Corinna Coffin’s high school diploma sits in a place of prominence on the fireplace mantle in one corner of her tidy, bright room. Various athletic awards and team photos surround this new addition to her display of accomplishments during her time at St. Anne’s-Belfield School. Framed family photos, mostly of Corinna and her brothers as children, are hung on the walls. One photo features her, at age 2, sitting on a child-size jeep with her brothers, and everyone is smiling broadly.
From comfortable quarters at home, Corinna Coffin will soon navigate the leap to dorm life and a host of new memories.
Corinna, 18, is preparing to start her freshman year at Virginia Tech in a few short months. She has been organizing with her new roommate, via Facebook, about how to make their shared space a welcoming home away from home. “Besides color scheme, my roommate and I are coordinating which appliances to bring, like microwave, fridge, [possibly a] TV,” explains Corinna. “Mainly, just the big stuff for now.” She does specifically list towels, bedsheets, under-bed storage container and the all-important laundry hamper as key items to bring to her new living space.
By visiting her older brother, who just completed his freshmen year, Corinna’s been able to preview a bit of dorm life. “I have gathered from visiting his dorm many times the importance of doing laundry. Dirty clothes thrown around the room definitely take up space and make the room look pretty trashed, not to mention, smelly.”
Despite growing up in her family’s farmhouse with three brothers (including her twin brother, Jack, who is also headed to college in the fall), she’s always had her own room as a place of retreat. Currently, she splits her time (and her stuff) between her mother’s home off of Rugby Road and her father’s farm north of town.
Her Rugby room is spacious with light, terra cotta-colored walls, classically styled furniture and a private bathroom (an amenity that surely will be missed while living in Tech’s dorms). And her pink and green farmhouse bedroom is filled with memories in the form of childhood books, concert ticket stubs and lots and lots of photos.
What changes will be made to her room while she’s away? “My parents aren’t planning on doing anything drastic to it, as far as I know,” she says. “I think it would almost be harder on my parents to change up me and my brothers’ rooms, because then it would really mean that we were on our own and truly independent. I don’t think either of us are ready for that.” She does suspect that her Rugby room will most likely become a guest room, as needed. But she has a hard time imagining her farmhouse bedroom used for anything except a place of personal retreat for when she’s not at school.
Even though a packed photo album is number one on her list of what to pack, Corinna is still leaving some pages (and walls) empty, awaiting snapshots of whatever the future holds.
“I’m looking forward to creating new friendships and new memories [at college],” she says. “Then filling in those blanks and spaces with people I meet and the new experiences that I have.”—Christy Baker
A real face book
Social networking sites and digital media aren’t always the best source for revisiting cherished memories. This stylish photo album from Caspari ($45) provides a place to keep nostalgia organized and accessible. Perfect for a recent grad preparing for her next chapter in life.—C.B.