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At a young age, I was told by a few teachers that college should offer a wide range of experiences that offer lessons in socialization, becoming a better learner, growing and developing independence.

How is one supposed to achieve those experiences if they are hindered and weighed down by mounds of stuff overflowing in their dorm or house?

Further, college offers a plethora of experiences, including club, college events, internships and general life happenings.

How can we flourish if we’re stretched too thin and juggling so much all at once?

Could college be a good time to possibly embrace a minimalist lifestyle?

It certainly can.

But first, we must address what defines a minimalist lifestyle.

As I work towards this stripped down way of being, I’ve found it doesn’t just mean getting rid of everything you own. I’ve heard of some individuals whose possessions can fit in one bookbag, but in all honesty I couldn’t give up all my books. So, I started small by getting rid of clothes that don’t fit me or that are worn out and I donated other items that I could let go of to Goodwill in Glassboro.  

How do I begin eliminating unnecessary possessions?

First, think about where you are going to store every item that you are thinking about bringing to your dorm. Remember some dorm rooms are small and you could possibly be sharing the room with someone else. Next, which I believe is the hard part, is deciding what to get rid of. As Marie Kondo says in her book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.” Her methods have become known not just from her books, but from her new series on Netflix.

“Keep only those things that speak to your heart. Then take the plunge and discard all the rest. By doing this, you can reset your life and embark on a new lifestyle,” Kondo advises.

How can university students best maintain a minimalist lifestyle?

“Consider that everything you own must serve you at this time,”
writes Janet Schiesl in her article “Minimalist Living in College.” “Don’t hang on to anything just in case or for the future. To maintain this lifestyle don’t bring anything into your life without considering whether it is necessary and if it is, then take something else out of your life to keep the minimalist idea.”

Going to college can make a lot of students realize they don’t need most of what they left behind at home. This is a key point: When deciding what to pack and keep in your life, think about what possessions are important to you and that you actually use.

“Having an idea of what you use often can help you cut out what you don’t really need to bring with you and can save valuable space in your dorm room. Most importantly, starting a minimalist lifestyle in college can set you up for a less materialistic and more budget-friendly future,” writes Stacy Andryshak in her article “How To Start A Minimalist Lifestyle in College.”

In the end, a simple lifestyle could help you have less stress and give you the opportunity to live your life. Tomorrow is uncertain, so shed the extra baggage and focus on maximizing today (by minimizing it!).

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