Dress to beat exam stress

(Graphic by Steph Truong)

It’s that time of the year again, exams. The time where sleep is for the weak and only the strongest manage to shower on a regular basis. Between fighting for study space on campus and reserving energy, most students often opt to throw fashion out the window and go to school wearing sweats. Here’s my personal philosophy: if you dress with a purpose, you will feel motivated. Whenever I leave my apartment in my sweatpants, the only motivation I have is to get my errands done within 30 minutes so I can return to my bed and watch something on Netflix. The same goes for exams, I can’t sit for hours on end in my sweatpants staring at my textbook without trying to figure out how I can nap and read at the same time. So in order to keep the motivation going throughout the month of December, I’ve made a list of helpful hints on dressing for those long hours of studying.

Find a formula
Just like it’s best to find a true study method, figuring out what you want to wear ahead of time during those days of cramming will definitely make your life easier. For example, during exams I live in black leggings, beanies and sweaters because I have several options to choose from in my closet. It’s not the most creative look, but at least I know I have five to six items that I can continually rotate through. And I can stay focused on my studies.

Abuse your right to wear yoga pants
Not only that but embrace yoga pants. They’re stretchy, comfortable and you can even sneak in a five-minute nap in them if needed. It’s the easiest way to cheat getting ready without having to put in a lot of effort. Unfortunately gentlemen, I’m still unsure what the male equivalent of leggings are (Chinos? Khakis?) so you are allowed a pass for the sweatpants and Laurier hoodie that you will most likely wear from Dec. 3 until the end of finals. But seriously, leave the jeans at home.

Invest in headwear
Beanies, berets, turbans and headbands, oh my! If you’ve hit the point of extreme bedhead, grab a hat and keep it moving. Just because you’ve stopped caring about your hair doesn’t mean you have to expose that to the rest of the student population. These are the rare times when it’s not impolite to wear hats indoors, so take that hood off your head and embrace it. Along with scarves, this is an easy way to accessorize an outfit and look put-together even when you really just rolled out of bed five minutes ago.

Make over-sized clothing your best friend
When in doubt, wear something two to three sizes too big. My favourite cardigan to study in is from the men’s section at H&M. It’s warm, oversized and can be worn with anything. Find that shirt, sweater or cardigan and run with it. No one likes to feel suffocated, especially when they’ve been sitting in the same spot for over six hours. Give yourself some space to breathe and hide unwanted weight gain from all that stress eating you find yourself doing.

Be temperature-aware
The temperature around campus can range between stifling hot to freezing cold. The best solution is to layer set and then remove items as you see fit. There’s nothing worse than trying to study when your body temperature is out of whack. Good luck with studying.

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