Sprawled across off-white bathroom stalls in the women’s room of Maybank Hall are scribbles from many different women, all eager to express their opinions. Students enter the bathroom, BIC pens in hand and anonymity intact, and turn the women’s restroom into a miniature Halsey center, demonstrating their intricate doodles. Some of the work is so beautiful that I’ve even photographed and posted them on my personal Instagram. Others, however, use the stall to express their opinions in messy penmanship as the line to the bathroom grows and their time is cut short. This exchange of opinion ultimately leads to other girls responding in their own words with different colored pens, leaving a rainbow of replies for the next girl to add her color to. Every week, a new selection of opinions and art is seen as the thoughts of yesterday are cleared by the janitorial staff.
Not all of the opinions shared are positive; some curse others for their opinions in what can only be described as a toilet stall Twitter feud among CofC students, where everyone believes their viewpoint is the most important with no room for compromise. But others understand that not everything in life has to be a conflict. They recognize that the best opinion to be plastered for the world to see, even if it’s only in a bathroom stall at a liberal arts college, is one of love and acceptance. These people leave art with thoughtful messages of hope attached.
The art left by these good samaritans is not only heartfelt, but beautiful. One of the works calls for every girl who enters the stall to stop waiting for someone to bring them flowers and plant their own garden; in this case, add their own flower to the bathroom wall.
One may not picture a place where happiness resides when they think of a bathroom stall, but certain students believe in the power of art to create joy in others’ lives. I believe that we can all learn something from these girls. Life is hard and we should all help each other through it, even if it is simply through a doodle in a college bathroom.