Students wonder if left-handed is wrong-handed at KSU

Kristen O'Brien

Simple tasks like cutting a piece of paper, writing in your notebook or using the mouse on your computer can be quite challenging for a select few Kent State students – thanks to their left-handedness.

Jodi Phillips, a junior speech pathology major, says that being left-handed in a right-handed world isn’t easy. Only 10 percent of the world is left-handed. As a result, most everyday instruments are made for right-handed individuals.

“There are a lot of restrictions on certain things that I do because I am left-handed,” Phillips said.

Simple tasks such as eating a meal can be very challenging for both Phillips and the people around her.

“Especially at Kent, my friends and I go out to eat a lot,” Phillips said. “When I am sitting next to someone who is right-handed, we usually end up bumping each other, or they get so annoyed that we switch seats. It’s frustrating because you don’t think about it when you go out to eat how you have to sit in order to be comfortable.”

Taking notes is difficult for Phillips because notebooks aren’t designed for left-handed individuals either. She said it’s easier for her to write in binders rather than notebooks.

However, this system has its flaws.

“It’s terrible,” Phillips said. “I literally have to take all the papers out of my binder and as I turn the page, put them back in the binder so it doesn’t get out of order. It’s very annoying.”

Phillips said that Kent State doesn’t accommodate to her and other left-handed students as much as she’d like.

“The only left-handed seats, at least for the classes I’ve been in, are directly on the end,” Phillips said. “If you don’t get there in time or you are coming from another class, you really can’t reserve a spot on the end, so I am usually bumping elbows with someone else.”

Phillips isn’t the only student who has these complications with being left-handed. Matt Cicero, senior nutrition and food major, couldn’t agree more.

“The majority of the desks in the classrooms are usually made for right-handed people,” Cicero said. “It’s too much of a hassle to look around for a left-handed desk, so I don’t even bother looking for one.”

Because Cicero is left-handed, he also finds it hard to complete the otherwise simple task of writing.

“Certain pens smear when my wrist rubs over it,” Cicero said. “Then I run into the problem of trying to read my notes.”

Cicero said that although being left-handed isn’t easy, he sees his left-handedness as a part of his identity.

“Jimi Hendrix and Albert Einstein are both left-handed,” Cicero said. “If those people can accomplish something so great, then why can’t I?”

Contact Kristen O’Brien at [email protected].