I know what you were thinking right before you came to Vassar: “I’m an adult with adult responsibilities and adult stamina! I can handle anything!” You thought that you had the world at your feet and that you were capable of handling anything— even those stressful midterms and finals. You really thought you were above the legendary test anxiety, but as soon as the tide got a bit too strong, you wished you can take back those comments and return to childhood—protected in the arms of your parents.
In reality, college is not a time to grow, but a time to long for a much simpler time, where all we had to worry about was eating, sleeping and pooping. College, although a pivotal period in our lives, can make the strongest of us a bunch of giant babies. I have proof.
First of all, we are always crying. We need a hug; we cry. We are hungry; we cry. We need to be burped; we cry. We are frustrated; we cry. Point is, we cry all the time! (I’m clearly using “we” because I don’t want to admit “we” is actually “I,” but I will overlook that.) To be honest, I don’t think any of us have cried so much, even when we were babies! We even host our own crying parties, bottles included! Tears are scientifically proven to be great stress relievers. They release toxins that make us feel all icky and gross. That is why many of us prefer to cry instead of doing yoga.
Second, if we are not in public, then we are surely in our jammies. There is really no need to go out in actual pants if we are not seeing important adults. If you are anything like me, you actually wear onesies— the more children’s characters on them, the better! Also, it sometimes becomes so cold in our dorm rooms that we need attire that will keep us from losing a toe or two. From experience, I can tell you that onesies are perfect for insulating heat. They are also so cozy, almost like getting a big bear hug!
Speaking of hugs, we really need to be cradled and held. I read on Facebook the other day—so it has to be true—that we need about four hugs a day to survive. Just like we need to eat good food, we need good hugs, because it is good for our mental health to be physically close to people. Thus, next time you see someone struggling in the library, ask them if they want a hug, and just hold them for a little bit. Give them a giant cuddle equivalent to four cuddles!
“All-nighters,” you ask? We practically invented them at birth. Like babies, we are often up all night, planning mischievous antics. To be honest, most of the time, we just need something, like food. Our student fellows often find us banging the walls of our enclosures, wailing for attention. They have to bring us food and wave a nice stuffed animal to get us to relax and calm down (Student fellows are just great caretakers. We don’t deserve them).
To avoid waking up early in the morning, we like to have storytime right before bed, because why do your readings in the middle of the day when you can do them in the middle of the night?! They are often just as terrifying as the Grimm fairy tales. We really like to dial up the scary factor by waiting just before the night the readings are due to complete them!
But if we do have to stay up all night, there is nothing that a nap can’t do to make us feel better. Truth is, college students usually get the recommended three naps a day for newborns. You can catch us snoozing all over campus. Just wait until it gets warm enough outside, and you will see all of campus catching some zzz’s on the quad!
Thus, these and many more factors make us abnormally large babies. College teaches us that we must return to the basics of survival, like remembering to sleep and eat (and poop). Self-care in college is really about learning to baby-sit yourself. So remember that the next time you are freaking out over assignments! Ask yourself, “If I were a newborn, what would I need right now?” And then just do that!