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Thiel Students Celebrate Stuff-A-Plush

By: Hannah Stoughton

March 31st, 2022: Thiel College students lined up throughout the Howard Miller Student Center to stuff a plush animal on March 31st, 2022.

Hosted by Student Activities on the Thiel campus, different kinds of animals were lined up on a table for students to choose from and stuff with stuffing was provided to them. The line started around 25 minutes before the event started due to its popularity, and by 10:45 a.m., the line stretched back to the entrance of the Howard Miller Student Center with students eagerly awaiting their opportunity for a free stuffed animal.

“The line was a bit hectic. I didn’t think that this many college students would want stuffed animals,” said sophomore Dara Edwards. “Being in the line is stressful, but it’s only temporary. Having the moment to grab an animal and stuff it makes up for the wait.” Stuff-A-Plush is one of the most popular events on campus, with many students enjoying the benefits. “I think a lot of students like having comforting items, and this is pretty much the school just giving it to us,” said Edwards.

When a student joins the line for Stuff-A-Plush, they anxiously try to get a general idea of what animals are offered by Student Activities. Then, when they get to the table, they make a decision on which animal to grab and take from a student worker. More student workers hand them bags of stuffing, and the bistro is used as a place to bring the animals to life.

This semester, a wide variety of animals were offered. Students were seen on campus and in classes with blue and pink bears, alligators, puppies, penguins, sea turtles, and more. They range in size, and students can choose to make the plushies as stuffed as they want. “I like to stuff mine to the maximum so that they last longer,” said sophomore Bradley Mulnar.

The mental health benefits of stuffed animals are much more significant than what many people believe them to be. A multitude of studies has shown that stuffed animals assist in decreasing stress levels for college students. They act as a therapeutic entity to which students attach themselves and receiving or giving these animals often gives students a rewarding feeling

afterward. Another benefit of having stuffed animals is that they often remind people of their childhood, bringing feelings of comfort and happiness. They also provide a sense of security for many people and often ease the feelings of loneliness that students often experience during their college careers.

While the personal benefits of Stuff-A-Plush are evident in the joyous atmosphere that fills the Thiel College Bistro and campus, some students enjoy the ability to give a personal gift to a family member as well. “I think the plushes are great for mental health, but I think a reason why isn’t just for those who are taking them for themselves. It’s a really good token for people who have families and friends,” offered Mulnar. “You’re making them, and not buying them. That makes it more personal for the people that you give them to.”

Stuff-A-Plush at Thiel College is one of the favorite campus activities, and the science of why tells us that many students seek comforting items that bring them peace and companionship. If students give them plushies away as gifts, then they are brought feelings of happiness for giving a friend or family member such a personal item.

Image Credit: Alpha Xi Delta Instagram

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