A growing number of college students are taking inspiration from their childhood years and expressing themselves through stickers. The only difference is instead of placing stickers on notebooks, the art has moved to personal computers and MacBooks.
Many individuals on Central Michigan University’s campus have a variety of stickers and designs on the back of their laptops. Other students might see these stickers and want to join in on this part of campus culture.
Mt. Pleasant senior Katie Zwick said the trend inspired her.
“I would see all the cool college students with stickers on their laptops. I was like, ‘I’m hip, I’m cool, I want stickers on my laptop,'” she said.
Stickers are one way people can express their personality and identity. By placing them on their laptop, they are able to showcase their interests without reservations.
“There was a lot of space and I wanted to make it my own,” said Lowell junior Anna Reynolds.
Students may choose stickers of famous people, ideas, quotes or cartoons to express themselves. Some have themes, while others have a bit of everything that relates to their personality. They see it as a form of personal art that represents their interests and personality.
“It’s a way to describe yourself without talking to people.” said Ludington senior Amber Sadler.
Some stickers are meant to remind people of home or places they’ve been. Sadler’s laptop boasts a sticker of Oregon with a heart on it.
“I grew up in Michigan and then right out of high school I moved to Oregon for a year and I absolutely loved it. I keep going out there and visiting. I just love Oregon so much,” Sadler said.
Students are able to mix and match stickers to express themselves. Some have only a few large stickers on their laptop, while others decorate them with many smaller stickers.
Escanaba junior Karlie Mayville bought larger stickers and had to pick and choose which would go on her laptop.
“They’re ones I really like.” Says Mayville. “I have more I want to put on, but I don’t want to cover these up.”
This silent form of art is one any student can take part in, but some students choose not to participate. St. Clair Shores sophomore Derek Ostrowski is one of them.
“I think the idea of stickers is kinda cool, but I don’t really like to mess up the (laptop) design,” he said. “It’s nice to express yourself, but (my taste) changes all the time.”
Some students prefer a unique laptop cover over stickers, like White Lake senior Calli Stemple. She said her laptop cover, a marbled granite design, expressed her just as well as stickers could.
Some students fear regretting a sticker after a few years and having to take it off.
“If I were to put stickers on this, the stickers would get grungy and I wouldn’t like it anymore,” Rochester junior Abby Lewis said.
Students are always trying to find new and unique forms of self-expression. Stickers are just one of many ways that students have found to show their personalities to their peers and the world around them.