Carly Cushman’17

I’m not going to lie; I’m a YouTube addict.

I watch YouTube in every part of my day, for example–in the morning as I’m getting ready, during my free periods in school, and before I go to bed. It’s the same routine everyday; the same searches, just different videos. Yet lately every video I’ve seen has been basically about the same thing: minimalism. Titles like “MINIMALIST CLOSET TOUR! BRANDING YOURSELF” by Sarah Norse and “MINIMALISM: A DOCUMENTARY ABOUT THE IMPORTANT THINGS” by The Minimalists; these have been getting hundreds of thousands of views on YouTube. Minimalism has become a huge mind set for my generation, but why? What is the appeal of having less things, or everything one owns in black and white?

The appeal of minimalism is not only its aesthetic, but the way it projects an efficient and controlled mindset for humans. What many people don’t realize is that our lives have been cluttered with meaningless choices, constantly buying more “stuff” that, more times than not, we don’t actually need. Minimalism fights these mindless choices and questions the meaning and use of everything one owns. Why do I have it? Why did I buy it? Does it contribute to my way of life?  If you cant find the answers to these questions for that object, it most likely isn’t making any significant contribution to your life.

Tower Hill needs some minimalism.

When I first found out I was going here, it was in the middle of my summer vacation. Yet after my dad said I was accepted to the school, I stopped thinking about where I was (Disney World!!) and started to worry.  I believed that I wouldn’t be accepted within my class, yet I know now that I shouldn’t have been worried about coming here.  Last summer then became very stressful, for I was trying every which way to make money to buy clothes and things that I thought would make me blend in better with the students here. I can’t tell you the number of times I pressed refresh for Lily Pulitzer and Michel Kors sale sections to find things that I could buy with my own money. Yet why were these things so important to me? Were these things really going to make me fit in and bring me happiness?  It didn’t hit me until after I spent all my babysitting money. Now I have 3 dresses and about $350 subtracted from my bank account, and I haven’t worn them at all this year.  Finding out about this minimalistic life style helped me realize that though those things matter to others, they meant nothing to me. I’m happy wearing leggings (shhhh) and my jean jacket to school because that is what I feel comfortable in, and those clothes boost my confidence more than an expensive dress.

Now, I know that I can’t turn the whole student population away from buying expensive clothes, but maybe with the idea of minimalism I can help to instill the idea of cutting back on things that you might already have and no longer need more of.  And this doesn’t have to be just clothes; it can be old school papers that you might have saved since 6th grade, or the small trinkets that end up falling beneath your bed and collecting dust.  As a reformed shopper, now minimalist, with the dresses to prove it, I say: this summer, go through your room with a couple of trash bags and put away things that you no longer need, or maybe donate the extras to a place where they might be needed more.