I Bought a Webkinz: Here's Why

We all remember Webkinz. They were cuddly plush toys that took the late 2000s and early 2010s by storm, not only because of their cuteness but because of the online world of games and virtual pets that was unlocked with each one. Most fans, including myself, had at least ten, each with a unique name and personality. I can clearly remember the highlight of my day being when I got off the bus from school and was free to play games like Cash Cow until my little heart exploded. So why, almost ten years later, did I decide to buy one as a college freshmen? This is what I found myself asking as I clicked “complete my order” and began counting down the days until Amazon would deliver my highly anticipated Webkinz.

To answer this question, let’s backtrack. I am a current freshman at  Point Park University half way through my first semester in a completely new environment both socially and academically. The weeks leading up to my seemingly impulsive, strange late night purchase from Amazon had been the most stressful of my entire life. As a freshman I had been thrown into a world of juggling school work with things like laundry, managing my health, and attempting to have a commendable social life all while trying to get enough sleep and not crumble from the inside out. I needed something to relieve the pressure.

But why not a stress ball? Or one of those bougie face masks from my local CVS? I found the answer to this in the euphoria I felt while buying clothes for my Webkinz, or clicking away at a game of Cash Cow. As mindless and juvenile as I knew it was, I felt like I was seven again. I realized my mind impulsively thought that a Webkinz would be the best form of stress relief because of the essence of childhood that a Webkinz holds for me. For me, a Webkinz evokes memories of  running home to play with a toy or a game rather than running to get assignments completed to perfection. For me, it was a reminder of a time when I would beg my mom to let me get yet another Webkinz to add to the collection, because worrying about having enough money to buy things like toothpaste wasn’t a concern. I realized that I had bought a Webkinz to take a step out of this newfound adulthood that had been thrust upon me and travel back to a time to when stress didn’t exist.  

My Webkinz taught me that sometimes it takes reaching into your childhood to be a better Adult, and more importantly that looking to your childhood for help when being an adult is too much is perfectly okay. So, when I have a particularly stressful day, you can be sure to find me with my Webkinz (who is a hippo named Fiona, by the way) rocking the latest Webkinz fashion trends and playing a mean game of Cash Cow.