Stickers: An Accurate Representation of my Personality?

If you walk into a common study space used by students, chances are about half of those students will have stickers on their laptops. Notre Dame magazine even had a photo gallery of the laptops of students in the Hesburgh library because the stickers students choose reflect their personalities.

 

My dad always looks at my laptop and thinks it's cluttered and a little unprofessional but I love having stickers on my laptop. It’s a fun way to express my personality, especially in settings where I might not always be completely myself (i.e. a large class where I don’t know anybody). I’ve often said that Notre Dame should have a speed dating event where people just sit with their laptops open and people can ask about your stickers (somebody get on this, it’s genius).

 

Here’s a picture of my laptop stickers:

Photo taken by author

 

Which include things that I’m passionate about and important aspects of my personality. I love funny TV shows like The Office, Parks and Recreation, New Girl, Friends, and Gilmore Girls. I’m an avid Disney fan (I know the lyrics to almost every Disney song to the point that it’s embarrassing). I’m a huge nerd who has read and watched Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings so many times I’ve lost count and all of these things are represented on my laptop. In addition to all the fandoms I consider myself a part of, there are also cues to the more serious aspects of my personality. For example, I’m a supporter of the feminist movement, believe that books inspire growth and can change the world, and that traveling is the best education.

 

Now, obviously, you can’t learn everything about me from my stickers. I have nothing about my hometown, Chicago, my family, or music on there, which are all a huge parts of my life but my interests are fairly well represented through my stickers.

 

Just to prove this is not something that only I do, here are my two best friends’ laptops:

Maddie’s laptop (above): Photo taken by author

John’s laptop (above): photo taken by author

 

Maddie’s laptop stickers overlap and are a hodgepodge of different kinds of stickers (aka they are not all from the same website) while John’s are uniform, planned out, and clearly have an aesthetic aspect. John is the most organized person I know and his clear vision for his stickers reflects his personality as much as the stickers themselves do. A lot of Maddie’s stickers have to do with her favorite bands, which, if you looked them up, you will find that they’re all alternative bands with emotional lyrics. There are so many layers to a person’s laptop stickers which is part of the reason I love them so much.

 

While stickers are great, there are drawbacks to having your personality displayed so publicly all the time. When I asked John if I could take a picture of his laptop for my article he said, “Yeah, but I think I might take my stickers off. I feel like people judge me.” This is a completely fair point- having stickers invites people into your life in a way that is not intentional. A person walking past me in the library could see my stickers, make a judgement about me, and continue walking but carry that judgement with him/her. I have no control over how people interpret my stickers but I keep them because they spark good conversation, are fun, and let people know who I am in situations where I don’t feel like myself yet.

 

Stickers don’t represent my complete person but they’re a good a start. So, the next time you’re sitting near someone with stickers, ask them about them. I promise you’ll learn a lot.

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