Everywhere on campus, you can find students on their laptops. More often than not, those laptops are adorned with various stickers. These stickers can serve as a show of interest, a sign of support or a representation of identity.
Here are the stories behind three of those decked-out laptops on campus:
Heather Yenchesky: First-year Heather Yenchesky is an out-of-state student from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, which is an important aspect of her identity portrayed by her laptop stickers.
“I really love where I’m from, so whenever I get to talk about it it makes me really happy,” she said. “So I wanna be able to represent that.”
Some stickers that show her Wisconsin pride include some from WASC Leadership Camp, where she was a camper and a counselor. A local coffee shop sticker in the shape of a bright blue bus with red flames is also featured. She has another sticker that says “It’s a bubbler” that her mom made for her. In Southeastern Wisconsin, a water fountain is called a bubbler.
Yenchesky’s other passions are shown on her laptop as well. Her mom also made her a sticker of their yellow lab named Willow. A Department of Psychology sticker speaks to her major. She also has stickers from Whitefish, Montana, where she visits her grandparents and goes skiing.
“I love talking about my stickers,” she said. “They’re pretty colorful and happy, which I’d use to describe myself.”
Yenchesky’s stickers span across the back of her laptop. No one sticker touches another. She said she doesn’t want them to overlap because she loves all of them equally.
Henry Roach: The array of stickers on junior Henry Roach’s laptop serve as a recollection of his various experiences. Each of the stickers has some type of memory and importance attached to it, rather than being a random collection.
Some of his stickers include those of organizations he is a part of, like Sigma Tau Delta, College Democrats and Happy Captive Magazine. Also showcased is a sticker from the Humanities Center, where he does research. He also a sticker from the Governor’s Ball Music Festival, which is shaped like a cassette tape, and one from the New York public library and Abbey Road.
Roach’s favorite sticker is a unique one. It is a golden seal from the U.S. House of Representatives that is used on proclamations. He got it when he worked at a representative’s office. It’s special to him because it’s one that most people don’t have and can’t get.
“It’s like having a rare Pokémon card,” he said.
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In addition to showing off his experiences, Roach’s laptop stickers convey some of his interests. They represent his love for reading, his research and his political views. He decorates his laptop with stickers because it’s important to him to have something that is 100 percent his own.
“Part of it is differentiating my Mac from other people, but part of it, also, I think, it’s fun for me to look at,” he said.
Madison Gibson: First-year Madison Gibson doesn’t care about the status quo. There is hardly any empty space on her laptop, which is covered chaotically in various stickers, large and small. The stickers overlap and face every direction, even upside down.
“I didn’t know that there was, like, a rulebook for this, but everyone’s been coming at me with ‘stickers are supposed to face the other people if you open your laptop,’” Gibson said. “But I was like, ‘I’m the one that’s putting them on there.’ It’s my stickers, my laptop, so I wanna be looking at them facing me.”
Her disdain for the rules is further reflected in some of her sticker choices. In the top left corner is a sticker with six lightsabers, lined up on top of each other, each a color of the rainbow. Underneath lies a black and white Lego Indiana Jones from the video game.
“When I was a kid, I felt like I wasn’t allowed to like that kind of stuff, ‘cause it’s for boys or whatever, but I loved it,” she said. “I grew up watching Star Wars and Indiana Jones ... and then I kinda overcorrected into being obsessed with them.”
Much like the display, Gibson’s collection of stickers is random. Some stickers she purchased, some were gifted to her, some came from a stolen water bottle and some came from a roll of stickers from the 90s.
Her laptop stickers show what she does and does not care about: she cares about her interests and being true to herself, but she doesn’t care about what other people think of her “chaotic energy.”