#15: The Toy Plane

You know what’s fun? Running around a room with a toy plane above you’re head, going

vroom vroom vroom!

It’s okay, I haven’t lost my mind. I just rediscovered my childhood. Although to be honest, I can’t ever remember owning a toy plane. Still, I can dream.

I don’t know much at all about airplanes, and this one is really more of a model rather than a toy, but seeing as I’m oblivious to the details, I’ll continue to enjoy having a toy to play with, and being a bit older than the usual kid, I’m pretty sure I won’t break it.

Why is playing so fun? I’m 20 years old, starting my third and final year of my undergraduate degree, yet when I picked up this plane I instantly wanted to run all over the room in my little pretend world where I’m really an airplane.

To be honest, I don’t think this is a bad thing.

I’m quite happy to find that I can still enjoy play, the thrill of pretending I’m in an imaginary world, a world completely in my control where I can get rid of all the worries. I would be pretty disappointed in myself if I didn’t still enjoy this more light-hearted side of being human.

Deep down, I don’t believe any of us grow out of this joy of play. Taking a look at all the events they put on for us students at the University in Durham, you wouldn’t think we were all legally adults. Bouncy castles, roller skating, crazy golf, fairground games, face paint, dodgems. We’re all just big kids, all still slightly terrified of growing up, of facing the fact that we already are technically ‘grown up’.

Why not embrace the childish with the adult? That’s certainly what the Bill Bryson Library are doing in Durham as they become the Big Friendly Library, with their Roald Dahl theme for freshers’ week . Featuring daily quotations like

‘a little nonsense now and then, is relished by the wisest men’,

someone dressed up as a bumble bee, and even Esio Trot and his friends in the library, they’re embracing the childhood that’s always within us.

Our childhood years are some of the most formative years of our lives. With articles today about education and the diminishing value being placed on the more ‘creative’ subjects, childhood is being forced out of schools. We don’t want them to grow up too fast — I know I sometimes miss the more careless days of childhood when I didn’t face debt, bills, the unknown future after education.

Yet I do not wish to be a child now. I am happy to be the age that I am. I will not, however, be happy if I forget what it is to have childish moments. Play is good for us. It’s part of the free reign of imagination. It’s part of the world where anything could happen, but it’s the exciting world. We are all facing a future in an unknown world. It is terrifying. But we also all have our own limitless world of imagination. Let us not forget that.

The power of play is real, imagination and creativity are no small things. They are a part of who we are as human beings. So never forget your childhood, and cherish the childish moments.

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