There has been a clear indulgence of the ‘90s on Pepperdine’s campus. Today, I was almost run over by a blue-wheeled Razor scooter. Cinnamon Toast Crunch reigns the cereal aisles once again. Heck, I played MASH about two days ago (hello, husband Shia LeBeouf). The newest comeback to campus is the rollerblade-turned-sneakers — Heelys.
Remember cruising in the grocery store, gliding on the wheels of your heels while your mom let you hang on to the cart for support? No one actually looked cool, but man were you un-cool if you didn’t have disproportionately large Heelys on your feet. Who knows what DPS will have to say to the crowd seen cruising in the Caf.
Personally, I’m waiting for the “Student bombs down hill on Heelys, ends up in hospital” report. So why the affinity with these chunky shoes? Sure, you can argue for convenience. But the thing Razors, Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Heelys have in common is the direct attachment to our childhood. Riding those sneaks is a portal into another world, one where you had to be home when the street lamps came on and “Can Josh play?” was a signature phrase.
There is an idea of always wanting to grow up when you’re younger, and always wishing to return to the simpler times of childhood as an adult. College acts as the last stop between the two. Once entered into the “corporate world,” a person has less time for figuring out how to maneuver sneakers with wheels attached. They may have to replace Frosted Flakes with the more health conscious Multi-Grain Cheerios. The street lamps will have long flickered on before the trek home after a nine-to-five. But in college, childhood is still alive and accepted. Tolerance of the Heely-users and Razor-riders comes from a place in the heart that recognizes the last measly attempt to reverse the clock, to procrastinate from the worries of the “real world” looming ahead.
Whereas children often categorize people and accessories into “cool” or “not cool” fads, college students have a surprisingly low judgment rate when assessing these decade-old trends. Heelys, though seemingly not as easy to navigate, certainly bring the focus of the day from “I have so much homework” to “Wow, I can really glide in Joslyn Plaza,” or maybe, “Those three kids clearly just saw me wipe out on Lower Dorm row, #winning.” (Hopefully, I’m not the only one social media has brainwashed into thinking in terms of hashtags.)
The point is, Heelys and other childhood comebacks should be indulged upon while a person still has time. Sure, you can still use Heelys in the corporate world or even in a retirement home. But society may provide you with less time or circumstances to truly embrace childhood wonder. I suggest partaking in the fun while you still have time. Go on, pick up your Caf order in Heelys.
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