Stickers help students express personality

Carolyn Parmer, Life & Arts General Reporter

When he moved into a house in North Campus in August, Eric Williams noticed stickers on his bedroom door from the previous owner. He decided to add some of his own. 

“I was very attached to my whole collection because it’s (from) all my trips and everything, so I didn’t want to lose them,” mechanical engineering major Williams said. “They’re not actually peeled and stuck on the door. I used sticky tack on the back and put them up like that so I can take them with me when I leave.” 

Whether on doors, laptops, phones or other personal items, stickers can serve many functions, such as commemorating key memories and expressing personalities. For many students, seeing someone with a sticker from a common organization or interest can spark a connection. 

For Williams, stickers remind him of exciting adventures with his friends, especially backpacking trips to Colorado and the Guadalupe mountains with a tight-knit group of friends from his Boy Scout troop.   

“Stickers make an excellent souvenir,” Williams said. “They’re inexpensive and all over the place. You can always find stickers, so it’s a great collection to start.”

Plan II freshman Riley Pracht decorates her laptop with stickers of niche Taylor Swift lyrics, flowers, a bicycle, the Lucky Lab Coffee logo and a Ruth Bader Ginsburg quote. Still, she said she always makes sure they won’t leave a lasting mark. She tapes stickers on pieces of paper, tapes this paper to her computer and places a clear case over the sticker collage. 

“​​Sometimes when people do put stickers on (things), it’s very permanent,” Pracht said. “The orgs you’re in change, different things you like change (and) the season changes. It’s more fun to be able to move them around.” 

Pracht said she enjoys looking at other people’s stickers to learn more about them. At coffee shops, she said she often sees people with stickers on their laptops that give her insight into organizations or interests they might share. 

“It’s a good connection, and you don’t even have to talk,” Pracht said. “It’s cool to know something about somebody who’s a stranger.”

Like Pracht, Ellie Yates, a neuroscience and math freshman, embraced the sticker trend. As a child, Yates collected stickers in a notebook, and now she decorates her laptop, phone and water bottle with stickers.

“It’s cute (and) a fun thing to do,” Yates said. “You can personalize (things). It’s really fun to look at all the different stickers that you got, especially if you get them from a lot of different places.” 

Yates collected stickers from a summer camp, an Austin art gallery and other places she’s worked. She said she loves the feeling when someone compliments a sticker she thought no one would recognize, and she said stickers serve as a great conversation starter. 

“When you come to college, obviously there’s so many people who you don’t know,” Yates said. “(Stickers) help personalize things.”

As the sticker trend continues to increase, Yates said she doesn’t mind jumping on the sticker bandwagon. 

“People just want to be judgmental of things and they’re like, ‘Oh, that’s so basic. You’re just following the trends,’” Yates said. “Well, yes, I am. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that.”