Your alarm shatters your slumber at 9:30 a.m. and you lethargically reach over to hit the snooze button for the second time in a row that morning. After cherishing those additional seven minutes of sleep, you realize that you have no choice but to rip yourself out of bed and prepare for the busy day ahead. With only 20 minutes until class begins, you find that you’re only option is to grab the quickest and most convenient garments. There seems to be an ongoing battle every morning between staying in bed to sleep a little longer and spending a decent amount of time getting ready.
Upon starting college, many young scholars decided to trade in their trendy wardrobes for oversized t-shirts, running shorts, and Chacos. The appeal of dressing down has an overwhelmingly strong presence here at the University of Georgia. Just one hike up the Brumby hill or one long walk to the Chemistry building is enough to make any fashionista trade her cute sandals and wedges in for some ankle supporting sneakers. It’s obvious that the most popular reason that so many students dress down is for comfort, but a lot of students feel that it goes even deeper than that.
Deja White, a first year mass media student from Stone Mountain, Georgia says that “people associate dressing up with being a freshman.” She thinks that only those that are “naïve to college culture go out of their way when they get ready in the morning.” Many students are attracted to the idea of dressing down, simply because it is practical.
Jonathon Moss, a third year international affairs and applied economics major from Oglethorpe, Georgia, is also a strong supporter of dressing down for classes. He thinks that there is such a strong appeal for the comfy attire “because college students are a lot more tired.” The University of Georgia has hundreds of things to get involved in from community service groups to Greek Life to career fairs. In many cases, students have to sacrifice sleep in order to accommodate all of their interests. Moss also stated that he would rather save his nicer clothes “for weekend events or special days.” Considering most college students are on a tight budget, it makes sense that a person would choose to dress in t-shirts (which are pretty easy to come by for free in college) during the week and save the snazzier outfits for when it really matters.
Even though many students have adopted a relaxed wardrobe, there are still quite a few students who resist the trend. Austin Igein, a fourth year risk management and insurance major from Douglasville, Georgia, says he chooses to dress up for class because he believes “it creates a presence on campus.” In the midst of all the running shorts and hoodies, Igein thinks that dressing up helps him “stand out as a role model on campus.”
Some students also believe that dressing up for class helps them prepare for their professional life in the real world and build better relationships with their professors. Abby McHan, a first year international affairs and romance major from Calhoun, Georgia, says that “dressing up is a part of being respectful towards your professors because it indicates that you take their class seriously.” Some kids may feel wary about sticking out too much when they choose to dress up, but McHan responds to them by saying, “It’s okay to do your own thing. I know I feel most comfortable when I dress chic, so it doesn’t bother me when others don’t.”
Opinions on how to dress on a college campus vary because students are released from the binds that most high school dress codes create. After polling just a few of the University’s students, it is clear that everybody has their own reason for dressing a certain way. As you get dressed every morning, reflect on how great it is that you truly have freedom when choosing how to present yourself to the world.