It’s painfully obvious on the first day of classes who the freshman are. They are dressed up, flawless hair and makeup, and accessorized to perfection. Many upperclassmen roll up to class in a giant t-shirt and Nike shorts or leggings. Don’t get me wrong, I love the luxury of not thinking about what I have to wear, especially after years of trying to make a drab school uniform cute or trying to impress prep school boys. Going into my junior year, I got a little tired of always looking like I just got out of bed. This school year, I made a commitment to start dressing nicer for class twice a week. It’s changed my life and I’ve had a lot of unexpected results.
I quickly noticed that I started to feel better about myself. When you take the time to put care and energy into how you present yourself, it pays off. My time putting on makeup and doing my hair became self care time where I focused on me. I wasn’t in a nervous rush because I had to wake up early to get everything done, but that allowed me to move at a more relaxed pace in the morning. I found that I finally had time to sit down, drink coffee and make a nutritious breakfast. Starting your morning by taking care of yourself sets a great tone for the rest of the day. I’ve found it really puts you on the right foot.
The people around me also began to take note of my new habits. I’m currently enrolled in a master class as an undergrad. I knew I wanted to make a good impression on my professors and not seem in over my head. Of course, a professor would never say this outright, but the time you have with them is limited, so first impressions are vital. I know I am so much more conscious of how I act and speak when I’m dressed well. It definitely helped me avoid saying something a little silly.
The other very unexpected perk I noticed was that I got back into shape. College makes it hard to stay fit. Baggy clothes are very forgiving. Comfortable attire on a daily basis masks any indication that you’ve gotten out of shape. I’ve never been a fan of dieting, scales or any crazy fitness trend. As long as I fit in my clothes, I’m happy. One day, I found I couldn’t fit into my favorite jeans and I knew I had to get back into shape. I started going to spin again. I even started taking the time to meal prep and watch what I ate. Through it all, I had a healthy motivation to lose weight, because I wanted to maximize the options I had in my closet.
This journey of dressing well was mostly about the time I started taking for myself. It’s easy to get lost in the myriad of activities and clubs in college. We have to take time to care for ourselves. Mental health is becoming a big issue for collegiates across the nation. I can only hope that students find something like I did to make time for self care.
Image Credits: Bows And Sequins