JUAN: Wake up early to dress to impress, secure your future success
Opinions Column: Come With Lee
It seems like there is nothing worse than your alarm blaring in your ear the morning of an 8 a.m. lecture. A majority of us probably have it set for 7:30 a.m., giving us plenty of time to brush our teeth, put some shoes on and walk to the bus stop. I, on the other hand, prefer to wake up much earlier in order to get ready for the day. While that extra hour of sleep sounds appealing, I always felt that it was a better idea to make myself look presentable. I know — it might seem crazy. Wearing a dress, sandals and face makeup may not sound like the most practical thing to do every morning, but I found it to have a positive impact on my life. While not everyone needs to put an extra hour of getting ready into their morning, it might help to brush that hair before you walk out of the door.
As college students, we are mentally prepping ourselves for our future careers. We study for hours hoping to grasp all the concepts we need to know for these jobs, mentally preparing ourselves for what we may use in the future. Many of us, though, neglect to physically prepare ourselves for our future careers. We cannot just roll into our office in corporate America wearing a beer-stained t-shirt and jeans from last night. Working professionals need to be groomed and presentable about five days a week, 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. By making ourselves look presentable for class, we are making it easier on ourselves to do this in our professional lives, which are coming faster than we think. Getting into the habit of presenting ourselves positively, even just to class, can alter our habits in the long run. A teacher in Atlanta has implemented a program for her middle school students to teach them to dress for success. These students, some as young as 12 years old, are learning the significance of presenting their best selves. Many preteens do not own suits or professional attire. They are learning that there are outfits that can be worn other than jeans and a t-shirt. While they aren’t heading into the workforce anytime soon, they will be carrying these skills with them throughout the rest of their academic career, leading into their professional career. If college students practiced these same habits, they can easily put their best face forward for what is quickly becoming their present careers.
When meeting someone for the first time, how they look can make or break a first impression. The main thing people judge about a person they meet for the first time is how they present themselves. You do it, I do it, we all do it. First impressions don’t define a person, but it definitely guides people on how they treat the person they are judging. Being nicely dressed and groomed can give people positive impressions, leading them to think of you as a confident, serious and appropriate person. By just taking the time to dress well, we can make lasting impressions on future employers, partners or friends. As college students, we are constantly worrying about our next move. Will we get the job? Will I be the right candidate for this internship? Does she see me as someone she wants to be with? We are always concerned about what is going to come next, but we may not have to worry as much knowing we put our best selves forward. These first impressions can decide whether you land that job or not.
We’ve probably heard of the saying “look good, feel good.” The thing is, that actually is true. You know when you’re getting ready to go out Friday night and you have on your cutest outfit, you feel amazing. You’re ready to take on the night. So why not feel that way every day? Just because you dread going to your calculus class doesn’t mean you have to make it known through your clothing. The better you look, the better you feel. This can help in the classroom, giving students a boost of self-esteem and confidence. This little change can show how serious you are in excelling in your classes. I know that when I’m not feeling too well, I can be guilty of making that show in my appearance. When I feel amazing, I feel that my appearance reflects my emotions. This leads me to having a smoother and greater day. When you feel good about yourself, you perform better with that extra boost of self-confidence.
I’m not saying to dress business casual every single day. We all need breaks, and let me tell you, I know how great it is to live in sweatpants during finals week. Every day doesn’t have to be a fashion show, but we should generally try to keep ourselves groomed and presentable. Maybe instead of putting on a regular t-shirt, put on a polo shirt. Instead of wearing sneakers that you wear to the gym, put on a cleaner pair. By just making this change in our everyday lives, we can lead ourselves into a bright and fashionable future.
Leona Juan is a School of Arts and Sciences junior majoring in journalism and media studies. Her column, “Come with Lee” runs on alternate Thursdays.
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