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Recording history, reporting the truth & recognizing excellence.


Recording history, reporting the truth & recognizing excellence.


Less is more: A minimalist life can be enriching

Xchyler Barut

We live in a world of countless products, technologies, and rituals. Thus, we must question how much of it is just noise. We should aim to simplify our lives down to the things that matter, but remain cautious and critical as to not end up in yet another box.

When discussing minimalism, it’s intuitive to conclude it’s a lifestyle which requires you to lose  many things. However, as the article “What It Means To Live Simply” argues, by reducing excess from our lives we gain time, space and energy, which can all be redirected towards that which truly matters. Minimalism is a freedom–the freedom to take control of our lives, losing any mental or physical baggage that may be holding us back from being our best selves. 

Anecdotally, there was a point in my life when I reset my priorities. I put down some of the busywork of modern education in order to maintain a healthy sleep schedule and make more time for my hobbies. Since this point, I’ve found my day-to-day mood has improved significantly, all by letting go of a set of arbitrary expectations, the least of which actually benefited my learning and growth. 

However, this is a somewhat controversial approach to life, bringing up some less positive aspects of simplification: judgment. I have not gone off to live in the woods and be unemployed and off the grid as Henry David Thoreau did in the mid-1800s. I’ve simply laxed my standards for schooling after critically evaluating how it is and isn’t serving me. Still, my parents are unhappy with my sub-optimal 3.5 GPA (as opposed to the long-gone 4.0), and my friends find it odd that I can sleep easy knowing I haven’t completed all my homework. 

This is not an uncommon experience, to face backlash when giving up some of today’s overwhelming societal norms. As the writer of the blog Simple Frugal Life so colorfully puts it, the author’s mother was “mortified” when she quit her job to prioritize her health. Outside pressures are not the only downfall of this lifestyle, however.   Stephan Joppich describes in detail his negative experiences with minimalism. He realized he became over-attached to the few items he kept, he was unsure how to move forward once the process of minimizing his life was mostly complete, and he experienced a loss of self-expression by reusing the same products over and over.  

Surprisingly, at the end of the article, Joppich emphasizes that he still encourages minimalism, just with some caveats. The takeaway was to ensure that minimalism was serving you. He stresses understanding the philosophy behind a minimalist existence rather than just going by looks. This is supported by the “Live Simply” article, which encourages the reader to “list your reasons for living simply.” 

Revisiting those reasons is crucial in order to make sure you aren’t losing yourself along the journey. Allow yourself to indulge in that which is still important to you because that’s what the time and space you’re making should ultimately be for.  Simple living shouldn’t strip you of your things that make you a better person and living completely without goals or direction. It’s about shifting focus and dialing in on those things. 

As I reflect on my own life, I understand when I declutter that I don’t want to get rid of my art supplies for the sake of “having less.” I want to reconnect with my creative side through art; thus, I might rid myself of other things. I want to reduce my screen time in order to save mental space for things I care more about, but I would also not want to give up my freedom to communicate with loved ones over long distances. Naturally, this involves choice and balance.

Ultimately, though, we should strive to feel free to do the things which we most want to, and have control of our lives through organization and discipline. Those are the two factors which matter most in optimizing our lives for ourselves, and I believe minimalism is a tool which can be used to bolster those skills, as long as we do not lose our vision for happiness and individualism. 

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About the Contributors
Silas Buryak
Silas Buryak, Staff Writer
Haley Meyer
Haley Meyer, Editor In Chief
Haley Meyer is a Senior at Moanalua High School and this is her 3rd year of News-Writing. Her favorite hobbies are crocheting and she has favorite genres for movies and books, comedy and romance. In the future after high school, she wants to become a veterinarian since she has a big connection with animals
Xchyler Barut
Xchyler Barut, Digital Media Editor
Xchyler Barut, is a senior in his second year of News writing. He is passionate about law and band, and is looking forward to his first year of Mock trial. Xchyler barely has free time because he is always busy with school work. He aspires to become a lawyer.

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