There is a hefty chance that if the first memory you can recall occurred during your first or second year of life, it is likely not true or is a fabricated version of an experience that changed in your brain over time.
Despite this, fabricated or otherwise, what someone beliefs is their first memory can be both incredibly telling and incredibly adorable.
My first memory centers on being enamored by a seemingly 100-foot-long Subway sandwich at a party my parents were throwing back when people used Subway to cater. And, if that does not say something about me, I do not know what does. So, here are five Colorado State students and their first memories.
Junior journalism student Zachary Zimmerman’s first memory occurred in his time living in Mobile, Alabama. Zimmerman and his dad often fished off a dock prior to their ownership of a boat. One young Zimmerman reeled in a crustacean. Usually crabs let go of fishing lines, according to Zimmerman, but for some reason, this particular pinchy animal let the small child bring him outside the water for an unusual catch. But, the next thing the small child knew, his father put his boot on his prize and slid it off the dock.
“I was pretty excited about catching a crab because not too long before this, I was told this I do not actually remember, but I was excited because I caught a shrimp,” Zimmerman said. “But, it ended up not being a shrimp. It was my bate. So, catching something that was not a shrimp or my bate was pretty exciting.”
According to Zimmerman, he was initially bummed to see his dad kicked the crab off the dock because he was pretty proud of his feat, but he was also a little scared of it and recognized that the puny crab was not worth keeping.
Senior anthropology and sociology student Elliott Dyer’s first memory also includes tiny water creatures. When he was little, Dyer remembers having a “bug kit,” a toy science exploration kit that encouraged kids to go outside, find bugs and draw them. The kit also included stickers. According to Dyer, this kit instilled determination within his tiny self to adventure all around the neighborhood looking for things that crawled and flew. One day, his mom took him to a nearby lake where they two found mounds of centipedes and other crawly things in the mud.
“My mom was not scared, so I was not either,” Dyer said. “I remember drawing the centipedes and putting stickers all over the paper. I remember feeling like a big adventurer. Walking down the street to the lake felt like forever.”
Senior psychology and Spanish student Larry Patrick the second said that his first childhood memory came from all the way back to his pre-being-able-to-walk days, in which he spent much of his time hobbling around in a baby walker. Patrick remembered bouncing around the kitchen one evening in his early life, as his mom cooked food that he could not quite name. Then, Patrick remembered catching air.
“I remember just tumbling down the stairs in my little walker and then being frozen in the walker at the bottom of the stairs balling my eyes out,” Patrick said.
Patrick sustained no major injuries and said the sobbing resulted from shock. This incident marked the first of many similar incidents in his life, he said, as he falls down stairs on a regular basis.
“I’m just a clumsy person,” Patrick said. “I think that might have started it.”
Junior business major Kylie Meyer’s first memory that she could recall centered around touring the home she grew up in. Her dad, according to Meyer, constantly talked about how he never wanted the Meyer family to move to Highlands Ranch, Colorado, yet one day the family found themselves in the suburban lands of Lone Tree, looking at a house they would later purchase. Upon comprehending that the family would move into the house, toddler Meyer was met with immense glee only to be quickly followed by devastation.
“When we toured the house, there was a tiny, white Pomeranian that lived there,” Meyer said. “I thought the house came with the dog. I was wrong.”
The first memory that really stuck in senior human development and family studies and criminal justice student Courtney Kavanagh’s brain took place on a hot Denver day. Kavanagh, who was 9 years old at the time, remembered throwing a Nerf ball back and forth with her 6 year old brother while sitting in the backseat of their dad’s Toyota Corolla. With the windows rolled down to accommodate and keep the wee passengers of the vehicle cool, the ball flew straight out the window as the car zoomed down Leadsdail Ave.
“My brother chucks it at my head, I dodge it and the ball just goes out the window,” Kavanagh said. “We both looked at each other like, ‘Oh my god, dad is going to be so upset.”
The siblings did not say anything about the loss during the rest of the car ride out of fear, but eventually the secret got out when the family arrived home, to which their dad replied with anger, although not in the way the kids expected.
“He said, ‘Why did you not tell me? I totally would have stopped,'” Kavanagh said. “But, in that moment, me and my brother were just like, ‘Ooooh, you did that.’ My brother and I would always get into stuff.”
Collegian reporter Miranda Moses can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on twitter @mirandasrad.