Beyond the Bubble: Breaching the Bubble


The Lawrentian tends to focus on students activities and opinions about what is going on within the Lawrence community. In an effort to permeate the Lawrence bubble, this column aims to shed some light on the views within the campus community about a current event outside of Lawrence.

In our early years, adults are constantly reminding us of the inevitability of the “real world.” There is a widely held belief that during our time at Lawrence, and in the prior years of our academic careers, we exist in a sheltered environment that is vastly different from the world around us.

When asked about this supposed adult realm and how it differs from Lawrence, students could instantly describe some of the hallmarks that separate the two planes.

The most restated difference was that “in the real world, I can’t leave my backpack full of expensive belongings out all the time,” as put by sophomore Tina Czaplinska.

Junior Tierney Duffy also stated, “For me, the biggest difference is the fact that I can leave all of my belongings at the library for four hours, come back and everything is still there.” Super senior Dana DeBofsky noted the fact that at Lawrence, “you can leave your computer out and not worry about it getting stolen.”

Another common theme was Lawrence’s sense of community. Junior Rachel Spielvogel felt that “at Lawrence, compared to the real world, the support system is very strong. You can go up to anyone and ask for help, and nine out of 10 times, people are willing. You can go to a professor and say, ‘Help me — write a recommendation letter.‘ In the real world, you don’t find that everywhere.”

Senior Adriane Melchert expressed a similar sentiment. “I’m afraid of the real world,” she joked. “No, I mean, I don’t know everyone in the real world. I just visited UW for grad school and I was walking in between buildings, and I was like, I’m not saying hello to anyone right now.”

Once many students got started, they seemed to have an endless list of differences. “Oh in the real world, people wear shoes!” Czaplinska continued. “In the real world, people drink better beer. In the real world, people don’t use Yik Yak. In the real world, you can light a candle in your room.”

Sophomore Sarah Perret was equally prolific in her answer. “In the real world, you have to pay to go camping. In the real world, swipes mean nothing and you have to use real money when you go to a café. In the real world, you lock your door when you leave.”

On the other hand, Junior Sophie Schultz had a singular, instant answer. “At Lawrence, you always have to make sure you have a really good coat and waterproof shoes,” Schultz said.

Even though it is obvious that right now we do not exist in a very “real” world, the tone most of the students used when expressing these differences implied that they value these unique traits found in a small, trustworthy community.

So while we might frequently joke about and feel trapped by the “bubble,” we cannot deny that it allows us to exhibit behaviors that we enjoy but, unfortunately, are not really acceptable anywhere else.