Clothes for Class: Freedom of Expression
I’m sure that every college student has either said or been told college is an opportunity for independence and self-expression. You get to choose what you do on the weekends, the people you hang out with most, what you eat for breakfast and more. One of the most visible ways people are able to express themselves in college is through the way they dress.
I grew up attending a school with dress codes. Even though my high school’s dress code wasn’t extremely strict, I was excited to go to college where I could at least get away with wearing shorts to class.
I couldn’t wait to roll out of bed, messy hair and all, and throw on a T-shirt along with whatever shoes I first pulled out of my closet, all the while not receiving the “Are you really leaving the house looking like that?” stare from my lovely mother. Whenever I see other students around campus, I often wonder how their own independence might have shaped what they pulled out of their closets that day.
It seems as though 75 percent of the college population sport whatever is comfiest for them, most often a T-shirt and athletic shorts or sweats. In my opinion, that is one of the greatest things about college, the ability to wear what makes us comfortable.
Recently, some of us took to the campus to ask students their philosophy on dressing for class. We received an array of responses as to why students dress the way they do. Some dressed strictly for comfort, stating that sleep is more important and makes them feel better than dressing a certain way might. Some said that putting an effort into what they wear is an incentive to putting more effort into their schoolwork. Every answer represented the beauty of all that college is.
It’s important to dress comfortably (a relative term) for class every day. I’ve noticed over the transition from high school to college that professors are much more concerned with their students’ ability to obtain and apply information in their classes than they are with how students show up.
When students are able to dress the way they need to in order to focus best in class, then they end up being able to take in information much more successfully. Whether that means dressing up or dressing down, do whatever makes it easiest to focus and learn.
I want to thank everyone who participated in making the video. Stay tuned for the second part of the clothes for class series and please share your feedback with us on your philosophy for dressing for class!