The Artistry of Laptop Stickers: A Canvas of Identity at Bates College

As the sun gently filters through the windows of Ladd Library on a serene Sunday afternoon, the scene unfolds with students engrossed in their academic pursuits. Yet, amidst the studious atmosphere, a vibrant display of individuality emerges on the surfaces of their laptops, adorned with an array of stickers that tell intricate stories of personal identity and connection.

Get your favorite vinyl stickers here at

According to Professor Stephanie Kelley-Romano, who specializes in Rhetoric, Film, and Screen Studies, these stickers serve as anchors for students in the whirlwind of college life, offering a sense of comfort and familiarity. Each sticker, whether it bears the emblem of a favorite band, commemorates a cherished memory, or represents a social cause, contributes to the tapestry of the student’s narrative.

Take, for instance, John Campana ’26 from Detroit, whose laptop serves as a canvas for his passions and experiences. Among the stickers showcasing his favorite band, Fleetwood Mac, lies a poignant reminder of his late grandfather in the form of Roman numerals representing his birth year. Similarly, Alden Zhang ’26 of Bethesda, Md., proudly displays a Green Dot sticker symbolizing her commitment to the college’s bystander intervention program, alongside markers of her musical tastes and hobbies.

For some, like Amanda Power ’26 of Scottsdale, Ariz., the decision to adorn their laptops is a weighty one, as each sticker is perceived as a reflection of their identity. Yet, for others like Moses Hufford-Bucklin ’26 of Delco, Pa., collecting stickers has become a journey, with each sticker serving as a memento of places visited and memories made.

Seniors, having spent years cultivating their sticker collections, reminisce about the evolution of their personal narratives. Maddy Ewell ’24 of Ridgewood, N.J., recounts the addition of a Bates sticker upon acceptance, alongside cherished tokens gifted by friends. Meanwhile, the College Store and Post & Print operation offer avenues for students to further express themselves through stickers, whether it’s supporting sports teams or promoting campus organizations.

Beyond their aesthetic appeal, stickers serve as catalysts for meaningful interactions and connections. Professor Kelley-Romano herself delights in sharing stickers with her students, viewing each exchange as an opportunity to celebrate shared moments and foster understanding.

In essence, these stickers transcend their adhesive nature, becoming symbols of individuality, memory, and community. They transform laptops into canvases of self-expression, inviting conversations and forging bonds among the diverse tapestry of Bates College.