Last summer, I spent six amazing weeks as a camp counselor at Interlochen Summer Arts Camp in Northern Michigan, and a part of my identity among both my coworkers and my campers was that I was striving to be a minimalist. One night during bunk-talk, me and my co-counselor asked all of our campers to assign their bunk mate what animal they are. When it came around to me and my co, we had all of our campers shout (shout-whisper?) what they thought we were in animal form.
For me, they thought I would be a turtle. When I asked why, they said, “Well you’ve always talked about being able to carry everything you own in a backpack and suitcase, so it’s like you have your home with you just like a turtle has their shell.”
For the past seven months, that comment has resonated with me, and it has helped me take more active steps to becoming an official “turtle” so to speak.
It hasn’t been an easy journey though as camp life and college life are polar opposite in terms of fashion and general hygiene upkeep. Throughout the summer, I was limited to a uniform and 1-2 outfits of “rec/street clothes” and only had a few minutes each day to wash my face and shower. And on top of that, makeup was just not a thing anyone had time for. However, in college, I love to look well put together and professional on a daily basis.
This factor equates to owning and needing more material goods, which makes it a lot harder to fit everything in a suitcase and backpack. But I refuse to stop trying.