Nine in 10 still snuggling stuffed animals

In a recent survey of 117 students, over 90 percent embrace still snuggling with stuffed animals, 50 still sleep with a stuffed animal, and 40 percent still own over 10 cuddly stuffed companions. Sophomore Noel Thomas is one who considers herself a huge fan. “I guess it’s just a lot easier to go to sleep at night when I have my stuffed animals with me.”

What are some words normally associated with stuffed animals? Fluffy? Childish? Too childish for high schoolers? 

Apparently not. A recent Hi-Line  poll found 91.5 percent of 117 CFHS students agreed that owning a stuffed animal in high school isn’t strange.

Almost nine in 10 high school students admitted that they still currently own at least one stuffed animal, and 50 percent said they still sleep with a cuddly, fluff-filled critter. In fact four in 10, say they own more than 10 stuffed animals.

For 81 percent of poll participants, stuffed animals are still cool even in high school. One of these participants is sophomore Noel Thomas. 

Thomas said that stuffed animals are “a really big comfort at night” and “I don’t have any disorders such as anxiety or depression, but there’s still a good comfort, and I guess it’s just a lot easier to go to sleep at night when I have my stuffed animals with me.”

On the other hand, Thomas does have a friend who suffers from anxiety and depression, and she said this friend does benefit from having a stuffed animal near in order to cope. Thomas said that the stuffed animal is “almost like an emotional support animal” for her friend, “except stuffed.”

Thomas said that she believes stuffed animals offer so much comfort to people “because you grow so attached to them through all these different things you do with them, and you know they are safe, they keep you safe, you’ve had all these memories with them, and so just like most things, if you have a lot of experience with them, you get attached to them.”

Thomas said she is not ashamed of her attachments at all. “It really is not that stupid to have a stuffed animal because you grew so attached to it as a child, and you don’t necessarily have to grow completely all the way up just like society wants us to,” she said. “Sometimes it’s important to remember that innocence that we originally obtained as a child to remember how bright the world used to be and just kind of a remembrance of what we were like as a child.”

Many people claim that still owning a stuffed animal is childish and immature. Thomas thinks this is because “everyone thinks they have to support themselves.”

Additionally, she saId that “as you grow up, you’re supposed to leave those childish things behind, or at least that’s what society tells us to do, so that they think it’s childish because you’re clinging to your childhood by keeping these stuffed animals.”

Thomas said she doesn’t “see why you have to get rid of stuffed animals,” and senior Kellen Chenoweth share that sentiment. “I’m doing fine, and I still have a stuffed carrot in my bed, so clearly it can work out,” Chenoweth said.

Chenoweth said that there is a stigma on high schools having stuffed animals because “I think there’s kinda an idea that we have to, especially once you’re in junior high and high school, that you have to grow up immediately. Like you’re about to go to college, you have to be independent and self-sufficient, and part of that is you can’t have something there with you and helping you.”

Chenoweth said that she keeps many of her stuffed animals because “I just connect a lot of them with important moments, so the ones I keep are really important.” 

For her, they are dependable. “They’re just always there, so kind of like a constant I think is part of what makes them comfortable.”

Many of the poll participants willing to give an interview were female. Chenoweth said she believes this is because “Females, it’s more OK for them to express sentimentality and to hold on to that kind of comfort. I think probably the guys may have them too, but it’s more OK for girls to say, yes, I do need this comfort, I do rely on this thing, or I do hold on to that. I am sentimental. It’s more OK to say that.”

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