What is minimalism? The quick answer is that it’s all about simplifying everything in your life until the point you can handle everything on your plate. It’s about not dumping copious amounts of activities, ‘things’ and commitments on your table until it looks like a Christmas dinner for twenty. If you can only eat one plate, just have one plate. This may seem obvious, but you wouldn’t believe how many people take on more and more, thinking they can handle everything, but feeling stressed or burnt out everyday from the weight of it all.
Simplicity is about reducing aspects of your life until you can handle everything on your plate. It’s not dumping copious amounts of activities, ‘things’ and commitments on your table until it looks like a Christmas dinner for twenty. If you can only eat one plate, just have one plate. This may seem obvious, but you wouldn’t believe how many people take on more and more, thinking they can handle everything, but feeling stressed and burnt out every day from carrying the weight of it all.
The first step is about commitments. Commitments are extra things that take up your time outside what is absolutely essential, such as your course.
Fresher’s week usually includes a Fresher’s Fair which is when new students are bombarded with freebies and encouraged to join as many clubs and societies as they can. A lot of students think ‘this sounds like fun’ then they pay the joining fee and sign up. However, if you sign up with too many, you’ll be stuck with a pretty full schedule over the course of a week or month, and you might not be able to keep up with all of the meetings and extra work that comes with it. After a while, many students find themselves making excuses because of too much work, and then feeling guilty about their name being on the register but them never actually being there.
Of course it is very important that you join some societies, and try new things, after all they’re a great way to make friends and try out new things, but if you apply this kind of principle to other aspects, such as going out every night because a dorm party ‘sounds like fun’ or a fancy dress party ‘looks like it’ll be cool’ then soon you’re in the same situation with too many commitments and too little time.
Take a moment to think about some of the commitments you have in your life right now, or ones you will sign up for in the future. Are you able to fit them into your life? What will happen when your workload increases (like during exam times), do you have enough room to comfortably fit them in? Which commitments are absolutely essential and which are not?
Step back and recognise if and where you are being stretched too thin. If you’re finding yourself doing too much just cut it out, you’ll feel less stressed and more relieved.