Breakfast at Tiffany's
Nothing brings sophistication to a dorm room like an eight-dollar poster of Audrey Hepburn. As she coolly surveys your scattered party dresses and unmade bed, Audrey is confident in you. Your secret—that your "pearl" earrings are from Forever 21—will be safe with her. If Holly Golightly can go from country bumpkin to Manhattan socialite, surely you can nail down that coffee-fetching publishing internship in New York this summer. Or at least learn to do your laundry a classier number of times per month.
Yes, you're a physics concentrator. Yes, you spend the majority of your time either sweating over your special relativity p-sets or explaining to your friends why they should really appreciate special relativity more. You probably own multiple bowties, and maybe a collector's edition Albert Einstein action figurine. If you happen to stare bleary-eyed at your wall after submitting your beautiful LaTex labors, it's always nice to have reassurance that someone else in this world also thought that Physics was fun, and that that person was cool enough to stick out his tongue every once in a while.
Keep Calm and Carry On
You know nothing of British culture or history, but you love the Queen of England and wish to channel her ways. She is poised. She has a flock of corgis. She has terrific-looking grandchildren. She even parachuted into the 2012 London Olympics. While bombs were dropping all around London during World War II, she calmly sat in her bunker, as cool as the cucumbers in her finger sandwiches. That's who you want to be. All the trappings of aristocracy—tiaras, excellent education, and mottos to keep calm—will get you through this paper. You will be Queen of Papers. Chances are that you also have a plaque that says "Dance like nobody's watching" somewhere on your bookshelf.
John Belushi, "COLLEGE"
Nobody has seen "Animal House." Your dad may have referenced the movie once or twice, and he seemed to really appreciate the poster when he came to visit during Freshman Parents' Weekend. You haven't seen your dad get that misty-eyed in a while. That first week of freshman year, John Belushi's gaze seemed to follow you around the room and his lips seemed to whisper: beer pong. The secret to the universe. Girls would fall at your feet with every sunken cup. AEPi boys would worship you. You studied the sport with discipline: every arc and wrist movement mattered. The poster has since been grafitti'd with house rules and various pong configurations scrawled in magic marker, including "The Neil Diamond," "Naked Lap," and "Dance Cup." The poster was your inspiration, John Belushi your spirit guide—and now you're going to be one of the six bros living in the frat house next year, just like your dad always dreamed of.
Why are there seven fans on full blast in your room in the middle of winter? Why is there no toilet paper in the bathroom? These are the questions your roommate's parents will undoubtedly ask you, but it's okay. Everything's gonna be alright. Even though you and your friends may have taken a piece of classroom chalk and drawn an intense alien mural depicting peace, submarines, and French existentialism all over the walls of the Phoenix last night, you're pretty sure everything is going to be alright. Though you may have eaten four burritos in one sitting that same night. That may not be alright. Looks like we're going to have to skip Ec 10 today.
Since your parents banned violent movies in high school to protect your younger brother, you hadn't seen this movie when you bought the poster. But then your eyes were opened—you watched "Pulp Fiction" and relished in its lurid gratuitous violence. You are now cultured, and it's a constant reminder that only the squeamish fail to consider Quentin an artiste. The poster was a good investment. It shows that you've seen grisly things, you've seen them with your own eyes. It is the proof that you have undergone the rite of passage that turned you from a noob into a full-fledged adult. Because sometimes people ask you for proof.