Connect with us

A Lesson in Accidental Minimalism

Emma Andrus

A Lesson in Accidental Minimalism

If there is one thing my first semester of college has taught me, it’s the valuable lesson of “less is more.” 

I first came to campus bright-eyed and seemingly unprepared, and I noticed it right away. From having hardly enough clothes hangers to finding myself frustrated by the presence of things I didn’t see myself needing, I knew from very early on that I would have to evaluate what was worth having in my tiny slice of northeast Ohio campus life and what wasn’t. 

The first item of business I set about accomplishing was a complete dorm overhaul. I cleaned and carefully placed every little possession and by the time I was finished, I was exhausted by the amount of time I had put into my organization and purging of items only for it to feel so fruitless just a few days of college mess later. That’s what drove me to the “less is more” mentality. Because even after all my efforts, I still found myself holding onto less of what I needed and more of what I wanted, rather than finding a healthy balance between both.

In about a week’s time, I got an aloe plant. I paid essentially a penny to print photos of my dearest friends to string up. And I filled a box full of extra supplies, clothes and room items that didn’t feel necessary anymore. It took me almost the entire semester to really process my understanding of minimalism; when I began with my overhaul and reorganization steps, I didn’t view what I was doing as “minimalism” in the slightest. The difference between the individual I was at the start of the semester versus at the close was made obvious by my change in mentality and outlook.

When I have read about “minimalism,” it is described as being intentional, deliberate and done out of passion and on purpose. Quite oppositely, I’d say coming to college made me an accidental minimalist. 

When people picture the textbook definition and the foundations of minimalism, I’d assume they envision stark white walls and barely anything at all. For me, that understanding has changed, as I have come to find that minimalism is the personal satisfaction in knowing that while I may not have a dorm stocked with millions of pillows, decor, an overflowing wardrobe and items intended for single use, what I do have is exactly what I need. Nothing more, nothing less.

I found comfort through the ups and downs of my first semester of college in the people who helped me understand that material items don’t carry nearly as much weight or sentimental value as do your choices, your deliberateness and your feelings during times of togetherness or solitude.

“Fewer” really can mean more: fewer belongings, fewer worries and a closer circle made up of the people and ideas that hold the greatest amount of weight in your heart.

Follow Emma on her minimalist journey here.

SUPPORT STUDENT MEDIA

Hi, I’m Sara Crawford, a senior journalism student from Cleveland. I’m also the editor in chief of The Burr and the opinions editor for KentWired this semester. My staff and I are committed to bringing you interesting, humorous and hard-hitting stories that tap into current events, trends and the lives of those who have made a home in Kent, Ohio. We are full-time students and hard-working journalists. While we get support from the student media fee and earned revenue such as advertising, both of those continue to decline. Your generous gift of any amount will help enhance our student experience as we grow into working professionals. Please go here to donate.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

More in Emma Andrus

Facebook

Trending

Staff Playlists

Playlists

Playlist: The End Of An Era

By December 12, 2020

Playlists

Playlist: The End of The World

By December 5, 2020

Playlists

Playlist: Moments In Movies

By November 14, 2020

Playlists

Playlist: Absolute Chaos

By November 7, 2020

Playlists

Playlist: Spooky Scary Skeletons

By October 31, 2020

Recent Stories

Strong Opinions

On Santa Deniers: A Christmas Meditation

By December 17, 2020

FEATURES

The Plight Of Student Workers

By December 16, 2020

Speakeasy Sounds

Final Speakeasy Sounds

By December 15, 2020

A Stonewall State of Mind

Growing Up Gay #3: The Creative Way

By December 11, 2020

FEATURES

More Than Just A Pen And Paper

By December 9, 2020

In the Queue

In The Queue #5: Female Empowerment

By December 9, 2020

FEATURES

I Never Left The Stage

By December 7, 2020

Season of Justice

Season of Justice: Carla Walker

By December 7, 2020

Playlists

Playlist: The End of The World

By December 5, 2020

GUEST BLOGGERS

Ending Where I Began

By November 20, 2020

Strong Opinions

Strong Opinions: The Bar Scene in Kent

By November 19, 2020

The Art Outlet

A Day in the Life of a Musical Theatre Major

By November 18, 2020

Speakeasy Sounds

Speakeasy Sounds #12

By November 17, 2020

The Egg Burner

The Egg Burner: Layered Taco Dip

By November 16, 2020

In the Queue

In The Queue #4: Comedic Break

By November 11, 2020

FEATURES

On Video Games and Escapism

By November 10, 2020

GUEST BLOGGERS

You Are Entirely Up to You

By November 10, 2020

Season of Justice

Season of Justice: Sherri Rasmussen

By November 9, 2020

GUEST BLOGGERS

Music to my ears (finally)

By November 6, 2020

Strong Opinions

Fellini, 2020

By November 5, 2020

The Art Outlet

How You Can Help Art Survive COVID-19

By November 4, 2020

Speakeasy Sounds

Speakeasy Sounds #11

By November 3, 2020

The Egg Burner

Egg Burner: Chicken Casserole

By November 2, 2020

Playlists

Playlist: Spooky Scary Skeletons

By October 31, 2020

A Stonewall State of Mind

Growing Up Gay: A Stonewall State of Mind Series

By October 30, 2020

Weekly Wellness

Weekly Wellness: Me vs. Hormonal Acne

By October 29, 2020

In the Queue

In The Queue #3: Halloween Edition

By October 28, 2020

Strong Opinions

Tolkien ‘Bout Sex

By October 22, 2020

Speakeasy Sounds

Speakeasy Sounds #10

By October 20, 2020

Playlists

Playlist: Feelin’ Good!

By October 17, 2020

A Stonewall State of Mind

The State Of Things

By October 16, 2020

Weekly Wellness

Weekly Wellness: Living with a Partner

By October 15, 2020

In the Queue

In The Queue #2: Scary Movies

By October 14, 2020
To Top