BOSTON – It’s a TikTok trend that’s upping the ante when it comes to your typical dorm room.
Gone are the days of a leftover box of pizza and a few posters on the wall, replaced by room transformations that appear to have cost thousands of dollars.
“One of the trends is people sharing their dorm rooms similar to how we used to have cribs back in the day,” said Northeastern law professor and podcaster Margo Lindauer. “Where people open their dorm rooms up to the public on TikTok to share their very made-up dorm rooms.”
The typical transformation goes something like this:
An empty room with a drab brick wall and uncovered bed is magically flipped into a kaleidoscope of puffy blankets, whimsical wall furnishings and extravagant accessories.
While it makes a fun 20-second video on TikTok, Lindauer said there are a number of red flags, including the fact young women are giving away too much information.
“In many of these videos, the young people are sharing not only where they go to school,” explained Lindauer. “But what dorm they live in and the number. As someone who works in domestic assault and violence, my safety ears went up.”
Lindauer fears it’s leading to unhealthy idealization of self.
“I think it also encourages people to share what they think the world wants to see of their lives versus what’s actually happening.”
And despite that outlook, WBZ-TV did find students at Emerson College with a different perspective.
Suitemates Kayla, Charlie and Kaleigh said almost everything in their room is thrifted or was just given to them. The group said they were going for an “iCarly’s living room” theme. And it seems they nailed it.
“This is the elder wand from Harry Potter I got when I was a kid,” Kayla Armbrewster told WBZ during an impromptu tour.
The trio has a keyboard, a South Park chess set, dog pillows and several pictures plastered on the wall.
“Anytime someone is about to throw something out, I can take it,” said Armbrewster. “I can put it on my wall. I can do something with it.”
And while they were inspired by social media, it’s clear there’s a difference in their aesthetic.
“When I was going through those videos, I was obsessed,” explained Armbrewster. “I could fall down that rabbit hole for a few hours. I would say that I didn’t see a single room that was like this one.”