Locker etiquette


We’ve all been there. Standing in front of one’s locker trying to weave your way through the mass of people who almost always seem to be purposely making it difficult for you to get your books. Don’t these people have better things to do with their time than to stand in front of other people’s lockers? Doesn’t anyone have a care for other people trying to get to class on time? Some students need to learn that a little etiquette is favorable when it comes to having lockers in high school.

Besides hordes of people blocking your locker, there’s also the high school sweetheart couples who need to leave their relationship out of the school hallways. Asking them to move out of your way often falls on deaf ears, as the two are so wrapped up with each other it’s like the rest of the world is just background noise. Nothing is more awkward than trying to use your locker while the two next to you won’t stop shoving their tongues down each other’s throats. Move along, people, we don’t need to see it.

Another potential problem could be your locker mate. Due to the roughly 1,200 students currently attending West Milford High School and the number of lockers available in our school, many freshmen in our school have to share a locker. Most students are able to choose their own locker mate rather than be assigned one, so that meant you could possibly be sharing a locker with a friend. However, problems arise very quickly when you get stuck having to share a locker with someone you would consider a stranger if you don’t try to make nice on the first day.

During my freshman year, my locker buddy and I barely knew each other, yet sharing a locker together worked out very well. We agreed early on in the school year to keep our things separate and neat. As a result, her binders never had stray papers become clutter on the floor, and I made sure my soccer uniforms never stunk up our locker. Another bonus was that neither of us were ever really at our lockers at the same time, and so we were never in each other’s way. Unfortunately, it doesn’t often work out this way. You might turn out like our neighbors, who were constantly elbowing each other for space to get their books or bickering over why there was old sports socks on their lunchbag.

Quick tip to freshmen: if your locker partner is a stranger, address potential problems before they could happen. Now that it’s October, you probably already know if your locker partner is a match made in heaven or a recipe for disaster. Communication is the essential key here. Establish boundaries as to where your things belong and where their things belong. It will make your life, and theirs, so much easier if you can manage to be cordial with your locker partner. And remember, it’s only for a year, and then you get your own space.

Please don’t leave food in your locker to rot over the winter break. Nothing is more disgusting than entire row of lockers reeking of mold welcoming you back to school in January. The same goes for those who spray cologne or Axe in their lockers. There are other people around you and the stench travels through air vents throughout the whole row of lockers, and everything will smell of gross cologne for a month.

Then there’s always the craziest scenario possible, in which you are headed to get your books and find two idiots trying to punch each other’s lights out right in front of your locker. No way are you going to get past that, unless you personally want to try to break that mess up. As a seventh-grader at Macopin nearly six years ago, I certainly was in no position to do so when I came to school one day to find two eighth graders having it out in front of my locker before the first period bell even rang. At least it made an interesting excuse when I  inevitably showed up late to my class because the two blockheads couldn’t be civil towards each other when the school day hadn’t even started yet.

Try to be aware that other people are around you. Be courteous when people say “Excuse me,” when trying to slip past all of the other students crowded by the row of lockers. Students just want to get to class on time, and the best way to do so it to be considerate towards each other. Don’t be that rude person who won’t move his locker door out of the way for someone else. Students have enough stress to deal with at school without having to make enemies out of their locker neighbors.