Finding your voice: NHS students express themselves through locker decorations


Addison Bussell and Tori Rowe

Roaming the hallways of any American high school, you will find thousands of lockers. They are something many people tend to avoid, may it be the long haul to and from them, or that students just don’t seem to have the time during passing periods. But for those who take advantage of these supposed boring storage spaces, they often take the liberty to add personality to this drab high school staple.

To some teachers, self expression is a vital part of their students’ experience. NHS art teacher, Caroline Hays, tries to establish a place in her classroom where self expression will blossom. 

“I think as art teachers, we’re encouraging students to find their voice as an artist,” Hays said, “Using art to communicate that experience is something we work on in classes.” 

Hays believes in the importance of having an outlet to express oneself, but with so many ways to do so, some struggle with narrowing down an outlet. Though locker decorating might seem like something left behind in middle school, it has proved to be a viable option for students to pursue while in the constraints of school. 

Sophomore Madelyn Scruggs takes the creative liberty to decorate her locker. Scruggs is an artist with many different styles. She recommends locker decoration to make the environment more exciting and interesting while also expressing oneself. 

“Expressing yourself really helps you in your school environment. It makes you more comfortable,” Scruggs said. “It draws people [in by] getting their attention and it makes… conversation.”

Emma Gerichs, a junior at NHS, tries to make a homely space out of their locker, trying to give themself a safe space. They add organizational tools to stay organized and on top of classes, yet still add personality. They use art and design as an outlet of expression. 

“I was inspired to decorate it because school was a really comfortable place for me, because home is iffy sometimes. So I decided to decorate it so it feels a little more homey,’’ Gerichs said. “You never know what’s going on in someone else’s life. If they have that [comfort] somewhere else or not, I know I didn’t for like a long time when I was growing up. So [school] was a safe space.”

A common consensus from Scruggs and Gerichs was that there only seemed to be benefits from their locker self expression. Not only did they create a personal space in school, but also provided themselves a channel to express themselves.