Finals week is a time of struggle. It is a nonstop juggling act in which we try to be as prepared as possible for the O-Chem final while also writing that 25-page history paper and trying to balance sleep with the hours spent at the pottery wheel and a 24-hour take-home final. It certainly takes perseverance and some seriously good time management to get through. Often, social conventions like showering daily and pretending that you haven’t been wearing the same coffee-stained shirt for the last three days get pushed to the wayside in exchange for extra cramming time.
For me, finals week brings back the same style struggle. I am caught between spending the time getting dressed in a way that makes me feel ready to take on the day or spending more time studying the history of California’s water policy. While I know that studies have shown that feeling prepared and ready for the day can improve test scores, I have a hard time justifying the extra 15 to 30 minutes it will take to slip out of my flannel and leggings and into an equally comfortable but cleaner, confidence-boosting outfit. The prevalent laid-back style at the Claremont Colleges only fuels my desire to attend my exams in the same clothes I’ve been wearing for 48 hours. Over my last three years at the 5Cs I have shown up in all kinds of outfits to finals exams and presentations, so I thought I would share my style dos and don’ts for a successful, more relaxed finals week.
Do: Leave your stiff and tight denim at home. No matter how cool your new raw denim is, or how well your skinny jeans show off your toned calf muscles, leave them at home. After three hours of sitting in stiff jeans, you will never want to wear those pants again, trust me.
Do: Wear your comfiest socks with a pair of shoes that won’t hurt your feet. Warm toes will keep your mind on the task at hand.
Don’t: Wear 100 percent polyester. You will be sweating enough as is; leave the synthetic fabric in your dorm in favor of something a little more breathable and forgiving.
Do: Layer. Some classrooms are always way too cold, while others are way too warm. Some may even fluctuate over the span of your final. Whatever the situation, having a sweater or sweatshirt handy—even a big pashmina scarf—will only ever be a good thing.
Don’t: Leave your calculator at home (I know this is a style column, but trust me, this is good advice).
Ultimately, stepping out of the well-loved Claremont Colleges sweatpants and into something a little bit more thought-out will start your day off right, and hopefully the rest will follow. Most of all, know that you are not alone. The way I see it, we all might as well look good while we do our best to end the semester right.