High school is a time for students to find themselves. It’s all about creating one’s identity and finding ways to express it. One of the best ways to do this is through the use of your locker.
One of the most exciting moments of the beginning of the school year is opening your locker for the first time — especially that freshman year. For some reason, there’s a bit of mystery that comes with it. As you turn the lock for the first time, a sense of anticipation and wonder seems to fill the air around you. You can’t really explain why you feel this way, because the inside of every locker is the same every year: empty and musty.
But after that comes the fun part — personalizing your locker. Everyone’s locker turns out differently, and reflects a piece of their personality. Some people choose not to really even use their lockers. I remember one friend who kept a half-empty water bottle in his locker all year long, and only opened his locker about three times — one of which was to clean it out.
I also remember another friend who always kept bags of food in his locker. Whenever I wanted a Pop-Tart or a cookie, he was the one I visited. He always had plenty to share.
Girls seem to have more fun decorating their lockers than boys. Our lockers are metal, so one thing that has always been popular is sticking magnetic objects onto the inside of the locker doors. I’ve seen many people who have mini whiteboards in their lockers, so they can write little notes to themselves. I’ve also seen lots of mirrors hung up, giving students an opportunity to do little check-ups on their hair and makeup in between classes.
Then there’s always those forgetful students — like me. While I usually opt out of decorating my locker, I have often been the victim of accidental “decorations.” I remember an experience during my freshman year when I left a lunch box in my locker and forgot it was even there. Months later, a “lovely” smell took over my locker and welcomed me each time I opened it. It wasn’t until months later that I finally threw that disgusting lunch box away.
I’ve seen lockers stacked high with books, lockers covered in sticky notes, and lockers filled with just about every jacket a person could possibly own. I’ve seen lockers full of sports equipment, lockers with toothbrushes, and lockers covered in crumbs. I’ve seen lockers untouched all year, lockers filled with empty plastic bottles, and lockers covered in crumpled-up papers.
Every student’s locker expresses something about themselves. It is one of the creative outlets that we are given, whether we use it on purpose or by accident. Either way, lockers are a piece of freedom that we are given that I firmly believe every student is thankful for.
Cartwright is a senior at Grantsville High School.