After a summer of anticipation, trips to IKEA and Facebook stalking your flatmates, freshers’ week has finally rolled around. There’s plenty to stress about; how you’re going to find your way around campus (will campus even be a thing?!), what your neighbours are like, whether you’ve picked the right course… But, if you’re anything like me, there is something much worse than all of that: the familiar pain of wardrobe worry.
The pressure is understandable. How you dress is the first real impression your fellow students will have of you. And the clothes you choose to wear will accompany you through so much, most of which will be immortalised in photos, snapchat memories and insta posts. For these reasons, your wardrobe can seem like a vital part of your identity and, by starting uni, you’ve been offered a chance to re-shape both completely.
So, what to wear? To withstand the highs and lows of university life, your wardrobe must be durable and comfortable, and not just in the physical sense – although please take into account the Leeds rainy days and how likely your friends are to throw up on your jeans after one too many vodka lemonades – but mentally too.
Dressing comfortably is all about wearing what you enjoy, rather than dressing to ‘impress’. For many of you, the move to Leeds is a completely fresh start, and you should take advantage of that! It is a chance to get creative and express yourself in a way that maybe felt too scary at home. Leeds students are renowned for loud prints and bright colours, so don’t be afraid of judgement because you can get away with wearing pretty much anything here. That said, don’t feel the need to perform or put on something that isn’t you. Being yourself is the one sure-fire way you will feel comfortable and confident.
The takeaway? Try not to get too hung up on your freshers’ wardrobe. We place so much pressure on first impressions, when in reality freshers’ week is a very blurry memory for most of us. A combination of drinking too much and self-absorbed anxiety makes for a pretty fuzzy account of first meeting even the best of friends. University is one massive learning curve – it’s months and years of trial and error in every aspect of life. And your style is a fluid thing that will change, change and change again for years to come. Remember that at the end of the day, it isn’t the clothes you wear, but the memories you make in them that count.
Header image credit: hopetocope