All Grown Up And Ready To Play

Jill Ferris

“Can I come over so we can do arts-and-crafts?” my friend Allyssa asked me at midnight on Monday. So at 12:30 a.m., with a class at 9:55 the next morning and some homework left to do, I was sitting on the floor in my room busily cutting out points for my construction paper sun and strips for a paper link chain that is counting down the days left until school is out.We don’t change very much as we grow up. I mean, we grow taller and stronger and presumably smarter, but personality-wise, very little changes. Even in our in our late teens and early twenties, we still cling to the icons of our childhood. A conversation about Legos, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles or the Carebears can last for hours as we reflect and analyze those monumental parts of our childhood. In some instances, we may completely fail to outlive our childhood obsessions. The Juniors section at most department stores boasts everything from shirts with Muppets to Pink Panther underwear. DVD collections are often stocked with a Ren and Stimpy compilation or The Little Mermaid. Academically, other Disney movies such as Mulan and Aladdin have even found their place in the classroom.Personally, a large Nerf dart launcher, a recent addition to my assortment of toys at Colgate, has offered many a study break as I shoot at my friends as they enter my room. Before the dart launcher was a Super Bouncy ball which lasted until my roommates got fed up with being hit too many times. Hanging from my ceiling are two kites which are just waiting to be flown, and mingled with my books for Western Traditions and History Workshop are a few picture books that my mom has sent me in the mail. (My favorite, titled I Stink, is about a garbage truck.)The best part is that there is nothing wrong with this apparently childish behavior or lack of maturity. As long as your walls are adorned with posters of Dave Matthews Band, Brad Pitt or Britney Spears, instead of images of Barbie or Power Rangers, it is ok not to act your age. Just because we’re on the cusp of the adult world doesn’t mean that stodgy fogey-ness needs to follow.So as Nickelodeon celebrates its 26th birthday today, remember to let your inner child out to play!