Today: Jun 16, 2024

Fluffy friends with benefits

SIMONE VIRZI — Copy Editor

Whether you’re a freshman or a senior, packing for college can be a challenge. What do you need to bring? Who knew you had so many clothes? How is everything going to fit in your car? 

            Even in all the chaos, lacy underwear and colored condoms never seem to be left behind. But what about your beloved stuffed animal?

Otis is the only male in my life who doesn’t talk back to me or give me a headache, and he never objects to cuddling. He’s my adorable and incredibly soft pug—my favorite stuffed animal. The last three years at college, my friends have abused my poor dog, whether they are punching him in the face, throwing him or inappropriately positioning him with other stuffed animals. He’s currently in therapy, but I could not imagine college without my cuddle buddy. He’s traveled to Canada with me twice; there is no way I would leave him home while I’m at school!

Although college is exciting, living away from home can be out of one’s comfort zone. Sleeping in a new bed can also be uncomfortable. Every semester it takes me a few nights to adjust to a bed and a room that isn’t my own purple and blue beach-themed bedroom. Even though I’m in foreign territory, I have something I’m familiar and comfortable with, which makes me feel better: my dog. If you feel more comfortable sleeping with a Chucky doll, that’s okay too, assuming he doesn’t talk — or carry a knife.   

The law claims I am legally an adult, but that does not mean I have to act as though I am a 97-year-old on her death bed. At 20, I have no problem saying I sleep with a stuffed animal. My aunt just turned 30, but she still sleeps with a small pig puppet; the notorious Plumpy. When I was at her condo last weekend, he was in the middle of my aunt’s bed looking more brown than pink and more anorexic than plump; but she still adores the pig.

When my aunt was in college, one of her friends kidnapped Plumpy and hung him from a shower. Perhaps males torturing girls’ stuffed animals is the college way. My aunt is certainly an adult but is not embarrassed to say she sleeps with him. In fact, she’s protective of him the way a mother is protective of an infant. It is possible stuffed animals help prepare us for parenthood and therefore there is no excuse not to still love them.

Just because you bring a stuffed animal to school does not mean you are obligated to sleep with them if you do not want to; they can keep you company from a slight distance. My old roommate had a small Winnie the Pooh she kept on her desk. She also had a pig named Piggy who “masturbated” frequently. She still loved and accepted him for who he was, despite his flaws.     

Some people may decide to bring a stuffed animal to college because their boyfriend or girlfriend gave it to them, so it’s special. It is also a cute reminder of the person they are dating. It can be comforting if you are missing that person. Even though you can not cuddle with them, you can cuddle with the teddy bear he won for you at the carnival. Or if they anger you, you can easily take it out on the stuffed animal without breaking your wrist because you punched a brick wall.   

Regardless of the meaning behind your fluffy friend, it’s OK to bring them with you to college. After all, they’ve been there for you in the past, so why not have them be a part of the next chapter in your life? 

They may not help you pass math, but they’ll be loyally waiting on your bed for you. 

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