Talk to enough girls, or use the girls’ restrooms enough, and you’ll know that there is a large graffiti community that lives on the inside of certain bathroom stalls. The E building bathrooms leaning on the more vulgar and direct, while the L building bathrooms lean on the supportive and loving.
It was interesting to see the deep contrasts between the varying messages. Condemning the school system, calling out certain people, making vulgar comments, and asking people not to be dumb are the most frequent topics. However, among the throng of seeming negativity, there are comments of encouragement. Telling girls that they are okay and beautiful people. Even now, there are series of comments that have been erased, telling girls to have a bright and happy day.
I found this extremely cool that at the end of the year, especially when students are feeling their most doubtful and anxious, there are people in the student body who care for their fellow peers, no matter if they are strangers or not.
Of course, the graffiti community has been prevalent for as long as I’ve been here, and will continue long after the class of 2017 leaves. Graphic pictures and doodles and random phrases have been a common occurrence for janitors to see and have to clean up. If you pay attention enough, you can see certain commenters leave their marks over the years, and see their progression in material as well. Though there were several positive remarks made in the restrooms, all of them seemed to be made by the same one or two people.
This is not to undermine the impact those comments have had on some of the student body (I can’t really speak for the male population). I myself read one of the first of the series of comments on a day I truly needed the motivation. Aside from myself, girls in my classes and girls who I’ve interacted with in the restrooms have all seemed a bit more cheerful after reading the motivational and inspirational words.
All I can say now, as we stand on the edge of the school year, is thank you to whomever it was that brightened female students’ days.