McGill’s Laptop Sticker Obsession

If you walk through the doors of McLennan or Schulich, you will be pleasantly greeted by the sight of colourful stickers adorning student laptops. Travels, bands, interests, and food decorate the visages of students’ computers. It doesn’t end there, either; these little knick-knacks also pop up on phone covers, notebooks, and even headphones. Outsiders might be confused by the dedication that McGillians have for their stickers. Why are they such a necessity? Why do students obsess over stickers?

I have spoken to my friends in varying faculties about the overwhelming presence of stickers on campus. Upon receiving mixed reviews, I’ve decided to share what I’ve learned through three acronyms: Anthony, a laid-back engineering student, Lucy, a studious Science student, and Tim, a culture-conscious Arts student. Of course, these names have been changed for anonymity purposes.

According to Anthony, stickers are almost a competition. They show other people how involved you are and they help others determine what kind of person you are. It’s easy to tell the difference between someone who collected 50 random stickers at Activities’ Night versus someone who dedicates their time to individual organisations on campus. You can immediately spot an engineer with the characteristic Frostbite or G-Store stickers on their laptop, which are available for free in the EUS Mall. Plus, they are a great conversation-starter. If you see someone with an interesting band logo on their device, you can ask them about it and chances are, they’re more than willing to share!

Lucy is more indifferent about the choice to display stickers or to keep a clean laptop cover. Stickers aren’t for everyone and having too many stickers is pretty messy; it’s hard to tell which ones actually mean something and which ones are space fillers. Plus, purchasing stickers online has become too commonplace. Sites like Redbubble make it too easy to acquire stickers of any variety without effort. Throwback to the good ol’ days when you had to patiently wait and join a society in order to stick a covetted sticker on your laptop.

Meanwhile, Tim values the power of stickers in spreading identities and ideas. When you observe a fellow McGillian with a divestment sticker, you feel empowered to fight for a common belief. You can stand in solidarity with other students and local communities through the use of stickers. They help you find like-minded people on campus and besides, they show off your personality without any spoken words. Without stickers, it would be all the more difficult to express yourself!

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