Campus Quirks: Cubicles As Outlet For Student Expression
Published: Sunday, September 15, 2013
Updated: Sunday, September 15, 2013 23:09
It’s a routine most BC students are all too familiar with—pack up, head to O’Neill, and buckle down in a cubicle upstairs. Whether it’s finals week or late on a Sunday night, the cubicles in O’Neill are sure to be inhabited by tired students surrounded by stacks of books and laptops. Many times a trip to the fourth and fifth floors of O’Neill serve as a kind of self-prescribed isolation. The social nature of the third floor can make it difficult to get any serious work done. So many students tend to make the trek upstairs to increase their productivity in the lonely confines of a wooden cubicle.
By no means, however, does this mean that those students hibernating in cubicles are completely entranced by their studies, unaffected by extreme procrastination. In fact, many times the loneliness of the cubicles even seems to induce a strange type of procrastination in which the student feels the need to express his or her deepest and most bizarre feelings on the cubicle itself.
Alone and left only to their books and their own thoughts, students commonly resort to scribbling a wide range of strange phrases on the cubicle imprisoning them. The subject matter of the graffiti is wide ranging, from the inspirational words of encouragement to the most obscene and degrading language. Other phrases are clearly just written by bored students, desperate to make their mark on that cubicle if it means taking a break from their studies. Bizarre phrases include “Mufasa Lives,” and “Eskimos seem nice.”
Students also feel the need to air their grievances in writing. Because the quiet nature of the upstairs floors inhibits them from being able to openly express their concerns, some vent via Sharpie on the wood surrounding them. One person drew an angry face accompanied by the words “This is how I feel when someone is chewing loudly in the quiet section.”
Others take to the cubicles to encourage other students, with words such as “FOCUS” and “You can do it!” Many times, students will engage in dialogue together, crossing out parts of one person’s doodle, adding their own opinion. It’s common to see an arrow pointing to someone’s words of wisdom, with comments such as “you’re stupid” or “SO TRUE.” Other pieces of writing and random doodles are inappropriate, but nevertheless extremely entertaining.
Some cubicles host recommendations for classes and professors to take. Others add a personal touch, such as “I studied my macro econ final HERE on May 12, 2012!”
Perhaps this one sage scribble sums it up best: “Life’s best lessons can be learned in a cubicle … not studying, just reading the cubicle.”