Bringing Back Childhood Habits

Growing up sucks. There, I said it. Having to juggle school, work and friends can be exhausting and oftentimes, it leaves you yearning for the past in which you had little to no responsibilities and even the smallest moments could bring about immense joy.

As a child there was no greater feeling than receiving something in the mail, be it a birthday card, party invitation or a letter stating who your teacher would be for the upcoming year. While I am still guilty of being excited over receiving mail, that excitement fades once I realize the ‘surprise’ in the mail is nothing more than my bank statement (yikes) or perhaps a textbook shipped from Amazon.

Whether we want to acknowledge it or not, we have outgrown our childhood years and the realities of adulthood have either smacked us in the face or are looming ahead in the near future. The most crucial part, however, of becoming a mature adult and figuring out who you are or wish to be, is to never let go of your inner child. Let’s take a trip down memory lane, recall some of the best childhood memories, and figure out how we can still incorporate them into our daily lives as college students.

Nap Time

Remember the days when taking naps was not only encouraged, but enforced? Why did I ever take such an opportunity for granted? Yeah, learning the alphabet, colors and simple addition and subtraction was hard work, but by no means was it as stressful as daily college life is now.

If you find yourself struggling to stay awake in class as your eyes slowly start to roll back and the sound of your professor’s voice begins to fade away, do yourself a favor and make nap-time (or even better a good night’s sleep) a priority. If your schedule doesn’t allow for the luxury of a 60-minute nap, I am firm believer and endorser in the 20-minute power nap.

Gym Class

Gym was not just a class; it was a lifestyle. Growing up, I was the poster-child of a gym class hero, Skechers and all. Perhaps growing up with two older brothers instilled in me a competitive nature but you better believe I was the queen of the four square courts and showed no mercy when it came to kickball. The best part of gym class as a kid was the fact that I was getting an exercise without even realizing it because of all the fun I was having. Nowadays, making time for exercise can seem like a chore, but it doesn’t have to be.

If you want to reawaken the inner gym-class hero in you, show off your competitive side and fit in a fun exercise, look no further than the intramural sports program at Monmouth. While Monmouth offers typical sports such as soccer, basketball and/or softball, they also offer more unique choices such as home run derby, wiffleball and flag-football, giving you no excuse not to try one out and get your exercise in.

Birthday Parties

Birthday parties were the best growing up because they were a chance to hang out with all of your friends, gorge yourself on pizza and cake and you got a goodie bag; it doesn’t get much better than that. Nowadays birthdays usually involve going out to dinner or throwing a small get-together. Don’t get me wrong, both of those options are great, but they certainly don’t stand up to the Chuck E. Cheese or GoodSports parties of the past.

If you really want to reawaken your inner-child, opt for a non-conventional birthday this year and gather a group of friends to go bowling with or head to Sky Zone and revisit your 10-year-old self; I promise that you will not be disappointed.

The Glory Days of Disney Channel

Every day after school I used to sprint home from the bus-stop, grab a Capri-Sun and Ritz-Bits and pop down in front of the TV to gawk over how cute Dylan and Cole Sprouse were in “The Suite Life of Zack and Cody.” After I got my fill of childhood heartache, I would grab my CD player and jam out to Hannah Montana while practicing my spelling words for the week.

Since then, the quality of Disney Channel shows has gone down tremendously. Cult classics such as “Lizzie McGuire,” “Even Stevens,” and “That’s So Raven” have been replaced with shows such as “Dog with a Blog,” which doesn’t even make sense, but I’ll save that for another day. If you are feeling super nostalgic and need a break from the end-of-the-semester induced stress, get some people on your floor together and indulge in a classic Disney Channel marathon. This is a great way to branch out and get to know other people before the semester comes to an end, all while reminiscing on the television shows that shaped our childhood.

As college students there is so much pressure to maintain a balance between school, work, and a social life. I get it, #adulting can be a real pain sometimes, but that’s not to say you have to give up all the joyous parts of childhood in order to face the real world. All it takes is a little imagination and creativity to re-invent your favorite childhood memories and get to experience them all over again with a new perspective.