Why Your Stuffed Animals Deserve to Go to College

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Stuffed animals have seen the best of times and the worst of times—fairytale endings and fevers, frighteningly great Halloween costumes and family road trips (often more frightening)—the least they deserve is an honorary college degree. You don’t usually think of stuffed animals when you create your “what to bring to college” list.

Check out why you should bring your furry comrades along.

1. They’re your “Plastics”…until you meet your real life squad

When you walk through the double doors of your residence hall for the first time, your stuffies are your only posse. They’re your Regina George, Gretchen Wieners and Karen Smith, but with much better manners and made out of faux instead of plastic.

2. They’re conversation starters

“Who’s this?,” your roommate will ask as she picks up your plush terrier on move-in day. “That’s Scottie!” She’ll introduce you to her Target dog, Spot. You’ll talk about how they’re the perfect pooches (so low maintenance!) and the schmoozing begins. You could exchange awkward introductions (“where are you from” and “what’s your major?”), or you could bond over something real. 

3. They’re perfect to vent to

When your Latin quiz grade is a few letters above your bra size, your mom’s not picking up and your roomies aren’t back from class, your pink bunny, Pink, can double as a live-in therapist. She’ll sit there, be a very active listener and won’t expect a co-pay.

4. They’re matchmakers

Remember 101 Dalmatians? Your shaggy gray dog (and world’s greatest neck pillow), Manhattan, does too…and he took copious notes. He knows how to get that beautiful human sitting on your bed to see you as more than a friend and he’s going to help make it happen by being super steal-able. You’ll have to recover him from your love’s room…not a bad excuse to make sure their side of the room is halfway clean.

5. Without them, you’ll feel left out

When your neighbors are snuggling up with Piglet or the poo poo emoji at the dorm’s Valentine’s Day movie marathon, you’ll want your trusty polar bear, Poley, by your side. No Prince or Princess Charming? No problem! Scottie, Pink, Manhattan and Poley (clearly I was very inventive with names back in the day) comforted me through four years of cramming, crushing hard and cooking for myself. They served as my #squad, they started thought-provoking conversations, they listened to all of my woes sans complaints and they had the whole matchmaking thing down to a science. They each left college with their own diploma and a job offer…to help me through my first post-grad job and—if they don’t have a startup in the works or a plan to seek early retirement—to stick around for grad school.

Chelsea Brandwein is a UCSB senior who will be graduating in June with a degree in Classics and Professional Writing. Ever since she was old enough to wrap her fingers around a pen and keep it upright, she has been writing. Between juggling her work as a student, a Resident Assistant and a researcher, Chelsea can be found jotting down witty dialogue or rom com story arc ideas; she hopes to one day become a screenwriter.

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