and I was not prepared for all the political ads I received in the mail. I remember they were printed on thick, shiny paper—expensive paper—and it seemed like such a waste to me. So, I used sticky tack to attach those flyers to the ceiling of my college dorm room. At least now they had a purpose.
Those political ads were just the beginning, though. In case you were unaware, a college campus is a gold mine for flyers—people have to learn about upcoming events, fundraisers, meetings, and visiting speakers somehow. The way I saw it, I was doing the college a service by removing the out-dated posters from the bulletin boards all over campus. After all, no one else seemed to take care of it—and flyer space is seriously valuable in such situations. Other artifacts found their way onto my ceiling: pizza ads, candy wrappers, hand-written signs, post-it notes, a paper bread bag from a restaurant in New Orleans, wrapping paper complete with bow. Basically if it was paper-like and didn’t fall off the ceiling repeatedly, it was fair game.
By that May, when we had to move out, my roommates and were living under what we called The Ceiling of Wonders. The only remaining blank sections were those directly above our beds. It took 5 or 6 people and several hours to take down.
We decided to continue the tradition for our sophomore year, only this time, we would upgrade to The Room of Wonders, meaning that the walls would be covered as well. The result was colorful chaos.
That second year, the take-down process took days. It must have been more traumatic than I realized at the time, because that was the end of my era of captivating ceiling collages.