Walking into a small dorm room in Northern Terrace sits an empty desk and small closet to the left, which contains clothing items and shoes. Her made bed is pushed against the wall, lined with warm, sparse decor.
Erinn’s Sweet room is a reflection of her recently adopted the minimalistic lifestyle, a choice that wasn’t easy.
Sweet, a sophomore athletic training major said she started getting rid of physical possessions like clothing and then quit social media. Then, she had more room for other activities.
“There are different techniques, you can get rid of 30 things within a month so 30 by 30, there’s a 20 by 20, there’s a 100 day challenge, there’s a 365 day challenge,” Sweet said “There’s a challenge where you don’t spend any money for a whole year. There’s a lot of different things that you can do to kind of create this minimalistic lifestyle.”
Sweet and fellow RA Chris Riehl put together a small event on Nov. 11 in Norse Commons that included a screening of the documentary Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things and an array of mini muffins.
Riehl, also a sophomore, lives the minimalistic lifestyle as well. He’s said he’s still figuring out what things he can do without through finding what’s most important to him.
“College is stressful and I think no matter what college student you ask they’re going to say that. Minimalism is just one of those things that can decrease that stress in your life.” Riehl said.
“I know we all are pretty busy with school and with trying to be involved on campus and stuff. I think you can apply that ‘What adds value to your life?’. Even with your major “Is this major for me?” “Is what I’m going to do or what I want to do align with my values and beliefs in life?” “Does this organization I’m in represent who I am?”” Questioning who and what they believe in has been an important part of this transition for both Riehl and Sweet.
As for the future, Sweet hopes to join the peace corps and to move to another country that is less dependent on things. She wants to have very little personal items and live the way she would in this other country so that she can just pack up and go when the time comes.
“I also want to travel,” Sweet said.“I’m really big into travel and experience and stuff like that so I also want to travel the country and live out of my car.”