In college, no one will judge you for showing up to class in your sweats, or even your pajamas. Walking across campus, you are bound to see an endless number of people in sweatshirts, yoga pants, joggers and T-shirts.
Between high school and college, something changes. In high school, I wore jeans. In college, I wear leggings. No matter how much effort you put into your outfits in high school, it seems the majority of college students lose their desire to wear nicer clothes to class.
I have fallen victim to this as well. Before coming to college, I always heard things about how college students dressed lazily. I, however, swore that would not be me.
By the third week, I was wearing athletic clothes daily.
After talking with some of my friends, I concluded I wasn’t the only one. Sophia Gonzalez is one of my friends at MU. We bonded over our love for fashion. We’re always sharing things with each other on Instagram, reminiscing about the days when we wore jeans in public.
“I was pretty trendy,” Gonzalez said. “I was always trying to wear the latest styles … It was kind of a hobby for me. I spent so much time putting my outfits together. I would look at social media for inspiration.”
However, just like with me, it didn’t take her long to notice the effort she once put into her outfits was disappearing.
“Everyone here wears something they just throw on,” Gonzalez said. “People wear sweatpants to class. Here, you’re walking a lot and there isn’t really a reason to dress up ‘cause you’re just going to go back to your dorm or apartment.”
I have a three-point theory about why college students dress this way.
First of all, everyone around you is doing it. This sounds bad, because yes, you should be your own person. If you are more comfortable wearing jeans or cute dresses, you should absolutely do that. But when you show up to class and the girl sitting next to you has on Uggs, leggings and a giant sweatshirt, that’s all you’re going to want to wear. I do not want to get up any earlier than I have to. If that means I can wear the most comfortable pair of sweatpants I own and go about my day, I am okay with that.
Secondly, college students are much busier than high school students. Coming to college, you have so much more to manage: going to class, homework, studying, laundry, grocery shopping, jobs and more. I don’t really have the time, energy or desire to put a bunch of effort into my look. I am way more comfortable running around all day in leggings and a T-shirt. Also, squeezing in a workout can be a challenge. If I’m already dressed to work out, that’s one less excuse I have to skip.
Finally, this is the last time in your life it might actually be appropriate to dress like this in public. I’m not talking about a nice sweater with cute joggers and a stylish pair of shoes. What I’m talking about are the Walmart sweatpants I bought on sale for $5 the other day with a giant Mizzou sweatshirt. In your life after college, people will be concerned if you go out in public dressed as such. I don’t see why I shouldn’t take advantage of that.
In high school, Gonzalez wore skinny jeans and crop tops. Now, she exclusively wears leggings and sweatshirts in an effort to be as comfortable as possible.
I think that on some level we all relate to this. We all walk around campus in our sweats and baseball caps. And we understand why: On college campuses, comfort rules.
Edited by Claire Colby | firstname.lastname@example.org