Contrast between living spaces

I'm back home for the holiday this weekend, heading back to Hampshire some time tomorrow afternoon/night, and I think this few days has led to a lot of really valuable insights about my living preferences.

First and foremost: I had no idea that I liked firm mattresses better than soft ones.

My back used to always hurt, and it got better with a better mattress but the problem never quite went away. At school, I sleep on a mattress that's structured like a gym mat in a leather jacket, and apart from the occasional nights when my fitted sheet slips off and I'm laying on cold plastic, it's one of the most comfortable beds I've ever been on.

How do normal people learn what kind of mattress they like? I know that according to ads on TV the way you do it is by going to a special store and getting a number assigned to you by a mattress salesman, but for real though, how do you figure that out normally?

Second: I'm surrounded by a really weird subset of my stuff.

All the stuff that I thought was pretty important, that I use or expect to use regularly, came with me to school. What was left here is a bunch of stuff that's of relatively lower, but non-trivial, importance: it's stuff I didn't throw away, after all. Books I love but don't expect to look at this semester, boxes of odds and ends that were just not quite important enough to make the cut.

The absolutely-most-important stuff, like my laptop and phone and pens, came with me for the trip back home, too. So I have that stuff.

But there's a donut-shaped gap in my stuff: none of the things that were important enough to bring to college, but not important enough to take back home for a weekend, is here. I don't have my absolutely-favorite books. I don't have my refill ink for my pens. I don't have any spare notebooks or any of my stationery. My scanner. My second monitor. My most comfortable pillow.

Third: Food is weird. That's all I have to say on that subject.

Fourth: Maintaining access to a desk and a chair is a priority for me, and I need to stop letting my chairs and table-height flat surfaces at home pile up with stuff. Trying to write an essay on a bed is unacceptably awkward and painful.