Freshers won’t just give you a new sense of confidence – Laura Cunliffe-Hall says you’ll get a whole new sense of fashion too…
Beginning university can be daunting to say the least. But as you begin to settle in to the glorified building site where you will spend the next three years, enjoy the toxic embrace of the daily takeaway and get comfortable with the bunch of randomers selected to live with you (for better or worse), a newfound confidence will be discovered.
Whilst you immediately notice that you are no longer afraid of walking into a room of strangers (you’ll become an expert at offering up your A-Level Results/life story/favourite alcohol-related anecdote for their entertainment), it often takes longer to recognise how your fashion choices have changed across the first term of university. As your outside catches up with your inside, you’ll be getting a new sense of fashion as well as a new sense of confidence – experimenting with a bolder look that represents who you are now to people that cannot compare you to your past self. Man buns, underwear as outwear and those patterned leggings that your parents said made you look like Bertie Bassett – they are all possible now.
Although reinventions are often limited to first year nap enthusiasts starting to spend most of their time in pyjamas, living with people your own age gives you the chance to watch people become more comfortable in their own skin. Often your housemates are the people best equipped to inspire you to try out new looks, as living on top of one another means that you can share wardrobes. Speaking as someone who was once forced to once go on a night out despite being locked out of my room, being able to completely borrow someone else’s ensemble is invaluable.
“Being able to experiment with different clothes allows you to embrace the student lifestyle and be who you want to be”
Your fashion evolution at Warwick will not be the same without these people. From “show stopping” looks for the Freshers Party, to groaning with you at the money disappearing from your bank account, disastrous and successful fashion experiences alike can be part of the intense bonding process you experience with your housemates. Whether consciously or unconsciously, your changes in appearance will be shaped by the people, places and experiences of university. Although your appearance does not in any way dictate how much you enjoy your student experience, being able to experiment with different clothes, hair styles and accessories allows you to embrace the student lifestyle and be who you want to be.
Instead of being constantly exposed to a social rhetoric that expects you to be ashamed of your own appearance, at Warwick you can wear what you like. Campus is a colourful place where people have no idea what you looked like before university – embrace the chaos and changes that student life brings. As a world-weary final year, you may look back with horror at some of your riskier choices (I am thinking of a turquoise leotard that was Missguided by name and misguided by nature), but it is those fashion choices that help you remember your time at university and become a more independent and confident person. After all – when everything from stiletto heels to pointy elf slippers have frequented seminar rooms in the past, it is unlikely that people will bat more than an eyelid at what you wear to your Thursday 9am. (If you actually make it there.)