Home Opinions Going to class dressed well imperative for college students

Going to class dressed well imperative for college students

Illustration by: Ninette Solis | Staff Illustrator

Look around any average college class, whether it be in a large lecture hall or a smaller classroom, and the majority of students will be sporting some form of bizarrely mismatched outfit. These strictly collegiate ensembles are worn with sardonic dignity by Bobcats throughout campus, and it is a trend that has become ridiculously repetitious.

For the female college student, the getup is typically an XL T-shirt with athletic-style shorts or perhaps leggings if she haven’t bothered to shave recently. Her hair is always in some sort of ungodly rat’s nest, leaving one to wonder if she meant for it to be that way or seriously just does not own a brush.

Males are surprisingly superior in the realm of looking somewhat put-together in a classroom setting, but this is likely only because less effort goes into making guys look halfway decent.

To be fair, everyone has been there—the alarm does not go off, there is no time for coffee and a wrinkly T-shirt from the night before will just have to suffice. But this sort of self-presentation is definitely not acceptable everyday attire in the real world. Only on a college campus is this lack of effort somehow considered permissible and even inadvertently encouraged on a daily basis.

The truth of the matter is this: presentation is everything. How people look matters. That is not shallow, it is a fact of life. The first thing people judge another person on is his or her outward appearance. Before someone utters a single word, he or she has already been categorized into a certain class based presentation. A student actively pursuing a higher level of education should be emulating the image of a sophisticated individual rather than a child who can only be bothered to halfway dress himself.

Furthermore, this blatant disregard for personal appearance is an underlying insult to professors and peers. It is saying, “I do not care enough about this to show up looking decent.” If that is the attitude of an individual toward class and college in general, one cannot expect to suddenly become serious about a career post-graduation.

Suppose a professor showed up to class in a dingy T-shirt with a baseball cap covering a grungy hairdo. It would be difficult to take such an individual seriously as an educator. A student in this same attire cannot seriously expect to be perceived as having a deliberate interest in an education, and, after all, that is what we are actually in college to achieve.

The ability to present oneself in the best light is liberating. Dressing for success is necessary for every Bobcat to reach full potential. This doesn’t require high heels or a suit and tie daily. Instead, simply putting on a neat, casual outfit rather than throwing on the first thing found on the floor is a good start. The extra minutes students spend enhancing their outward presentation can allow them more overall opportunities throughout the rest of the day—the freedom to speak up knowing they are expressing themselves in the most outstanding overall manner possible.

In this sense, dressing for success is imperative. It allows students to hold their heads a little higher and believe in the people they are becoming, rather than sitting in the back of the class clothed in absurd attire. College is a stepping stone to the rest of life, a median on the way to hopeful success. Considering that, looking the part is well worth it.


  1. Oh my goodness I’m so happy you wrote this. I just had to leave my job as an opinion columnist at the Star and I had pitched this like three times but never actually wrote it. Couldn’t have said it better myself! Love it!

  2. Stop judging people’s self-worth based on their outer appearance. This is 2016, a public school, and you are supposedly an adult. What people wear to class should have no effect on you. If it is bothersome, go to a private school and smugly mock with your other well-dressed classmates the deplorable state of attire that is the Texas State student body. The rest of us don’t care. And I’m sure neither do the faculty to a large extent providing their frumpily dressed students are actively engaged, performing well in class, and don’t smell. Many students’ lives are dramatically changed when they first come to college as most have never lived away from their parents and find themselves overwhelmed with this new emersion. I’m sure it is a relief that these students swamped with tests, a lack of money, and general fatigue can wear whatever they want and no one will care with the exception of a few snobs. College is not the real world and “sophistication” does not mean shaved legs or the absence of a baseball cap. Students, wear whatever you want and pity the author who cannot comprehend anything past a casual visual inspection.
    Also, it is super regressive thinking that women need to shave their legs. And don’t say that you don’t think so because saying “…haven’t bothered to shave recently” means you think women need to shave their legs. Hairless legs do not define femininity just as hairy legs do not define masculinity. Hair is hair and people have it and whether it is shaved, covered, trimmed, or billowing in the wind it matters just as little as a dingy t-shirt or whatever your definition of a rat’s nest hairdo is.
    Side note: I’m totally digging the fox creature dude who is on his way to what I’m assuming is a middle-eastern literature class. Sounds fun.

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