Stress-Relieving Block Building

By Michelle Liu

My passion for block building all started when I was 6 or 7. I went shopping with my mom at Target, and was drawn to a colorful box. I grabbed it unknowingly from the shelf. Even as I’ve grown older, assembling blocks became more and more irresistible. Since block building is viewed as an activity for children, many may wonder why I am still obsessed with it. 

The first impression I had of Legos when emptying out the bin was astonishment. The colorful, raised pieces that fell out was unexpectedly tiny. Although I did not understand what to do with them, I manipulated the pieces and began assembling them. It was fairly easy until later when ideas in my head started to get increasingly complex to build. After struggling to figure out where each piece goes,  I finally figured out where they fit together. I felt an overwhelming sense of pride after seeing the masterpiece I built, come together. From over a hundred pieces to a stunningly cute ice cream truck. 

My first experience with Legos was pleasant, but got overly addicting from that time on. I would beg my mom to buy me a bigger and more challenging set than I previously had. That was the first time I realized how expensive they were; the more blocks it had, the more prized and valuable it was.

During my trip to China when I was 10, my gaze honed in on the miniature version of Legos. I knew I could not resist getting my hands on each and every character they had to offer. As a result, I end up purchasing 8 different sets. Immediately after getting back home, I dived into building. With my predatory focus on construction blocks, I carefully measured the dimensions of the blocks. They were only 1cm in length, a minuscule size when compared to the original ones. The blocks were hard to assemble in the beginning because of the size of my with fingers, but I eventually got the hang of it after experimenting and deciding the best course of action. Characters with 500+ pieces took me about 20 minutes to finish building and the ones with 1000+ pieces took me about an hour.

Now that I am in high school, I am required to focus more on my studies, in this way I gradually started to move away from this activity. Plus for a limited amount of space for all 30+ characters I built, I even gave away a couple to my neighbors.

I still find this type of activity to be a good stress reliever, but it also comes with its downsides. I sometimes find myself losing a block or stepping on them and it leaves me feeling infuriated. This type of cognitive building activity makes me a better listener and allows me to focus on one thing for a longer period of time. 

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