I have often contemplated the idea that humans age normally for the first 70 or so years of their lives and then begin to age in reverse. No, I am not talking Benjamin Button-style, but rather a more subtle, realistic version. You know, the whole wearing-diapers-and-eating-pureed-veggies sort of thing. Well, I seem to have stumbled upon my own, college student version of this phenomenon. I am by no means insinuating that I have started wearing diapers or eating Gerber’s. That is absolutely not the case. Instead, as a senior, I have started to rediscover and re-embrace all of the good things that remind me of childhood.
I think there is a very basic explanation for this. As a 21-year-old senior at the College of William and Mary, I have become all too aware of my imminent passage into “adulthood.” (See the other 107,973 articles I have written on this subject and the panic it induces). While this passage brings with it many exciting and stimulating opportunities — if you can think of some, please let me know — it is a tad daunting. My own personal coping mechanism seems to be reverting to childhood — and I have to say, it isn’t half bad.
First off, my recent eating habits very closely resemble those of my seven-year-old self. While this may be due in part to the fact that I am responsible for cooking the majority of my meals, I think there is more significance to my choices than mere laziness. I spent an entire week eating nothing for lunch but grilled cheese sandwiches, tomato soup and sliced apples. The next week I ate Spaghetti-Os for dinner. Twice. I made ants-on-a-log for an afternoon snack, and yes, apparently I eat afternoon snacks again. I also treated myself to my old favorite: breakfast for dinner. Three times. While all of these foods are undeniably intended for children, they are all absolutely awesome, and I have no idea why we deny adults these delicacies.
Of course, my reversion back to elementary school years extends beyond the food I eat. Last weekend, my sorority had a construction-themed mixer with a fraternity. Everyone but me found it fit to wear fluorescent vests, hard hats, work boots and overalls — actual construction gear, that is. When I was told the theme of the mixer, however, the first thing that popped into my head was: Legos. No, not wood, cement, tiles, bricks or any other, real-life construction material, but the plastic, primary colored Legos. So, naturally, I purchased myself a couple boxes of the dollar store’s finest Legos and hot glue-gunned them to a t-shirt. Success. Following the mixer, I stopped by the delis to show off my fancy attire. While waiting in line, a group of college-aged “men” thought it would be a swell idea to pick the Legos off of my shirt. When I, incensed, asked them what they thought they were doing, they merely replied, “Aw man, sorry, it’s just been so long since I played with Legos.” While this did not convince me to let them pick apart my artistic creation, their idea did resonate with me.
While I may have initially felt that I was alone in my reversion to childhood, I’m beginning to believe otherwise. The morning following my mixer, I went downstairs in my house to find that all of the leftover Legos I had left out on the dining room table had been assembled into three, little robot figures and a car. Welcome back, childhood. Stay as long as you’d like.
__Emily Walker is a Flat Hat Confusion Corner columnist. She always kept her inner child on one of those weird leashes like moms at the mall.__