Students expect to gain a lot of freedom when they go to college, but something that gets minimized is the right to wear what you want to class. Whether you are coming from a high school uniform or a dress code, college finally gives you that.
Sophomore Nicole Ambruch says, “I went to a Catholic school so I had to wear a certain outfit every day. It took the pressure off to dress the best because everyone looked the same.”
There is a difference between a uniform and a dress code, each creating a unique school atmosphere. Where a uniform can create a sense of camaraderie among students, a dress code can be plain uncomfortable since many of the rules are directed mostly at females.
Girls’ shorts and skirt lengths are restricted by school rules, but manufacturers do not create their clothes to follow high school dress codes, making it close to impossible to find shorts, skirts, and dresses that follow the code. This leaves jeans as one of the only appropriate options, and this can become difficult to adhere to if the temperature exceeds 75 degrees. When students get to Penn State they have the power to wear what they want, when they want.
Classroom temperatures vary, affecting what you are going to throw on in the morning. You could go to your 8 a.m. in 100 Thomas bundled up in a cozy sweater then have a class in 208 Willard and immediately start sweating.
Walking around campus, Valley has seen all sorts of clothes from short dresses to sweats and even furry leg warmers. As a college freshman, you may set out to look your best, but that feeling can change quickly once you go to an early lecture.
Ambruch says, “I tried to look nice at the beginning [of the semester], but soon realized that no one cares what you look like at 9 a.m. so my outfits were mainly leggings and t-shirts. State is so big and there are so many kids— no one truly cares what you do or look like.”
Now that you get the chance to wear whatever you want, you should feel comfortable in your own skin. You have been given the opportunity to find your personal style and enjoy who you are becoming.
As the stress of high school cliques fade away, who you are matters more than what you wear. Valley does have one tip for you as the school year approaches— make sure to stock your closet with plenty of blue and white!