It’s a sticky situation: What the stickers on your water bottle say about you

Ketki Samel/Staff

Almost everyone you see in Berkeley has this object in their hand or backpack, and they come in all sorts of shapes, colors and sizes. Most of them come in basic colors, but many people opt to customize theirs with stickers. Any guesses? No, it’s not a juul — today we’re talking about water bottles, specifically the stickers on your water bottle and what they say about you.

Whether you have a Swell, Hydro Flask, Nalgene, off-brand Swell (you know who you are) or Camelbak, you likely have stickers that accompany your H2O bottle. You might think that these stickers don’t mean much, but that’s where you’re wrong. These little adhesive pieces of paper allow the people around you to gauge what kind of person you are. Read on and see what the stickers on your water bottle say about you!

No stickers

You’re the Plain Jane or Bland Brad that has a water bottle that has never been touched by a sticker. Ever. This shows that you are indecisive about everything and have a fear of commitment. At one point, you probably entertained the thought of putting a sticker on your water bottle, but you got so stressed out when deciding the type and position of the sticker that you ultimately gave up. Quitters never win, Plain Jane and Bland Brad. They never win.

Too many stickers

Now these people are the polar opposites from our friends, Plain Jane and Bland Brad. There’s honestly no reason why you need so many stickers on your water bottle — at this point, it’s a call for attention. You can’t even read half of them because they’re so concentrated together. If you have trouble finding where one sticker ends and the other begins or can’t determine the original color of your water bottle, this is you.

Club/organization stickers

Ah yes, the shameless self-promoter. You proudly display your organization sticker in hopes to show off that you’re involved (or so you want us all to think). When talking to other people, you always find a way to bring up your organization, even if it has nothing to do with the conversation. But you know what? It doesn’t matter because you’re in this sick club and you’re proud of it. (But you should honestly tone it down sometimes because it’s lowkey annoying.) Because you exude so much spirit and free promotion for the club through your water bottle, you’re probably also wearing club merch as we speak.

Meme stickers

This is where it gets really complicated. There’s a fine line between a good meme and a bad meme. You’re either really funny or have a really bad sense of humor. Regardless, you’re always doing stuff for laughs and referencing Vines on the daily. If someone were to check your phone, they’d probably notice that UC Berkeley Memes for Edgy Teens is bookmarked. In your downtime, you enjoy watching Vine compilations, specifically the ones that claim to have “stopped you from ending it all,” “changed the world” or “cured my depression.” TL;DR: it really depends on the context. This is a case-by-case situation.

Hypebeast stickers

We’re talking Supreme, Stussy, OBEY and Anti Social Social Club (which we can’t even begin to understand — is it an oxymoron of some sort?). We get it, you’re cool or whatever. You can probably be seen wearing the “fanny pack over the shoulder” look, which is a trend that we’ll also never understand. In terms of social media, your feed probably consists of your latest pick-ups, KOTD posts and multiple pictures with your signature power stance. We don’t need to call you out — you know exactly who you are.

Clothing brand stickers

At surface level, you might think that these stickers simply mean that you’re a fan of these clothing brands, but they so show much more. For example, if you have Brandy Melville stickers, you’re probably a basic bitch who owns one of those Swedish backpacks that no one knows how to pronounce properly. If you have Patagonia stickers, you live for an outdoorsy moment (or for a Patagonia sticker). Vineyard Vine sticker owners are most likely in a frat and can be seen in one of those quintessential Vineyard Vines shirts on a regular basis. If clothing brand stickers are on your water bottle, you’re hip and trendy (and you want everyone to know it).

Cal stickers

What can we say, you’re proud to be a Golden Bear! You probably own a lot of Cal gear, and you tend to wear them more often than not. To be honest, you probably put Cal stickers on your water bottle to show off to your high school friends, family, neighbors, strangers and basically everyone that you go to the No. 1 public university. It’s okay, there’s no shame in the game. It all makes sense if you think about it: you can’t always wear that Cal sweatshirt, but you can always bring your cool water bottle with your Cal sticker. Strategic, Golden Bear — very well played.

Inspirational quote stickers

Don’t we all love an inspirational quote? Something to uplift our spirits and inspire us all towards some goal or positive change. Well, apparently not enough, compared to some people. Walking around in Birkenstocks with a kombucha in one hand and a bullet journal in the other, our favorite inspirational quote connoisseur can be seen with a water bottle in the pocket of their backpack. The stickers on the water bottle probably read words like “radiate positivity,” “always stay humble and kind,” “just keep swimming” or “not all who wander are lost.” There’s no hate here — we all need some positivity and happiness in our lives. Some people get it from food, spending time with family and friends and listening to music, while others get it from buying stickers that say “good vibes.”

TV shows and movie stickers

You probably have a subscription to HBO, Netflix, OnDemand and Hulu. (How else are you supposed to easily stream all of your favorite shows and movies?). Your hobbies typically include binge-watching new and old shows (and that’s about it). Because you spend so much time watching shows, they’re probably always on your mind, so you often quote or reference specific scenes on a daily basis. The only problem is that no one knows what you’re talking about because they’re doing other things with their lives.

Political stickers

You go to UC Berkeley. You’re either woke AF or trying to hop on the bandwagon.

So there you have it: a guide to determining what the stickers on your water bottle actually say about you.

Contact Allison Fong at [email protected].