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How We Should “Make the Effort This Semester”

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By Ann Cronin

I will be honest: I like to look my very best for college every day. I’m not the only one, and this is in no way an attack towards those who like to put effort into their appearance.

In the last issue of An Focal, we read an opinion piece that encouraged our peers to put a little extra care into their daily clothing choices. Fashion is subjective. Everyone has different style preferences and no two people have the same view.

Last week’s writer asked people to abandon “the grey sweat pants and the gym shoes” and adopt a more sophisticated attire. Of course, this is ridiculous. The most important aspect of a person’s style is whether or not it expresses their inner self. One should always dress to please oneself, not to impress anyone else.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with wearing tracksuit pants and runners to college. Just because you choose not to dress that way doesn’t make you any more stylish than someone who does. Likewise, anyone who feels most comfortable dressed up ‘to the nines’ should not be judged for doing so. Believe it or not, everyone does not have to look and think in the same way that you do.

Realistically speaking, there are so many better ways that a student can “Make the Effort This Semester”. Funnily enough, I’m not paying three grand worth of fees to have my peers judge my wardrobe.

We are here to learn. This is an institution of education and we are paying good money to obtain degrees. Where in the module outlines did you see a recommended standard of style that is needed to succeed in UL? You should put more effort into your studies and enjoyment at UL, rather than wasting energy on pleasing people who do not matter.

Do I even need to mention the fact that we aren’t exactly rolling in money? Not everyone can afford to “keep their style game up”, as the article put it.

Often, a student is scraping pennies to afford a weekly food shop and one or two regular social events. It can be hard to put enough money aside to buy clothes. You can’t blame any student with limited finances who opted for comfy, casual and versatile clothes over one or two stylish items that don’t suit many everyday activities.

Finally, before any boys out there decided to take last week’s advice to “ditch those Lonsdale white stripe pants”, it might be worth remembering that your one purpose in this college is not to impress every single critical fashionista. You are entitled to wear whatever clothes suit you, your personality, or even what fits most comfortably with your daily routine. Most people will admire your decision to dress for yourself, and not for anyone else.

College is not a runway, and no one has a right to comment on your dress sense. You should dress in whatever way makes you feel most comfortable and confident – you do not need to put in any effort to change the ways you express yourself.

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