What The Stickers On Your Laptop Say About You

What The Stickers On Your Laptop Say About You

Some overdo it; others leave us underwhelmed
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Sometime around mid-August, the day before move-in day to be exact, I was packing up my belongings when I came to the realization that my laptop had no stickers on it. I panicked. How could this have slipped my mind? I had seen my friends preparing for months before, meticulously placing each and every colorful sticker in its rightful place on the covers of their laptops. My favorite local coffee shop chain in Milwaukee, called Colectivo, is known for their trendy, vibrant, and (most importantly) free stickers. I got in the car despite the torrential rainfall going on outside and drove to get myself some laptop décor.

Naturally, I stopped at my favorite shop first—they are sprinkled throughout the city—and fell even deeper into my state of panic when the cashier looked at me and said that they didn’t have any left. So, I drove to the next closest one and lucked out. I got three stickers. First, the classic Colectivo logo, a bright skull resembling the ‘calavera,’ similar to something you would see for a Day of the Dead celebration. Second, a teal bus with some flames on it and ‘Colectivo’ on the side. Third, a smaller sticker that is in the shape of a man boxing, which I put on the bottom of my laptop because I liked it, but I didn't want it to be the first thing that anybody saw.



I managed to find two Vineyard Vines whales, and stuck those on there, too. I even put one on sideways in an attempt to exemplify my more “creative” side. Did I mention that one has the American flag pattern on it? I think that’s super cool.

What I’m getting at, though, is that I don’t believe that the stickers on my laptop are the best representation of who I am to a passerby in the library or at Starbucks. What does someone think when they see a pink whale placed next to a skull? They most likely don’t know that the skull sticker did not come from a rebellious phase, but rather, a mature phase where I developed a taste for coffee. At face value, my stickers are a dichotomy. I guess people must think I’m somewhat confused or indecisive, when in reality, I just had to make haste with my sticker application, and used what I had available. Perhaps I look rushed.

While my stickers may seem a bit all over the place, I think I have an ideal number. I’ve got about seven on there right now. I’ve added two since moving to Saint Louis. Too often, I see people with their laptop covers plastered with their stickers. What’s the point? I can’t see anything, and frankly if you’re one of these people, I would consider starting over because it makes you look messy. Ya know? Consider a scenario like a class project. If your teacher gives you some time to work during the class period, and you pull out your adhesive monstrosity, but don’t understand why your group members run the other way, it’s probably because your laptop makes you look disorganized and unreliable.

On the other hand, we have those few meek individuals who go about their day with a single sticker from REI, Hilton Head Island, Patagonia, etc., etc., the list goes on. While there is nothing inherently wrong with any of these stickers, having only one makes you look bland and boring. Your entire being surely cannot be captured by one mere sticker. When I walk past a person with only one sticker on their laptop, I wonder why they didn’t just go for it and put on some more. Spice up your life. Make yourself seem interesting! Tell us what you are all about.

Clothes and coffee seem to have summed up my life from an early age, so I guess my Colectivo and Vineyard Vines stickers actually express who I am quite well. If either of those interests you, and you see me working on my laptop, come start up a conversation with me. Similarly, if you see someone else with stickers that interest you, go up and talk to them. Also, keep in mind how you want people to view you when you’re placing your stickers on your laptop. Laptop stickers make a statement to the world around you about who you are, your commitments, and your passions.


Cover Image Credit: Real Geek

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To The Girl Who Had A Plan

A letter to the girl whose life is not going according to her plan.
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“I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.” - William Ernest Henley

Since we were little girls we have been asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” We responded with astronauts, teachers, presidents, nurses, etc. Then we start growing up, and our plans change.

In middle school, our plans were molded based on our friends and whatever was cool at the time. Eventually, we went to high school and this question became serious, along with some others: “What are your plans for college?” “What are you going to major in?” “When do you think you’ll get married?” “Are you going to stay friends with your friends?” We are bombarded with these questions we are supposed to have answers to, so we start making plans.

Plans, like going to college with our best friends and getting a degree we’ve been dreaming about. Plans, to get married as soon as we can. We make plans for how to lose weight and get healthy. We make plans for our weddings and children.

SEE ALSO: 19 Pieces Of Advice From A Soon-To-Be 20-Year-Old

We fill our Pinterest boards with these dreams and hopes that we have, which are really great things to do, but what happens when you don’t get into that college? What happens when your best friend chooses to go somewhere else? Or, what if you don’t get the scholarship you need or the awards you thought you deserved. Maybe, the guy you thought you would marry breaks your heart. You might gain a few pounds instead of losing them. Your parents get divorced. Someone you love gets cancer. You don’t get the grades you need. You don’t make that collegiate sports team. The sorority you’re a legacy to, drops you. You didn’t get the job or internship you applied for. What happens to you when this plan doesn’t go your way?

I’ve been there.

The answer for that is “I have this hope that is an anchor for my soul.” Soon we all realize we are not the captain of our fate. We don’t have everything under control nor will we ever have control of every situation in our lives. But, there is someone who is working all things together for the good of those who love him, who has a plan and a purpose for the lives of his children. His name is Jesus. When life takes a turn you aren’t expecting, those are the times you have to cling to Him the tightest, trusting that His plan is what is best. That is easier said than done, but keep pursuing Him. I have found in my life that His plans were always better than mine, and slowly He’s revealing that to me.

The end of your plan isn’t the end of your life. There is more out there. You may not be the captain of your fate, but you can be the master of your soul. You can choose to be happy despite your circumstances. You can change directions at any point and go a different way. You can take the bad and make something beautiful out of it, if you allow God to work in your heart.

SEE ALSO: To The Girl Patiently Waiting With An Impatient Heart

So, make the best of that school you did get in to. Own it. Make new friends- you may find they are better than the old ones. Apply for more scholarships, or get a job. Move on from the guy that broke your heart; he does not deserve you. God has a guy lined up for you who will love you completely. Spend all the time you can with the loved one with cancer. Pray, pray hard for healing. Study more. Apply for more jobs, or try to spend your summer serving others instead. Join a different club or get involved in other organizations on campus. Find your delight first in God and then pursue other activities that make you happy; He will give you the desires of your heart.

My friend, it is going to be OK.

Cover Image Credit: Megan Beavers Photography

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The Most Important Things I've Learned From Taking Philosophy

The biggest takeaways that I have collected from my time in my Philosophy class.

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When registering for classes for Fall 2018, I found myself drawn to Philosophy 126: Mind, Brain, Self & Evolution. I figured the class would give me the opportunity to perform a lot of introspection during my first semester at college while also helping me fulfill some General Education requirements, and I couldn't have been more right. I've never had the pleasure of taking a class with such a loose agenda and the freedom to discuss every aspect of the information we are learning. That said, there have been a few major takeaways from this class.

First is the idea that you are not the sum of your parts, but the sum of your parts and the parts of everyone around you. Most people have heard the overused quote "It takes a village to raise a child," but this idea couldn't be more than true. We subconsciously pull so many of our habits, preferences, etc. from the people around us that we ultimately grow to become a community within ourselves, and there is something truly beautiful about that. It takes a village to raise a child to become a village.

Second, I've learned how important it is to understand that if some big philosophical or psychological or physical problem has not been solved yet, there is rarely going to be one solution to it. Millions of years of group thought have placed us in the intellectual shoes we are in, and yet we still question every day what our "purpose" is. There are thousands of theories and possible answers to this question, but who's to say that they aren't all correct? Some aspects of life are just too subjective to be answered objectively.

Lastly is the separation between gaining knowledge and experiential learning. Both are arguably equal in their significance, but we don't truly think about how immensely different the two concepts are until we are forced to. In philosophy, there is a theory centered around this experimental design called "Mary's Room." The story is that a woman named Mary has lived in a black and white room her whole life but has grown up learning everything about color and the human reaction to it (biologically, psychologically, etc.).

Once the door to her room is opened and she sees the color red for the first time, she has just learned something new despite already knowing everything there is to know about the concept of color. Experience is the most important part of the human condition and should not be disregarded when it comes to learning.

There are so many aspects of our existence that we never consider on a daily basis simply because we don't have to. There is something unique about people who are in touch with themselves spiritually: they have a greater understanding not just of who they are, but of who they are in relation to the rest of the world. In a fast-paced, Type A world it is especially easy to lose sight of the importance of experiencing humanity, and we often take this beautiful gift for granted.

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