Being in college is tough. When you’re constantly juggling homework, extracurriculars, and a social life, finding time between the chaos to focus on yourself can be a challenge.
I know how it feels to be overwhelmed by all the responsibilities and expectations of being a student. But the truth is, we put a lot of extra stress on ourselves by getting involved in too many things that are irrelevant to our own needs, desires, and values.
These are the things that bog us down mentally and emotionally. They leave our minds feeling cluttered and stunt our growth. And this is why I think simplicity, especially for us students, is so important.
Not only will simplicity help you gain clarity, but it will also boost your confidence and lead to a more positive lifestyle. In this post, I’m going to share four steps to help you simplify your life and develop your vision.
1 | Eliminate stress from your day
Okay, I know this is easier said than done, but there a lot of small ways you can start. For example, evaluate your mornings. Do you have a routine in place? If not, try creating one.
Build a habit of knocking out your essential daily tasks straight out of the gate. Doing these things as soon as you wake up will get the ball rolling and prevent procrastination, thus leading you to have a simpler day with fewer worries.
Another way to eliminate stress is to start immediately on the things you dread most, like homework. When you’re assigned something for a class, make it a point to get started as soon as possible.
Once you’ve built up that momentum, if the thing isn’t too big, try your best to see it through until the end. The idea here is that you don’t want to give enough time for fear, doubt, or laziness to creep in.
2 | Detach from material possessions
It might be hard at first, but in the end, it’s going to be so worth it. Declutter. Rid yourself of possessions that cause you stress, fill you with guilt, or do not serve you.
You don’t have to get rid of every single item you own, but definitely be intentional with what you keep and ask yourself whether or not these items actually make you happy or are just dragging you down.
I’m only just embarking on my journey to a more minimalist lifestyle, but already I’m beginning to reap the benefits. Releasing things I feel obligated to keep or that don’t serve a purpose in my life anymore is so freeing.
For students, having a limited number of belongings makes life easier. You’ll no longer have to worry about how and where to store your stuff. If you live in a dorm, it will make moving back and forth SO much easier during breaks. Fewer things could even mean the difference between making one car trip instead of two.
3 | Discover what really matters to you
College is the time to branch out and discover who you are as a person away from your friends and family. Even if you’re attending college in your hometown and still living with your parents, this is such a crucial time period in your life and you should embrace it.
Learn what it is you really care about. Is it sports, volunteer work, sharing your knowledge? Or something else? The college atmosphere is unique and diverse, making it the perfect environment to branch out and figure out who you really are.
People come to college from all different walks of life for a variety of reasons. Be prepared to have your values and beliefs challenged in ways you never have before. And as scary as it is, be ready to question everything you know about yourself and the world.
This can seem overwhelming, but once you figure out what YOU want, decision-making becomes easier. Don’t care about sports? Then don’t go tailgating with your friends every Friday night. Love to write? Join your school’s newspaper or start a magazine of your own. These small realizations will eventually result in bigger realizations, such as spirituality and other areas of your life.
4 | Embrace your authentic self
Our experiences, friends, and family definitely help shape us as individuals, but they do not define who we are. And if you’ve taken the time out to really explore your values, like I mentioned earlier, you’ll probably find that you are unlike your peers and family members in a lot of ways.
Even though this is totally normal, a lot of people struggle with feeling like they need to fit into a mold. Let’s just be honest: Sometimes we feel obligated to follow in our parents’ footsteps, especially if we were brought up in a loving and supporting household.
And if we do decide we want to go in a different direction, we feel guilty for abandoning ideas and ways of thinking from our childhood. This is something we all have to face at some point or another.
If you want to make life easier, you have to learn to accept yourself. Things are simpler that way because you won’t feel pressured to live a double life. When you feel free to be exactly who you are, you create opportunities to grow in ways you never have before.
College life can sometimes make you feel like you’re being pulled in a million different directions. It’s important to take a step back and simplify every now and then. Whether that means decluttering physically, mentally, or emotionally, remember that only good will come of it.
Let’s chat! I’d love to hear your thoughts. 🙂