Sweatpants, t-shirts, sweatshirts and sneakers are the components of my college wardrobe. When I was in high school, I would wear a mixture of jeans, khakis and occasionally break out the sweatpants. Make-up was also incorporated during my junior and senior years. When I first got to UR, I attempted to continue to care about my appearance. The first day of classes rolled around, I had picked out an outfit the night before, woke up early to do my hair and put on make-up. When I walked from Sue B. toward Morey for my first class, I noticed that some people had made an effort to look nice, but many of them were not dressed up in the slightest. As time went on, I tried to wake up early to make myself look presentable, but I was tired from classes, homework and staying up late every night with my friends. I tried to be comfortable as much as possible, but as I was only doing laundry once a week, sadly, I was forced to wear jeans and khakis almost every day. I would fidget around in Psych 101 wishing that I was wearing sweatpants. In October, my family came in for Meliora Weekend. We went to Marketplace Mall and I returned to school with five new pairs of sweatpants so that I now had a combined total of seven different pairs of sweatpants. I had one for each day of the week – I never had to wear jeans, khakis or any other type of pants again! The make-up situation deteriorated as well. When I started to run out of eye-liner and lip gloss, I just never bothered to buy more. I saved what little I had left for those exciting outings to the frat quad or for those rare occasions that we actually got off campus. It was as if my dorm and the academic buildings were a part of my house, and I only needed to really “get dressed” when I went outside of it. Toward the end of last year, I started wearing make-up more often I did my hair once in a while and I bought nicer shirts to dress up my outfits because, as much as I tried, I could not give up those sweatpants. This year however, I added some corduroys and jeans to my assortment of pants. Although most days I still wear sweatpants, there are at least two or three days of the week in which I switch it up a little and try to dress nicer, if you can even count jeans as dressing nicer. I noticed, though, that most of the people in my classes do not make much of an effort. Many people wear sweatpants and sweatshirts, but most wear sweatshirts and jeans. There are those who straighten their hair regularly, but there are also those people who just stick their hair in a ponytail or wear hats to cover up their tangled, messy and most likely dirty hair. Why do people let themselves go in college? I knew that it wasn’t a new phenomenon, when my cousin told me about one memorable experience of her college life. She had to do a presentation, so she wore a skirt and a nice shirt to make herself look more presentable. She got crazy looks from everyone who walked by, particularly those who were walking around in their pajamas. It has become normal for people to wake up and go to class in their pajamas or whatever is comfortable, especially in Rochester where it is more important to stay warm than to look pretty. Maybe it’s connected to the freshman fifteen, or as I heard recently the freshman twenty. If you’re gaining weight, wearing sweatpants is a lot easier and less embarrassing than buying bigger clothes. Maybe we are just taking advantage of the ability to wear whatever we want before we enter the “real world” and have to dress up in suits and skirts every day for work. Or, perhaps we’re just lazy and don’t feel like giving up sleep to make the extra effort. Whatever it is, college campuses have caused our fashion sense to decline. I only hope that it is not permanent and that there will be nicer outfits, hair and make-up in my future.

Handis is a member of the class of 2009.



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