One of the best parts about college is that people tend to stop feeling the high school-esque, materialistic need to impress each other every day.
Every night, I have these visions of grandeur about how the next morning will go. For example: I tell myself I will wake up early, take my time getting ready, maybe even have a good hair day and if I’m really lucky, my socks will match. Sometimes that dream comes to glorious fruition, and other times, I lay in bed until 15 minutes before I need to leave because I’ve already committed to wearing my Batman pajama pants to class. I feel 100 percent confident about both options, because in college, it doesn’t feel like I am constantly under a judgmental microscope.
For the most part, when making friends in college, we stop looking at the trivial things about each other and start looking at the big relational picture. This is framed with shared interests, values and experiences. Things that you may have been judged for before you arrived here might now be some of the reasons people like you, because our evaluations of each other have become more mature. This is true even all the way down to the way you choose to dress. Whether you’re having a day straight out of Vogue, or you show up wearing sweats and a t-shirt without makeup on, your friends are still going to like you. And as silly as that sounds, it’s a comforting feeling when you think about all of the uncertainty in our lives right now as we are working on transitioning into awesome, successful adults.
We are learning to care about people unconditionally by forming relationships based on stronger foundations, and because of this amazing part of growing up, it’s possible to wear Batman pajama pants to your 9 a.m. lecture without feeling bad about it. You might even feel compelled to wear the matching cape.
“In college … your close friends see you at your worst. … You can’t pretend you’re perfect like you sort of could in high school, because you have nowhere to hide. This is actually weirdly comforting,” wrote blogger Clara in an article in That Girl Magazine.
If you show up to class in last night’s dress, in a banana suit, in the latest Oscar-inspired look, in your Harry Potter cloak, in your favorite jeans, or simply in your pajamas, own it. Make a different statement every day because here, it doesn’t matter so much anymore if you are weird or enjoy doing things differently every once in a while, or have a long night that accidentally carries into the next morning.
I’m not saying that going to college means that you can completely stop caring, and under no circumstances should you put effort into your style. I’m just saying that it’s acceptable to be who you are on a daily basis, instead of being how you feel others need to see you or want to see you. It’s acceptable to dress for yourself and wear what makes you feel good. It’s acceptable to surround yourself with only those who foster that spirit and high-five you at your worst. And it’s acceptable to wear your Batman pajama pants because I think everyone wants to feel like a casual superhero from time to time.
Collegian Assistant Opinion Editor Haleigh McGill can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @HaleighMcGill.