Humble Abode Above the Stairs of Doom

After sleeping on the couch for six months following the move into their new house, freshman Mara Rieger climbed the steep stairs to the now-renovated attic to their new bedroom.

Although they initially felt fear when they thought of the stairs, they eventually got used to them. Rieger had fallen down them before, but luckily not from the top. They frequently tripped 0n the last two smaller steps.

“I looked at them and I thought, ‘Do I seriously have to climb this thing every day?’” Rieger said. “How many times will I come home from a friend’s house, tired, and have to climb these stairs? Lots of times, actually.’”

Deciding to give the more spacious side of the room with a window to their brother, they decided to choose the smaller and cramped half.

“I thought that this side would be easier to decorate and keep clean,” Rieger said. “But as you can see, this wasn’t the case.”

Rieger didn’t have anything specific in mind while decorating their room, but they were inspired by the Kidcore aesthetic, which centers around bright colors and nostalgia.

“I find that trying to go back to how little kids act makes my depression, like, minus everything,” Rieger said. “Being silly and letting yourself free just makes everything better.”

The walls of Rieger’s rooms are filled up with various drawings, posters, stickers, and most interestingly, stolen signs, varying from signs that don’t allow smoking to ones to prevent soliciting.

“My teacher in fourth grade had a whole phase where he would tell us the same story over and over about people soliciting in front of his house even though he had a no-soliciting sign,” Rieger said. “It’s a homage to him.”

Rieger decorated their room with practically anything they found interesting.

“Every single thing in my room, I put up here ironically,” Rieger said. “I think it works as some kind of bit that’s only in my head.”