College has been pitched to us as the time to make incredible memories and wear nothing but sweatpants to class, especially if it starts earlier than 10 am. The four years are all about fun and complete comfort.
But, if you stop to think about it, these four years are also the perfect time to make impressions that last. Your professors and advisors are people with some serious connections in the “real world” and can also make great references for jobs or further educational opportunities.
Even the people in your classes or the friends you make could someday be the CEO of a company that you’d love to work for- you never know! Really though, people end up at all sorts of places in the working world. They could be at any level of a corporation, they could be on the board for a non-profit, or they could know people in an industry that you’re interested in pursuing.
The constant reminder that you shouldn’t burn bridges is one that you should never tire of hearing because it’s really good advice. Obviously, there’s a difference between burning bridges and ending relationships when it’s time to let go. But don’t cut off people and severe ties for no good reason.
So, yeah, there’s more to making a good impression and lasting positive relationships with your professors or peers than just putting on some makeup for class every once and a while or saying hi to everyone in your class. But, that’s why it’s incredibly important to make an impact from day one. A great way to do that is to dress in a comfortable yet classy manner.
What do you mean when you say classy and comfy? Wow, great question! Basically, if you’re gonna wear just jeans and a t-shirt, try throwing on a cute pair of earrings, a “nicer” looking shoe, or maybe even doing your eyeliner.
Wow, great question! Basically, if you’re gonna wear just jeans and a t-shirt, try throwing on a cute pair of earrings, a “nicer” looking shoe, or maybe even doing your eyeliner. I swear, one or all of those little things combined can turn a bum day outfit into cute cute cute! Swap your baggy sweatshirt for a baggy sweater with your leggings and boots and you instantly look like you “tried”.
I can’t tell you how often some of my best outfits or looks were on days that I literally rolled out of bed, put as little effort in my style as possible, and barely made it to class because I had no time to make a pot of coffee. I get compliments on those days just as much, if not more, as I do when I’m trying to look really nice. It’s totally possible and totally achievable in 5 minutes or less.
I know that I can wear jeans and a t-shirt with my hair done and even just a little bit of makeup on and I feel great. If I put time into my appearance I feel incredible. It allows me to walk around confidently throughout the day. I swear that looking a little more put together really does create more positive interactions between myself and those around me.
So why do it?
A great reason to dress up for class is that it will drastically improve your mood. The days that I’m in sweats with no makeup on, I have a foggier mindset.
I can guarantee you that the days I’m a little more put together my mindset is more focused and brighter. I’m able to get more done, I feel like my brain is a tidy little room on those days compared to feeling like I’m still half asleep when I don’t have the energy to get ready.
I have a professor who actually grades us in the classroom on professionalism. It may just be me, but I feel more professional when I look the part.
If I’m in sweats or just don’t have makeup on I feel like a totally different person and also like my brain function is down the toilet. I can’t make intelligent comments about literature or the world of journalism if I’m bumming it hardcore.
Another good reason is that having a positive and professional connection with your professors is important. So important that I wrote a whole separate post about it. To just touch on the main points of that article: professors can do more than teach you; they can be mentors, they can recommend you to graduate programs, and they could maybe even link you directly to a job opportunity.
If you treat their classroom like it’s more than just a place of torture at 8 a.m. on a Tuesday, you can be surprised what you get out of it. I have a few professors that I feel particularly close with due to having them time and again along with actually making use of their office hours. I hope that when the time comes for graduation, these professors can point me in the right direction.
I’m not just recommending this because it sounds like a good idea. I have done it, I’ve played the part. You’ll be more alert, more confident, and more “in the game”. Even if you can’t answer that ridiculously hard theory based question, you can at least remember what your professor asked. It’s worth the try!
So even if you’re just really not feeling it, whether it’s for your 9:00 or 3:00 class, put on some mascara and a necklace. Grab a scarf and a ring. Choose the nicer boots over the snowstained uggs. Pretend that you tried a lot harder than you really did, and walk through that classroom like you’re owning it.