Why Are Teens So Messy?

—Concetta Hill, Staff Editor—

It’s not mystery that many students are unorganized, if anything it’s become a joke among parents. The real question is: why are students so messy? Many want to say that they’re just  too lazy to clean their room or organize their papers, but it’s much more than that. Part of it is that students don’t have time, but they also don’t have much energy or motivation to do so. After sitting at a desk all day and having facts crammed into their head, it’s hard to get up, clean, and organize. How can someone get their room and papers organized when their brain is such a whirlwind?

sloppy room
Photo courtesy of Rubbermaid Products

The phrase coined by all mothers: “It looks like a tornado just blew through here!” Most kids have a mess of a room and it’s true that some may be lazy. However, it’s much more than that. Many students, especially students who participate in extracurricular activities, don’t necessarily have the time to clean up after themselves. “I go from school to work without a break then have barely enough time to do homework,” said Joshua Smith. “How am I expected to have time to clean when I barely have time for required work?” Time isn’t an issue for only students, so why is it less understood by adults? Some students get home at around 6:00 p.m. if they play a sport. They have to eat dinner and do their homework, and by the time they’re finished, it’s already so late that they have to sleep to go to school the next day. Not to mention, many have all day rehearsals or events on the weekends, so they’re always busy. With no time to rest, there’s no time to get organized and clean up.

Another issue many teenagers face is not having the energy to do much of anything after

mental energy
Photo courtesy of Nevit

school. Many stay up late doing homework and don’t get much sleep so they try to make up for it with a nap after school. However, this only worsens the cycle. The easiest way to fix this would be to try and fix the sleep schedule quickly by doing work right after school. As the sleep schedule falls into a more normal pattern and the student gets more energy, they may be able to be more productive during their day and get themselves organized and neat.

schoolwork mess
Photo courtesy of Justin S. Campbell

“My motivation is to keep honor roll and play soccer, not clean my room,” says Paul Hagen when asked why he doesn’t stay organized. Many students face the same issues, especially those that exhaust themselves on school work and volunteering, it’s hard to find the motivation to do much else outside of that. Some students even have to take care of families, something that leaves them with little to no time to spend on keeping their rooms neat.

Many students, especially at Cosby High School, have a high expectation set for their  academics, athletics, and volunteering. This gives them very tight time constraints that impeach on their little bit of down-time. With whatever time they have to themselves, they are likely to indulge themselves by watching TV and listening to music, not putting themselves to work by cleaning or getting organized. The easiest  way to avoid having to do that is by putting things where they belong right when done with it to avoid having to clean up later. The mindset of the student is what will ultimately get them organized, not hours of cleaning.

Cover photo courtesy of Jodimichelle