As college students, we’re ultimately here to reach a common goal — to earn a degree and get a good job.
With that in mind, I’ve never understood how people don’t try to dress for success on a daily basis during their time at college.
To clarify, I don’t mean you have to wear a suit coat or pencil skirt everyday. I’m talking about the sweatpants a lot of students can be seen wearing while on campus.
As I sat in my final class lecture with about 100 other students, I couldn’t help but notice many of my peers were donning sweatpants. This isn’t anything new; it’s been a common occurrence during my four years here.
I’m just finishing up my final year here at USD, which means most seniors — like me — will need letters of references from professors and/or other faculty that relay information about our professionalism, academic abilities and suitability to get into graduate school or to score their first “real” job.
The truth is, with it being so hard to find a decent job right out of college, we collegiates need to do all that we can to start off our work life strong — and that begins in college when you begin forming and maintaining relationships with professors.
Yes, it’s possible to dress nicely on a budget. Jeans or khakis and a nice-fitting shirt is perfectly fine.
No, you don’t have to wear a suit all the time.
Yes, you should care about how you dress, but, no, you shouldn’t obsess constantly about looking perfect.
If someone doesn’t know how to dress appropriately for a job interview, can you really trust them to wear appropriate clothes if you ask them to present something?
Likewise, when you go to class dressed in a baggy T-shirt and sweatpants, it says something very different than if you’re wearing nice jeans and a nice shirt or top.
The first option says “I’m comfy” while the second outfit says “I take myself seriously.” While it may be frustrating to accept, you have to show others your potential rather than waiting for them to realize it.
So, yes, dress as if you’re always going to be judged on your appearance. It may seem silly or wrong, but it’s a beneficial practice to get in the habit of doing it regularly.