Baby doll

College students use doll to bond with peers – UNIVERSITY PRESS

Four roommates launch an Instagram page for the students to pose with their dorm mascot.

Alex Brestolli

Image courtesy of Alex Brestolli with (left to right) Marisa Nielson, Katie Bowman, Brianna Salvensen and Alex Brestolli.

What started as a running trip to Goodwill for soccer match and soccer match clothes resulted in four first year roommates buying a baby doll as a joke. However, students Alex Brestolli, Marisa Nielson, Katie Bowman and Brianna Salvensen have found the toy to be a creative way to bond with other students amid the pandemic.

“When we went [to Goodwill] and we at the origin [went] to look around we went to the toys section and found a little dollar doll and i bought it as a joke, but then it became our bedroom mascot, ”Brestolli said.

When asked what the doll’s name is Carl and has her own Instagram page titled @carl_at_fau, the roommates explained that the whole ordeal was spontaneous.

“So at first we just had a friend back then, and we were like, ‘you should take a picture with it. [Carl]. ‘ And then we were like, “and every time someone walks into our dorm, they should take a picture with a doll?” Said Bowman.

With 46 followers as of October 12, the Instagram page features an array of college students posing with the doll in a variety of ways.

The roommates explained that their initial plans for Carl were supposed to be on TikTok, but resulted in a mass text message sent to GroupMe for their bedroom floor as well as the Instagram page inviting people to take photos with the doll.

“Basically we told everyone we saw to come up to our room and take a picture with him,” Nielson said.

Bowman said they were all able to befriended through their approach with the doll and hopes it can give other students the same positive experience.

“It’s really fun meeting new people this way. We met some of our best friends thanks to Carl. We had a few people at the end of the hall come over and hit other people from their floors, people from other buildings. So it’s really a lot of fun. I mean, I find it funny, so I like it. I hope other people can maybe use it to make new friends, ”Bowman said.

Asked about tips for students who struggle to bond with others, Bowman explained that every new student faces similar challenges and they shouldn’t be afraid to reach out to each other.

“I would just tell everyone to be themselves and get out there because everyone is in the same boat. Everyone is in their first grade or at least new to the area and everyone has a hard time making new friends. So you should always try to go out because it’s a great way to meet new people and everyone is always nervous, ”Bowman said.

Darlene Antoine is the editor-in-chief of Presses Universitaires. For more information on this story or others, email him at [email protected]