For those of you who don’t know me, I’m kind of a groutfit aficionado. I love sweatpants and comfy clothes. However, my college years have taught me how clothing affects how I see myself. 

"All of these factors combined create a huge boost to your confidence —both in your image and your abilities."

My clothes never really mattered to me until the first time I decided to dress up a little for an exam. I can’t remember why I decided to dress up in the first place, but I wore a nice button-up shirt and a suit jacket. I remember looking at myself in the mirror of the Yoder Hall bathroom and thinking, “Dang! He looks amazing!” I felt so much more confident in my appearance. 

Not only did it make me feel more confident in how I looked, but I also felt more confident in my ability while taking the exam. Although I can’t really prove that it helps me do better, it definitely improves my sense of self-worth.

While it may sound shallow, dressing up before the exam also made a lot more people compliment me, which made me feel so much more valid and seen. I’m not saying you should tie all your confidence and self-worth to how other people see you, but it does feel better when people notice you and appreciate you, especially on exam day. 

All of these factors combined creates a huge boost to your confidence — both in your image and your abilities. Dressing up not only makes other people notice me, it makes me notice myself. It gives me a reminder that I matter and that I am able to succeed. 

I would encourage everyone to try dressing up for an exam at least once in their academic career. It might not be for everyone, but when I have shared this realization with others most of them agree that it helps them feel more confident, and therefore more capable in their academic pursuits. It gives me a sense of importance and just an overall feeling of confidence. 

This idea not only applies to academic pursuits but to all aspects of life. For me, dressing up makes me feel better about myself and what I am capable of. It makes me aware of my strengths. It makes me feel empowered. It makes me feel like me.