From rocks to baseball cards, comics, and magnets, collections are common among people of all ages. Here on campus, many people collect laptop stickers that often describe themselves well. Whether they’re repping their hometown or favorite sports team, announcing their political views, or showing off their Greek letters, stickers on laptops help open the windows to the person behind the computer screen without ever saying a word.
Sophomore Alyssa Viola, a pole vaulter, expresses both her sport and her values through her stickers.
She originally purchased her pole-vaulting sticker because she liked its design, but eventually, it turned into a little more than that.
“It kind of serves as motivation because I am a pole vaulter and the girl on the sticker is totally shredded,” Viola said.
One of her other stickers was given to her by Hillsdale College Students for Life.
“It’s a unique way to express my pro-life beliefs,” Viola said. “But it’s also an adorable baby whale, so it’s a win-win.”
Aside from expressing her love for her sport and her beliefs, she also subtly gives a nod to the love she has for fishing. She got her Ken’s Sporting Goods sticker from her favorite tackle shop in Bridgeport, California.
“I’m an avid fisherman, and I spend a lot of time hiking and fishing for different stream trout in the Sierra Nevada mountains every summer,” Viola said. “The sticker reminds me of fishing, the mountains, and many summers spent camping with my family.
After having her laptop stolen during her junior year of high school, junior Rachel Umana decided to use laptop sticker for increased security.
“People think twice about stealing something that’s recognizable,” she said. “If someone sees my laptop, they know it’s Rachel’s laptop, so if anyone tried to use it they would know that it’s mine. It’s an identifiable marker so I really think it does prevent theft. This sticker was the way I was going to make sure this never happened again.”
The large lion right in the middle of her laptop has been there ever since she replaced her stolen laptop. She scrolled through almost 80 pages of stickers on Amazon until she found the one that caught her eye.
“I thought it looked so cool,” she said. “It’s giant and I think that’s why I only have one, because it’s so big and takes up so much space. It also just looks really nice so I didn’t want anything else to clash with it, because I really like the look of it.”
Umana says that anyone who knows her knows that it definitely describes her as a person.
“It’s kind of my spirit animal,” she said. “If you asked any of my friends what animal describes Rachel they would definitely say a lion. I’m a politics major, Vice President of College Republicans, I did mock trial for two years… I feel like I’m definitely one of those tough people and no one really messes with me.”
Junior Daniel Henreckson set about to improve the appearance of his laptop without spending too much money.
“I was looking up MacBook Air laptop cases and all my potential options were a bit more expensive that I liked, so I realized I could get the same aesthetic out of a much less expensive sticker,” Henreckson said. “I looked up options, and I chose this one mostly because it looks cool– in my opinion, at least. I admit it, I love dragons, especially Chinese dragons.”
It took almost a month to have this sticker shipped from China. It’s a very unique addition to something that can be so ordinary.
“I appreciate how ambiguous the sticker is,” Henreckson said. “It forces you to take a second look. It’s kind of hilarious how many times someone has commented that I have an ink stain on my laptop before I ask them to look again.”
Henreckson said that he had no agenda to voice when he went about choosing a sticker. He only wanted to be unique.
“I wanted something to make my laptop stand out from the complete uniformity that you sign up for when you get an Apple product,” he said.
From chicken nugget stickers to stickers about her faith and other that support women, there’s not really a topic junior Erin Gries’ laptop stickers don’t cover.
Gries said that she decided earlier this semester that she wanted to have some decorations on her laptop and immediately took to Etsy.com and Redbubble.com to find some.
“I wanted to have stickers that reflect things I like and things that are important to me,” Gries said. “I spend way too much money on stickers.”
Everyone has a story to tell, and Erin says that her laptop is the quickest way to know hers.
“I like to think that if someone were to look at my laptop stickers as a whole, they could get a good sense of who I am,” Gries said. “I like them because I’m very passionate about each of these facets of my life and I like to think I’m wearing my heart on my sleeve – or laptop – with these stickers. Kind of dorky, but I love it a lot.”
Of all of her stickers, though, Erin said she is most passionate about the ones which advocate for mental health and self-care and for the empowerment of women.
“These are two topics which I am very passionate about and hope to use these stickers as a conversation-starter for other people,” Gries said.
Color coordination. Anatomy. Toms shoes.
These three things seem to have no correlation, but for freshman Clare Lupini, they fit right together.
Claire said that she first started looking for stickers on Redbubble out of boredom.
“I really started collecting them this summer,” she said. “I tried to find things that described me, like a giraffe because it’s my favorite animal or Romans 5:8 because it’s my favorite bible verse, but I had to make sure the colors matched so it looked pretty.”
Claire said she also loves puns, Toms (she has a pair for every day of the week), and the camp she attends every summer because of the way it has impacted her life.
Claire also has realistic-looking stickers of the brain and the heart.
“I love anatomy and the human body; they really interest me,” she said. “When classes get hard I can always look to these and remember the end goal: I hope that I can one day become a doctor.”
From showing off her sisterhood to professing her love for political puns, sophomore Bella VanAken has a wide range of laptop stickers that all show off who she is and what she stands for.
Many of her stickers came from the Conservative Political Action Conference.
“My favorite one is probably the one that says ‘Party like it’s 1776’,” said VanAken. “I think it’s really cute and kind of funny and it reminds me of my time there. I really enjoyed what I did and being able to be there with other people that stood for the same things I did.”
Sophomore Hunter Pearson was a counselor at Camp Ozark, a Christian camp near Hot Springs, Arkansas. There he spent his summer working as a football instructor, lifeguard, and spiritual leader to the kids that attended.
Now, Pearson has a sticker on his laptop that reminds him of his time at camp.
“It was a great experience for me,” Pearson said. “I met a lot of cool people, and I even got to go cliff diving.”