The first week of a new semester is often associated with students wanting to make good impressions on fellow classmates and teachers. Often times, students wear their best and most expensive clothing. But what happens when expensive becomes the key word?My first day at TCU — also my first week in Texas – I was taken aback at the standard of dress, especially when I noticed what seemed to me a majority of students going to class in expensive designer jeans almost every day.
Back home in Maryland, many of us would wear our most expensive clothing on special occasions, with only a select few doing so on a daily basis. But here, it’s an everyday occurrence; in fact, it’s more like an expectation than an occasion. One must wear the most expensive designer jeans to avoid feeling insignificant. Being new to the state, I just wanted to know, is it like this all over Texas?
No, Dr. Joanne Green, associate professor of political science told me. She said, “it’s definitely based on the fact that we’re a private school, where many students tend to be very affluent. There’s a sub-group of students who certainly care about these materialistic issues, though there’s also a sub-group of students who actively reject it.”
After talking to Dr. Green, I felt better, but still asked myself, why should those students who choose not to conform to this pricey fad have to feel as though they are insignificant?
Laura Jewell, a freshman political science and broadcast journalism major, said, “in high school, a few people had designer jeans. Then you come here, and if you don’t have them, you’re an idiot.”
Then I realized that many students on campus gave in and bought a pair of expensive jeans, just to see what it was all about. Many students, including myself, fit into this category – they read too far into what people think and are willing to do anything not to feel insecure.
I now realize us college students are at an age where we think we know who we are. But we obviously haven’t figured it out yet if we still feel insecure for superficial reasons. The day I saw a third pair of $200 designer jeans show up in my closet, I realized it was time to question whether I’m buying them for comfort and/or look or simply giving in to my own insecurity.
What I want to say to the students who are brave enough to not fall for this fad is: you shouldn’t be afraid to stand out! By not conforming as many of us are, you are an individual. There are people out there like me who may appear to look down on you. Inside, we’re not; what you’re seeing on the outside is probably just insecurity. I look up to you, not down on you. It is people like you who inspire me.
For those of you out there like me, I want to let you know that it’s OK to be an individual. And yes, I more than understand wanting to own a couple pairs of designer jeans – they’re definitely comfortable, and in my opinion, look great. But do it for the right reasons or maybe go find them on sale?
Becky Schiffer is a junior biology major from Gaithersburg, Md.