Like the average college freshman, I was excited yet anxious to begin my college career. I moved from Texas to New York City. The college I chose is located on Wall Street in the heart of the Financial District of downtown Manhattan, and requires a dress code of business attire.
I will admit, my relationship with business casual clothing has had its ups and downs. Shopping for school clothes was difficult, considering I grew up in blue jeans and yoga pants!
There is an art to dressing in business attire. How does a young 19-year-old look professional yet express her personality? My experiences over the past two semesters in New York City have changed me for the better. I now know my style. Yes, I may not be able to jump out of bed and slide into sweatpants for class, but, the dress code has not only transformed my wardrobe, but transformed me into a new person with a new perspective on life. Here are just a few of the things I learned.
1—I learned to look good in seconds
Most college students who have a 9 a.m. class wake up 20 minutes before, roll out of bed, pull on sweats and are out the door. But, I have learned how to wake up in twenty minutes before class starts, jump out of bed, do my make-up and hair, put together an outfit, and get to class on time.
2—I learned to maximize my time
In order to look professional every single day, you have to learn to maximize and organize your time. I learned how to get ready in a short amount of time… and grab coffee with five minutes to spare before class. It increased my efficiency and decreased my laziness.
3—I learned to fake-it-’til-you-make-it
Dressing in a polished manner taught me how to look put together even if I did not feel put together. This attitude quickly showed me when you look like you know what you doing, you learn to know what you are doing.
4—I learned to be professional
Even having to pretend you are a young professional affects every area of life. Eventually, you do not have trouble choosing outfits. My ratty T-shirts and jeans gradually disappeared, replaced by slacks, skirts, and heels. I began to talk, act, and think like a young professional.
Appearance is not everything; however, appearance affects the way you are treated. My motto has become to dress for what you want in life not where you are in life. The blisters on my heels have become callouses. Just as my feet have adjusted to this new life, so has the rest of me. Dressing professionally invites an air of accomplishment. I now feel prepared for internships and jobs in the future.
What do you think about a dress-code of business casual? Share your thoughts in the comments below!