From hometown memorabilia to Cardinal posters, family photographs to clean notebooks, the transition to dorm life balances roots with reinvention. Discover what freshmen bring to Stanford.
By Dania Marinshaw
“About a year and a half ago, I found my parents’ record collection,” says Jack Takahashi, a music fanatic from Saratoga, Calif. Since then, he has purchased his own player and accumulated close to 70 LPs, now stored in his Eucalypto dorm. Among his favorites is a LSJUMB album from his father John’s (Class of ’75) era.
“He collects records; I collect perfumes,” says Joshua DeSon, Takahashi’s roommate from Whittier, Calif. From his lineup of scents, DeSon chooses a different perfume each day to complement his mood. “It really varies, day by day,” he says. “If I wake up and feel strong, I’ll wear my Katy Perry scent.”
Larkin resident Keep Nathanson may be the only person to have thrown a Wheel of Fortune-themed party at the age of 3—and she has a memento to prove it. Among the items she brought to campus from Portland, Ore., is a framed, signed photograph of the game show’s hosts, which they personally sent to Nathanson upon hearing about about her shindig. “It was just too funny a picture not to bring to Stanford,” she says.
Despite being allergic to sunflowers, Cleo Chung, a Larkinite from Los Altos, keeps a bundle of the yellow blooms on her desk at all times. Although they’re actually made of plastic—you wouldn’t know unless you looked closely—they seem to do the trick. “Looking at them just makes me so happy,” she says.
When he left San Angelo, Texas, for Stanford, Thomas Blackwood’s grandmother sent him away with a comal, a special type of cast-iron griddle used often in his family’s kitchen. While traditionally meant for Mexican cuisine, Blackwood has found the comal works just as well for late night snacks in Cardenal. “You can make anything with it,” he says.
To say that Musila Munuve is proud of his Kenyan roots might be a bit of an understatement. Among the items you will notice if you visit his Ujamaa room are a map of precolonial Africa, a pair of colorful pants from Nairobi that Munuve wears often, and, of course, a Kenyan flag. “I take that with me wherever I go.”
With a handful of family photographs and a sprinkle of homemade cards arranged in a neat rectangle on the wall, her trusty guitar leaning against the desk and a single stuffed animal perched on the bed, the vibe of Victorville, Calif., native Adorie Howard’s Ujamaa room is understated. She wouldn’t have it any other way, though. “It’s home,” she says of her new Stanford space.
Of the many colorful crafts that Natalie Marques brought from Mercer Island, Wash., her favorite is a collage designed by her mother to remind Marques of “all the things that matter most.” She particularly appreciates a small clipping at the bottom that reads Good Enough. “This has become my motto,” the Larkin resident says. “I’m usually a perfectionist.”
Dania Marinshaw, '14, is studying communication and human biology.
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Data is from the past two weeks.