What is the “Lawrence Bubble”? The above phrase is part of the Lawrentian language that will slowly slide into your vocabulary during the next year (along with “The Lawrence Difference” and “sketchy” and its variants). “Bubble” is the latest in a series of metaphors adopted by students to describe the relation of our community and culture to the “outside” world. What does it mean?
When Lawrentians say they’re in the Lawrence Bubble, it means that life at Lawrence seems all-encompassing, and that everything that occurs here is disproportionately important. Students trapped in the Bubble forget that the Lawrence experience is only one aspect of life.
How will you know you’ve moved inside the Bubble? You may lose contact with current events and with news at home and begin to focus on the life and relationships you are building here. The more focused your attention here becomes, the more you will identify with and think like people here, and the further into the bubble you will proceed. You may begin to believe that Lawrence is reflective of the world and that everyone on the outside should think the same way as we do. You may even think that everyone is, or should be, liberal, and that Michael Moore never twists facts.
The Bubble and its effects are not entirely good or bad. Lawrence was designed to be a quasi-isolated residential community, but also to teach diverse traditions of thought and to allow students to engender their own set of beliefs about the world. Lawrence is a self-sustaining cosmos, but it is not a microcosm of the greater world. This is good because it allows us to form a unique, thriving community; and it could be bad only if we forget that the “real” world awaits us at the campus limits.