Pile of Pitt decorations and merchandise
Features & Articles

The bed party, explained

  • Students

For students headed off to college, the decision is a big one — and yet another ritual interrupted by the pandemic.

Enter the “bed party,” the latest trend in college commitment celebrations, including for those who #CommitToPitt.

The Instagram-ready display of college colors on teens’ beds proliferated as students were spending a lot of time in their rooms at home. Bed decorating allowed them to publicly celebrate their pride for their next alma mater and share the news with socially distanced friends.

The key ingredients of a bed decorating are: abundant swag, mylar letter or number balloons, a party curtain backdrop, color-coordinated bedding and themed snacks.

Incoming student Sydney Herbstman first saw the parties on TikTok and showed them to her parents. They understood the assignment, surprising her with a Pitt blue-and-gold bed one day when she came home from work.

[Incoming students: Search for other Pitt people and classmates by using the #PittBound and #CommitToPitt hashtags.]

Others build their commitment celebration themselves or do it with the help of their families and friends. Incoming student Olivia Shaw had been helping others achieve their bed decorating dreams for two years through a small custom apparel business she started in 2020. When it was her turn to commit to Pitt, she was ready with a full spelling of P-I-T-T-S-B-U-R-G-H in balloons and many of her own DIY-ed projects.

To those who might find bed decorating a little over-the-top, Pitt people say the moment merits a little “extra.”

“College is an important part of your life and is often the first time people are going off on their own and being independent,” said rising junior and bioengineering major Hallie Maytin, whose parents decorated her bed when she committed to Pitt. “It’s a huge milestone and should be celebrated.”

Did you have a #H2P bed? Tag us on social media or email your photos to social_media [at] pitt.edu.


— Acacia O’Connor