student working on a laptop

Zen and the Art of Student Relaxation

by Lydia Jackson ’20

Lydia in the Zen Room

The Need for Zen

I have lived on campus for the past two years at Landmark, and I’ve cherished and appreciated living in the dorms. There has only been one problem, and that was finding time to collect my thoughts and take a moment to think. This past year I moved into a larger dorm and it made me realize that these simple moments have become scarce. After talking to my counselor about this struggle for me and other residents, she planted a seed for a “Zen Room.”

I am Lydia Jackson, a sophomore at Landmark School. I came to Landmark because I struggled at my past schools. Landmark has changed my life by teaching me not only the skills I need but also to love school and learning.

Something for the Whole Dorm

At first I created a Zen Corner in my room because I needed to have a place where my thoughts could roam free. I tried that out for a couple of weeks. My counselor, Ms. DeCruz, and I thought this problem was not just a ‘me’ problem, but something affecting the whole residential community. So I created the Zen Room as a quiet place for the Williston girls to reflect. Not only is the Zen Room a place to think, it’s also a detached place, separate from the dorm’s 30 girls who are constantly socializing.

I realized there was an empty dorm room, which would be perfect to host this idea. To create the Zen Room, I sent out an email to the faculty and staff asking if they had any unwanted decorations to add to the room and I contributed some of my own from home. The room now has yoga mats, art supplies, tapestries, and posters with relaxing imagery. I find these things calming and stress relieving, and I thought others would too.

A Space to Be Free

My goal for this space is to help people who use it ease their minds and stay calm. I want the girls to have a place in their house to just be free and feel like there’s no judgment. Even if they’re having a rough day, I want them to be able to go in and feel like they can let that all go. All together, I hope the Zen Room becomes a part of Williston and remains at Landmark School.


Article originally published in The Lantern, Fall/Winter 2017–2018