As a freshman and sophomore, I was messy. My bed was never made, my desk was piled with old papers and books, the floor was strewn with laundry, and my backpack was brimming with dog-eared notebooks and folders. However, as the old adage goes, “the first step is admitting you have a problem,” and it wasn’t until late junior year that I really discovered how much more effective I could work if I took the extra time to stay organized.
Like every other post on this blog, I understand that I’m not exactly on to anything fascinating here — “organization breeds success,” “cleanliness is next to Godliness,” et al. However, the main thing that resonates me when I think back to my less-cleanly days is how much I denied my lack of organization, as well as ignoring how others would possibly view me. Needless to say, when you show up to a study session and it takes you twenty minutes to find the necessary notes and worksheets within the maelstrom of your backpack, it doesn’t exactly speak to any particular talents or work ethic you may think you have. I was always “that guy,” and it took quite a bit to make me realize that I would remain “that guy” until I made a change.
Now this year, I’m not saying I’m Martha Stewart, but it has made my life a lot easier now that I’m able to find everything I need, when I need it. I can even indulge in some “feng shui” in my room now that it’s clean enough to appreciate. My roommates may not say it, but dammit, I know they think my perfectly lined up collection of shot glasses underneath the old wooden “Doyle’s Tavern” sign above my bed is pretty classy. Last year, those shot glasses would have probably been crushed beneath a pile of laundry or lost in some drawer. Even better, a friend of mine who recently walked into my cleanly, conservative, wood-paneled room commented that it could be in a catalogue for Brooks Brothers. And that, my friends, has made every piece of laundry I’ve folded this year worth it.