Today: Feb 24, 2024

Kooky Collections

Makenzie HurlbertStaff Writer

I’ll admit it: I’m a packrat, but I’m not as bad as I used to be. When I was younger, everything was a collectible. This ranged from bottles and cans to Beanie Babies and Happy Meal toys. I remember “scoldings” from my mother pressing me to throw away something; anything! Over the years I’ve collected bottle caps, neat coins, magazines, notebooks, shoes, records, Pez dispensers, books, sea glass, and dead bugs (from a biodiversity class in high school). Some collections, like my bug box and bottle caps, tilt on the edge of randomness, while other collections like shoes and records seem absolutely common and normal. Whatever it may be, if it interests me and I want a lot of it then I collect it.

Take Pez dispensers for instance: the whole idea of interactive candy fascinated me as a child, so much that my collection of Pez dispensers wasn’t planned—it just appeared! After growing up and continuing my childish obsession with these plastic figurines, my collection now boasts of over 60 dispensers, ranging from the Easter Bunny to Captain Jack Sparrow.

My roommate says I have a collection of pets, and I guess there is some truth to that. Aside from my two dogs and the parrot at home, I’ve owned tree frogs, an iguana and hermit crabs, and I currently have a pet newt named Ozzy and a Cuban anole named Castro. I plan to eventually own a tortoise and a red-eyed tree frog, but I’m going to wait until I have my own place (my mom has declared a “no more pets” rule).

I also have a collection of Magic the Gathering cards, a card game I’ve been obsessed with since my mom taught me to play when I was in third grade. Now I have too many cards to count, eight decks, and a poster of Garruck the planeswalker in my dorm room. I guess you can say I’m hooked. So now that I think I’ve embarrassed myself enough, I’m curious to know of other Southern students’ collections, whether they be normal or crazy.

Being a connoisseur of collections, I figured there must be others on campus who share the need to hoard mundane and random objects. Junior Alyssa Marshall has collected movie ticket stubs since 2006. Today, her collection is totaled to be over 100 paper souvenirs from movies she has enjoyed. She says her vast collection includes stubs from “Anchorman” and all of the “Pirates of the Caribbean” movies.

Sophomore Sarah McKane likes to collect seashells, but they have to be from outside of Connecticut. She has shells from Florida beaches, and asks her friends to bring her back shells whenever they vacation near a beach. “Sand dollars are my favorite,” she said. “So I have the most of those.”

Freshman Parker Dumont has a large collection of energy drink containers. His collection contains 142 cans, all different and unique. Most of them are styles from the Monster brand, but he also has many promotional cans for artists and athletes and such. After finishing the energy drink, he strings the multi-colored tabs from the cans onto a necklace.

Lea Mastronardi, a sophomore, owns a collection of concert T-shirts. “Whenever I go to a concert, I have to get one,” she said. Her collection ranges from a Hillary Duff concert she went to when she was younger, to more recent concerts like Lifehouse and Nickelback.

Freshman Paul Benjunas is also an avid collector of concert T-shirts, but he also collects records and graphic novels. His favorite graphic novel is Batman Hush, illustrated by Jim Lee. His favorite record in his expansive collection is Alice Cooper’s “Welcome to my Nightmare.”

I guess we all have our own obsessions and hobbies, and whether it is collecting stamps or collecting sea glass, they often reveal our quirky side. It’s nice to know I’m not the only one who’s a natural collector, so keep it up you talented hoarders of the mundane!

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