U-High Midway

Seniors find order, relaxation in tidying up

Clean rooms, set routines lead to minimized chaos

SWEET+SERENITY.+Legs+crossed+in+a+state+of+concentration%2C+senior+Sally+Carlstrom+uses+felt+++markers+to+color+a+drawing.+With+college+on+the+horizon%2C+several+seniors+are+taking+their+mental+state+into+their+own+hands+by+making+routines+and+getting+organized.+For+Sally%2C+art+helps+refresh+her+mind.+
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Seniors find order, relaxation in tidying up

SWEET SERENITY. Legs crossed in a state of concentration, senior Sally Carlstrom uses felt   markers to color a drawing. With college on the horizon, several seniors are taking their mental state into their own hands by making routines and getting organized. For Sally, art helps refresh her mind.

SWEET SERENITY. Legs crossed in a state of concentration, senior Sally Carlstrom uses felt markers to color a drawing. With college on the horizon, several seniors are taking their mental state into their own hands by making routines and getting organized. For Sally, art helps refresh her mind.

Tosya Khodarkovsky

SWEET SERENITY. Legs crossed in a state of concentration, senior Sally Carlstrom uses felt markers to color a drawing. With college on the horizon, several seniors are taking their mental state into their own hands by making routines and getting organized. For Sally, art helps refresh her mind.

Tosya Khodarkovsky

Tosya Khodarkovsky

SWEET SERENITY. Legs crossed in a state of concentration, senior Sally Carlstrom uses felt markers to color a drawing. With college on the horizon, several seniors are taking their mental state into their own hands by making routines and getting organized. For Sally, art helps refresh her mind.

Jacob Posner, Editor-in-Chief

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“This one was — I would call it a meditative clean,” senior Jacob Beiser said about his spring break spring cleaning. He typed “meditative EDM,” a genre he doesn’t usually enjoy, into Spotify and connected his phone to a speaker. As the music began to play, he said, “I felt a calm come over me, and I just began to put one thing after another away. I felt very relaxed, and I felt very good about myself.”

With monumental life change approaching, some U-High seniors clean to calm their minds, others to address anxieties — and it’s all quite spiritual.

Jacob decided he need to reorganize his bookshelf and wipe down his desk with Windex, a step up from his usual monthly clean.

The meditative quality of Jacob’s experience mirrors “Tidying Up,” a Netflix show in which Marie Kondo, cleaning guru, helps millennial families learn to keep their houses clean and maybe save financially along the way. According to a Rolling Stone article, “It’s Kondo’s gentle insistence on the inextricability of material objects from our emotional connections to them that is key to the series’ appeal.” 

I would liken it to journaling in that you sort of start off with all these thoughts in your head and you put them on the page so you can really see what’s going on, and that’s what I was doing in my room on a physical level.”

— Jacob Beiser

Jacob said he wanted his space to bring out the best in him.

“When I saw my room in its messy state I think it reflected the scattered and unorganized thoughts that were causing me stress,” Jacob said, “so I thought if I would sit down and clean it, it might improve my emotional state.”

He said the better mental state comes from the process of organizing and moving around and putting things in order.

“I would liken it to journaling in that you sort of start off with all these thoughts in your head and you put them on the page so you can really see what’s going on,” he said, “and that’s what I was doing in my room on a physical level.”

Senior Lukas Blume has found that if the clutter in his room gets too chaotic, he’s not able to think clearly. It’s a personal space that reflects his mental state.

“Sometimes I get a surge of ‘OK I’m going to clean up my life,’” Lukas said. “I’ll brush my teeth three times a day, and I’ll clean my room, and I’ll go to bed at 11 p.m., or 10 or something like that. It comes in waves of motivation.”

Lukas added that he’ll have to keep his future dorm room extra clean because it’s a shared space.

Both Lukas, and Sally Carlstrom, also a senior, decided whether to throw out or donate an item based on whether they’d notice its absence.

“If I’m having a rough time then completely going through my room can help it feel like a refresh button,” Sally said. “If I’m just fed up or super, super-stressed out   it can help me to, like, get rid of things I don’t need, and make everything super-organized.”

With college just around the corner, Sally had a week-long cleaning spree starting near the end of break.

Encouraged by gentle rhythms  of meditative music, it can help to take back some control when there are big changes on the horizon.

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Seniors find order, relaxation in tidying up