Hope Anderson ’22

You know those extra bed pieces? The ones meant for lofting your bed, or making a headboard, or even tacking on as a sort of footboard if you’re feeling particularly creative?

Well, last week I learned two things: they’re called bed ends, and they’re no longer in first-year dorms.

According Walter Snipes, Director of Residence Life, most upperclassmen still have bed ends in their rooms (at least for now). Yet as a sophomore living in Belk, I too unfortunately don’t have access to this simple, versatile, and powerful tool. I’m still not sure whether or not this is intentional; all I know is they’re missing.

I miss my bed ends, and only in their endangerment do I truly realize their contribution to this campus. I am thus calling to keep the bed ends before they disappear forever and this article serves as the only record of their existence.

I proudly call fourth Belk home. Did I have a great room selection lottery time? No. Do I have access to a kitchen? Also no. But is my room a more interesting shape than yours? Unless we’re hallmates, probably. 

In short, living in a refurbished attic means my bed is tucked into a corner such that my window doubles as my headboard. And, as my mother pointed out when she first walked into my room, “That’s terrifying.” As much as I love back support, falling from Davidson College’s largest and most centrally located residence hall is not how I envision myself leaving this world. 

While my bed/window situation is rather unique, the most obvious and universal argument in favor of bed ends is simply the ability to loft your bed — either lofted to the middle height or to the full height — and thus maximize your storage and/or floor space. 

As much Marie Kondo as I watch, I’m still working on those minimalism skills. Without the assortment of boxes and miscellaneous containers under my bed, I genuinely don’t know where I would have stored some of my belongings last year.

I was fortunate enough to live in a large-ish freshman room, but some of my friends needed to loft their beds fully, moving their desk and dresser underneath, to have any sort of floor space. Lofting their beds made the rooms feel less cramped and overall more livable. 

Besides creating floor and storage space, bed ends (specifically used as headboards) also provide underappreciated draping possibilities: hat rack, coat rack, scarf rack, tote bag rack, banana rack, lone orange on the top of one bed post…Where else am I supposed to wrap my fairy lights, RLO?

There are also purely sentimental arguments in favor of keeping the bed ends. Lofting your bed is a great roommate bonding experience. There is nothing like some physical labor and joint problem-solving to kick off a great friendship. 

Illustration by Richard Ferrell ’22

Additionally, lofted beds are a source of joy. My life is made better by watching my dear friend fling herself onto her mid-lofted bed because she refuses to buy an ottoman. Until I buy my tiny home, when else can I sleep 10 thrilling feet off the ground? 

I feel obligated to mention that I understand that of all the things I could have written a Perspectives piece on, I am grateful that a lack of bed ends is what I have to complain about. I’m just genuinely confused as to why they are disappearing. 

I see so many advantages in keeping the bed ends and so few in getting rid of them. Please tell me if there is a silent, bed-end-hating majority on campus that I am simply unaware of. 

Regardless, if you don’t like your bed ends, just give them to your favorite freshman to show him/her what she/he has been missing. Or better yet, help out a bed-end-obsessed sophomore who is scared of heights. (I feel obligated to note that RLO has told me trading bed ends is not condoned.)

College is about learning new things, like how to use that rubber mallet. College is about newfound freedom, like the freedom to sleep at one of three heights off the ground. And in all seriousness, college is too often about finding some much needed rest. 

While bed ends are a rather trivial topic, sleep is not, and we all deserve a living and sleeping space in which we feel comfortable. For me, bed ends play a small part in creating that comfort. I hope they continue to do so for students in the years to come.

Hope Anderson ’22 is a biology major from Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Contact her at hbanderson@davidson.edu.