The Silhouette - Sept. 20

Page 8

A8 • Opinions

The Silhouette • Thursday, September 20, 2012

MEGHAN BOOTH Vice President Mac Debate Club

VIOLETTA NIKOLSKAYA Should one dress for success, or wear sweat pants and experience less stress?


Violetta: What should I wear on the open-ended. Right now I’m talking first day of school? Will everyone about ‘you’ incorporated. Although think me weird for clashing this top many of us are still just finishing with these shoes? What if everyone up our tender teen years, you must notices that my new shirt is a little begin the transition to young adulttoo snug (damn it, freshmen fif- hood. For the purposes of this arteen)? So much anxiety! When we gument we are indeed referring to think about dressing for class, we you, your appearance on a regular tend to think about the impressions basis and of course people’s percepwe will leave on our peers, our crush tion of you. Although we may imand our friends. In a sea of thou- mediately shout ‘YOLO’ and put on sands of students, I highly doubt our favourite pink crocs and stained anyone worries about the burden but comfy jeans from grade school, I posit that here, now in this of keeping up the University’s reputation when they The amount educational institution, your resume begins to write itself. decide which shirt to put on of school in the morning. Representpride is ing McMaster is often not often trans- Violetta: On average, I think the intention of dressing up, lated in the I spot about a dozen McMaster sweaters or t-shirts whereas going to a new job attire that around campus, whether and dressing semi-formally the students they are declaring pride for or business casually is meant wear. the 125th anniversary of as a way to respect the organization or company. This is not to say that McMaster does not deserve this same respect. However, I think that in a place that values the academic contributions of students, time and money could be better spent by students on tools for academic success than on a new pair of dress pants. Meghan: Rise and shine students; despite the obvious advantage to remaining young at heart for the rest of our lives, on many levels we must ‘grow up’. What this actually means is certainly arbitrary and

the University or a specific faculty or residence building. The amount of school pride that McMaster has is often translated in the attire that the students wear. Even a University sweater or logo acts as a symbolic representation of privilege, intelligence and social status. Students enjoy wearing these symbols in public because it does positively affect the service and interactions they engage with on a regular basis. A student wearing their University logo will most likely be perceived by community members as intelligent and upstanding; a positive stereo-

type, but a stereotype nonetheless. By the same token, a classy suit or blouse can act as a representation of status, wealth and importance. Whereas only some students can afford to fill their wardrobe with that kind of attire, it is more affordable for most students to wear something casual that, not only help them express their school pride but, gives them the ability to have that symbolic status. Meghan: To be clear, it is certainly important to be recognized for your sharp intellect and winning personality. It is widely recognized, though, that we are often defined by our first impressions. The people we see around campus, the peers we work on projects with and the professors we interact with are all a part of an intricate network of connections that will undoubtedly aid you in some sort of way in the present and in the future; and guess what? They probably already ‘judged’ you before you even actually met. Don’t be afraid or anxious, you’re a star and all of these people undoubtedly love you, but think: when it comes to a situation where you may be considered for a shiny internship or for a recommendation for a seat on a prestigious council, will your appearance hold you back? Look at your UGGs, your green mohawk or your shiny spandex tights and ask yourself, do I look like a person in

President Mac Debate Club

the profession I am working to be in? Food for thought: if you don’t see yourself as suited (pun intended) for the position you’re gunning for, then often times, neither does the person with the power to give it to you.

path to adulthood. It may be fundamentally flawed, biased or not your forte, but you will at some point need to begin to be accountable for getting up early enough to properly iron a shirt, comb your hair... and put on deodorant. As for the finanVioletta: Let’s face the facts: we cial aspect of being presentable in are busy people. I think there is a a professional atmosphere, I refer profound correlation between how to an old clothing commercial that professional students seem to dress pointed out that money can’t buy at the very beginning of the year to style. Money can buy Michael Kors how casual they seem to dress once watches and LuLulemon pants, but midterms and exams come not style. It is certainly a solooming over their sched- They prob- cietal agreement that everyules. Yes, there are extrane- ably already one from every walk of life ous variables like a sheer ‘judged’ you wishing to pursue a white lack of interest to impress, before you collar job and beyond, must a students’ financial abil- even actu- have access to business caity to shop for newer trendy sual attire. This is the point ally met. clothes and the influential I mean to make. I lobby not Don’t be nature of seeing other stufor a glitzy fashion show like afraid. dents. However, I would in Zoolander but for an edulike to contend that a busy schedule does cause a student to prioritize certain things above others; dressing to impress a professor who does not notice them for the fourth week in a row versus being on time for a class where the professor has noticed their tardiness, which would you choose? I have and always will pick the latter because I think that I would like to judged not by my shirt and pants but by the content of my character. Meghan: Back to my first point: we are all wandering (slowly) down the

cational institution where you begin your professional life and learn the birds and the bees of taking pride in your appearance and how that resonates in McMaster. We are tired, we are stressed, we are even a little crazy at times but the unfortunate part about the factors that contribute to these feelings such as mid terms and girlfriends and hangovers, well, those things don’t go away. The causes of stress will change throughout life, but life calls to put our adult pants on, nicely ironed, with a crease down the middle.