Third Floor: The Seven-Floor Project

By Sadie Howard

The task of writing about the third floor is no easy feat. More than anywhere else, the third floor is the heart of Beacon. Whether it’s rushing to print out an assignment, awkwardly checking out a library book for your PBA, or running late with coffee to your A Band English class, the third floor is always busy. But to me, the third floor is more than floor – it’s also a home. My third floor locker, which has dutifully served me this past year, has become my rock. Having a go-to spot where a row of friends greets me has made walking in at 7:45 am every morning more bearable.

The story of my locker starts a year ago, before it belonged to me. Every locker in the little nook on the third floor had already been claimed, and I was forced to use one around the corner. It felt like there was a physical barrier between me and all of my friends who were lucky enough to have staked their claim earlier in the year. What was really just five feet away seemed like a vast expanse of space I couldn’t cross. It didn’t help that whenever I needed to access my things, I had to push my way through a crowd of freshmen, who clearly did not understand the hierarchy of age in high school. So this year, when it came time to place my lock before the underclassmen beat me to it, I didn’t hesitate.

I’m so grateful I didn’t, because that sanctified space truly changed the trajectory of my senior year.

Over time, “my locker” has become “our lockers,” then simply: “the lockers.” At this point, not a day goes by without me either sending or receiving a text that just says “lockers.” Even asking where in the building my friends are has become trivial, as I can trust that they’re at our home base. Having that one small thing I can rely on has made me much more confident in my friendships that once seemed distant.

Something as small as a daily text or sitting on the linoleum floors for ten minutes before class every morning has made all the difference in building connections with my friends. Although I don’t have any classes on the third floor, it’s managed to not only work its way into my routine, but has become the best part of it. The most insignificant parts of our day have allowed my friends and I to become cemented so firmly in each other’s lives.

As I was thinking about the third floor and what about it seemed worthy of reporting on, I kept coming back to the lockers. There is no other place in Beacon where I feel at home. What makes the lockers so meaningful is their mundanity. It’s not a designated space like the senior lounge. It wasn’t made special by a teacher, like a classroom. It’s just a little corner with some lockers. We chose to make it our place where we always go back to; our chosen home with our chosen family.