A quick google search of ‘How to Dress for University’ brings up a litany of how-to's, guides, and op-eds from all corners of the internet. Whatever your personal opinion and level of nonchalance, one thing that you can’t argue with is the effect your dress will have not only on the way you are perceived but also on your self-esteem and confidence.
Eleri Sampson writes that we form an opinion of new people within the first 30 seconds of meeting them, 55% of this opinion comes from the person’s body language and clothing.
Entering a University campus for the first time, you meet a whole community of people who will likely surround you throughout your degree and beyond. Peers, lecturers, friends, classmates, future employers, among a multitude of others. However, this is not an encouragement to spend hundreds of dollars every semester on a new wardrobe to make a lasting impression every day.
A University student’s budget is not equal to this financial strain. Instead, here is some advice on how to optimise your wardrobe to enhance your university career and make the most of it because however lengthy and nerve-wracking it may feel, it won’t last forever.
Invest in Efficient Footwear
Campus walkways and lawns are lovely until the skies open up. Rain turns pavement into water features and grass into muddy slipping hazards. A timetable that situates you at one end of campus at 11.55 am, and the other end at noon, can turn from a sprint to a painful shortcut with one broken sandal strap.
Rushing to your next class shouldn’t be an extreme sport (just a test of your stamina). Proper footwear is essential. Make sure you check your weather app daily and prepare for the 30% chance of rain because it could quickly turn into the downpour that ruins your day.
Choose Your Bag Wisely
A bag may seem obvious and self-explanatory, but you and your uni bag are a marriage that has the potential to make or break your spinal cord. It needs to be able to withstand natural elements, protect a laptop, contain chargers, support your books and notes, and not split open to let you down during a busy week. Choose wisely.
Pack A Rain Jacket
Even if you drive to school, there’s a slim to non-existent chance in finding a convenient parking space without paying for it. Always remember, the memes about unpredictable Sydney weather are funny because they are right. Umbrellas come in handy until they can no longer handle the stress of the wind and turn on themselves (literally!), and you. A lightweight rain jacket is a worthy investment. It can fit comfortably in your bag, it’s functional, and it leaves your hands free to grip your belongings and open doors to welcome shelter.
Rep University Merchandise
These are items of clothing that are second only to your graduation cap and gown. They display to the world where you are from, in your life and education. If you choose to purchase the merchandise of your respective faculty, then your clothes will also display your field of interest. As a bonus, you might win one of these items during orientation week, in exchange for participation in a five-minute activity.
T-shirts, hoodies, caps and other wares emblazoned with the University logo is one method to blend in on campus while maintaining a casual, wearable outfit that provides the adaptability to prepare for whatever the day may bring, which leads up to our next point.
Dress in Preparation
For what you may ask? The fact of the matter is that you can never be sure with what the day will bring. Naturally, if you need to be in a lab, closed shoes are a rule of thumb. If you’re a part of the university social soccer club, you should dress for game day. You can even spend the two-hour break between classes to boost your WAM (weighted average mark) during a tutoring session, either by yourself or with your friends on campus by downloading the Platute app. Every day is different, so dress in preparation for new adventures.
As important as it is to ‘dress for success’, the cornerstone of University life is transitioning from child to young adult, and a big part of that is a discovery of who you are and how you want to present that to the world. Now is the time to experiment. Gone are the days of uniforms and strict dress codes. James Laver said, ‘clothing is the furniture of the mind made visible’ and now is the best time to make the interior design of your mind come to life. Keep your Unidays and student discounts close and remember university flea markets, op-shops, and seasonal sales are your budget-friendly (sometimes environmentally conscious) friends.
If you're needing help transitioning to uni life, click here to receive necessary uni, study and employment tips. Download Platute from the app store to get access to experienced and professional mentors.