Kirkwood High School student newspaper

Photo by Michael Galakatos

Lockers: practical or pointless?

March 9, 2017


Every year, students are assigned a locker to use as they wish, whether it be to store their books, lunch or athletic bag. As most students understand, their locker is always too far from their classes to even consider using. For some, it’s a godsend. The haven that is my locker has blessed me with easy access to things I refuse to carry. People assume it is what is on the inside that matters. But I contend that it’s how you use what is on the inside which shows the type of person you are, locker-person or anti-locker-person.

As a freshman, my locker was in the world language building right by the French classrooms, extremely far from any of my classes. There was no reason to be late to class just to put my lunch in my locker, and considering I couldn’t be on time even if I had to be, I didn’t want to push the bar. Sophomore year, not much changed. I didn’t take any effort to find out where it even was. I simply had no need to.

It wasn’t until my junior year at KHS that I began to use my locker. It was in the social studies hallway, and I passed it four times a day. It was perfect. That poor locker endured the brunt of my morning breakfasts and dirty socks. It became a toasty refrigerator for leftover smoothie cups and emergency sweatshirts. On my way to math class in the morning I was able to put whatever I didn’t want to carry in it and return to my things before my last hour of the day. Locker E133 became a reliable companion.

As an upperclassman at KHS, you’re assigned lockers in more convenient locations. Rising seniors can sign up for lockers in the senior hallway which is a prime spot for personal storage. The fatal flaw of senior lockers, though, is that you have to share them. Two people are assigned to each locker which is a turnoff to some. If you’re more of the selfish type, I would avoid sharing at all costs, but before you pass up on such an opportunity you should consider the advantages. You have access to a personalized pantry in between classes you can fill with whatever food you fancy. You get to claim your territory on the hierarchy of locker views and last but not least, you can actually use your locker.

As a senior, I have taken full advantage of my locker by filling it with Ring Pops and overdue class projects. Currently, my locker is empty. Mostly because my locker-buddy refuses to refill the candy supply, but in all honesty it’s because I’m such an outstanding student that I don’t have any overdue projects. Well, at least at the moment.

I understand why so many students don’t find any use in their lockers, but as an upperclassman I can say I have relied on my assigned cubby with a door for the last two years. I am thankful for the snacks it has allowed me to store and for the jackets it has kept me from carrying. Every student will have their own opinion on having a locker, but those who don’t neglect the extra space greatly appreciate them.

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I have had to sew each of the straps of my backpack multiple times. My locker, on the other hand, has been opened only once. I keep my binders, pencil case and lunch box in my backpack. I have never put a single book, jacket or bag in my locker. I have decorated my backpack with various pins and keychains. My locker remains completely empty, both inside and out.

Last year, my locker was located in the world language building, which was as far away from me and my thoughts as possible, so I didn’t really have an opportunity to use it. This year, my locker is on the second floor of the math building. Although it is up a flight of grueling stairs, it happens to be in between my first and second hour classes. This would be convenient, but right after first hour is too early in the day for me to need to use my locker.

Some people keep their lunch box in their locker. If I did that, I would have to go all the way to get it before finding my friends and actually eating, and lunch is already short enough as it is. It’s much easier to carry my lunch with me, especially since it’s not terribly heavy and it fits fine in my backpack.

Other people use their locker for their binders or textbooks. Doing this would mean I would have to rush to my locker between classes to get what I need and sprint to class to avoid being late. I realistically have no good time to get things out of my locker and I don’t particularly care to find any.

Not to mention, if you leave books or binders in your locker and forget that you need them for class, you’re out of luck. Unless of course, your teacher happens to be feeling nice enough to let you jog halfway across the school to get your homework, which isn’t likely. It is much more practical to have everything in your backpack so you always have what you need.

There is always the argument that heavy backpacks will make you slouch, but the chairs we sit in on a daily basis are really the root of that problem. According to a study done at the University of Manitoba, while backpacks can worsen upper or lower back pain, sitting at a desk all day can cause “the spinal cord to be pressed to one side, lack of blood circulation, tense shoulder, neck and back muscles and constriction of the digestive organs.” So there is no point in emptying your bag and squeezing stacks of schoolbooks in between the small shelves of your locker because you’re still going to eventually squash your spine and strain your shoulders by sitting hunched over.

Lockers are more of a waste of space than they are a suitable place to store your belongings. I have no need for my locker, so I am going to continue filling my backpack to the brim and not wasting my time with a pointless cubby with a door, thank you very much.

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