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Friday night bar attire doesn’t belong in the classroom

Upon graduation in May, I will have more than 40 college courses under my belt, which is a lot of hours spent in classrooms and interacting with professors. In these past four years I have taken my education seriously. While I had days that I opted out of attending class, I have always made it a point to be on time and prepared.

With any private university, some people believe students and courses are held to higher integrity than public universities. While applicants may be hand picked and classes are smaller in size, I wouldn’t be the first to say that all Bradley students live up to this integrity.

Especially now that I am thinking about future careers, I have been careful about how I present myself in public. When I have class all day I am sure to shower and do my hair and present myself in a respectable manner. What is surprising to me is that not every student treats classes the same way. Some attend class donned in Halloween pajama pants or the clothes they wore to the bar the night before, others wear belly shirts and cleavage-exposing clothing.

I will be the first to say that staring at the back fat of the girl sitting in front of me in class of me as a result of a tight dress or tank top is not appealing. Not only do I feel uncomfortable sitting next to classmates who overexpose their bodies or haven’t showered, but it is simply not appropriate. I know we’re in college, but it is not necessary.

I have quickly come to learn the benefits of having professional relationships with professors and others on Bradley’s campus. For many students, having a strong presence in a classroom setting has led to a future job recommendation, or special learning or internship opportunities. But I can tell you one thing, wearing a belly shirt to class is not going to give you a leg up on the competition.

The choices you make today can impact your opportunities tomorrow. This is something that is often said about Facebook and other social media sites. What you post and comment about online can prevent you from job opportunities down the road- the same goes for how you present yourself on campus. Not only professors, but administrators and community members who visit campus can offer opportunities for your future.

For example, the Smith Career Center invites employers to campus for student interviews and informational sessions on a weekly basis. That means they could be touring campus or eating in the Student Center during their visit. Do you really want a future employer to see you dressed like a slob?

While we all have our lazy days and attend class in sweats, make sure it doesn’t become a habit. In a world where connections make all the difference, you wouldn’t want to lose one because of your outfit.


Madeline is a senior journalism major from Downers Grove. She is the Scout Managing Editor.

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