Messy room, messy mind

Wilsonville seniors debate the potential correlation between students’ rooms and stress levels.

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Grace Jensen

Grace Jensen enjoys decorating her bedroom with plants and pictures, while also making sure to have a shelf full of books. Jensen bought her first houseplant two years ago, and since then plants have become one of her favorite decor pieces–keeping the room chic and clean simultaneously.

Clothes scattered across the floor, blankets strewn across the bed, water glasses and empty food dishes cluttering the surfaces, and there, hovering in the doorway, a hyper-stressed high school student.

Do messy rooms escalate students’ stress? Are stressed students more likely to have messy rooms? After practically three-and-a-half haphazard years of high school, Wilsonville seniors discussed their thoughts.

Makenna Weipert is a firm believer in the correlation between a messy room and stress, explaining, “When I’m stressed my room gets messy, and I know I’m supposed to clean it, and it’s another thing to think about, so then I get more stressed.”

Weipert is a dedicated student, and as such, has taken numerous college-prep courses, specifically AP and Dual-Credit classes, which demand both significant time and energy. Yet Weipert is not just a committed student, she’s also a committed athlete. In the early morning hours of November 9th, Weipert signed her official letter of intent to play D1 volleyball at the University of Texas-San Antonio. Yet even for Weipert, a messy room is enough to escalate her stress.

Dylan Nance hesitantly agreed with the concept. Nance’s schedule consists of both football and baseball seasons, and over the summer he worked at The Ram

I feel more calm just ‘cause I know where everything is and I know everything is put away where it should be.”

— Dylan Nance

Nance explained, “When my room is dirty, I feel kinda stressed or like I need to clean my room or I need to do something, but when it’s clean, and I’m like in my room, I feel more calm just ‘cause I know where everything is and I know everything is put away where it should be.”

Jacob Ogden and Cameron Little did not believe in the connection, but both admitted that their versions of “messy” are systematic–meaning that even amidst the mess, they know where everything is. 

As an employed hostess for McMenamins, a lacrosse player, and a certified biliterate, after passing her STAMP exam this past fall, Grace Jensen certainly has a full schedule–and Jenson wholeheartedly believes in a relationship between stress and cleanliness. 

One-hundred-percent I believe in this concept because I feel like when I’m super busy that’s when I’m the most stressed and when I’m super busy I don’t take time to clean my room, so it just becomes a literal pigsty.”

— Grace Jensen

“One-hundred-percent I believe in this concept because I feel like when I’m super busy that’s when I’m the most stressed and when I’m super busy I don’t take time to clean my room, so it just becomes a literal pigsty.”

Makenna Weipert, Dylan Nance, Jacob Ogden, Cameron Little, and Grace Jensen: five students in Wilsonville High School’s 2023 graduating class, each student with differing sources of knowledge regarding stress and its intricacies. In the end, only Weipert, Nance and Jensen believed in a correlation between a messy mind and a messy room–while Ogden and Little continue to maintain their doubts.