One of the things I’ve loved the most about growing up and into my own skin is developing my personal style. It feels great learning how to portray on the exterior the person I am inside, and this is one of the main reasons why I’m so interested in fashion. Leaving my house in a great outfit, with my hair, nails and makeup done, always makes me happier and more confident. I’d love to say I’m so self-assured in who I am and what my style is that I don’t ever feel like changing to please anyone, but I’m not there yet.
Every semester I fail to keep dressing like me after a few weeks of uni have gone by. For a little while, I still make an effort to try and look my best, but soon I fall into a sort of uniform (usually a black top, jeans and jacket combo) and by the end of the semester I don’t even bother putting on makeup anymore. I hate how I end up feeling. Sure, this happens in part because uni life is so hectic and I eventually get lazy, since there are times when sleeping an extra hour tramples putting my face on in the morning. But there’s another big reason why I always end up falling into this rut.
Despite being proud of myself and my style, peer pressure sometimes wins. There are two sides to it. One is that the vast majority of students don’t even bother to make an effort and just show up to classes in what appears to be, many times, whatever they slept in. Sweatshirts, sweatshirts everywhere. Top knots are the official hairdo at my university – but not the good, effortless type that glorifies a girl’s natural beauty. No, the easy-answer-to-knotty-hair-that-hasn’t-been-washed-in-days type instead. If I ever rock up in the morning wearing red lipstick, I end up super self-conscious and afraid that people will think I’m trying to hard (even though I’m not, ’cause I really do wear red lipstick almost every day). And of course, I’m not the only person on campus making some sort of effort, but that’s where the other aspect of the pressure kicks in.
At uni, I can’t help but feel the weight of this absurd concept that our society still has, to this day, that smart girls aren’t meant to be pretty or girly or bother with trivial things such as the way they present themselves to the world. It was only after four years of uni that I finally had a female tutor who didn’t dress like she was twenty years older than her real age. (She was wearing Melissas on the day I met her, so I knew we were gonna hit it off.) And like it or not, people in academia tend to perpetrate the idea that beauty and intelligence don’t match. Eventually I just give in because I feel like I’ll be taken more seriously in class if I’m dressed down.
Given that 2015 is the final year of my Bachelor’s degree, I decided I’m going to do things differently this time. I want to get to the end of the semesters I have left and still recognise me in the mirror. It also just happened that I decided to do a Latin Intensive during my summer break this January (I know, what a nerd!), which makes things even worse. What to wear to uni five days a week in the middle of a Melbourne summer, which can get to over 40ºC? Well, that’s the challenge. I decided I will try my best to put together uni and heat-friendly outfits for the duration of my summer intensive and record it all. I’ll be posting daily pictures on my Instagram and then once a week I’ll compile them all into a post here on the blog.
Do you like the idea? I hope you’ll come along with me on this summer ride. ;)