September 2, 2022 | OPINION | By Maddie Mollerus | Photo courtesy of author

Picture this: it’s 2011, and it’s the first day of sixth grade. You’re wearing a neon green striped T-shirt with a sparkly heart from Justice, and gray jeggings from the Gap. You feel confident and self-assured as you walk through the doors of school. Sixth grade is going to rock!

Back-to-school outfits have a special place in my heart. The week before school started, it was a tradition for my mom to take my little sister and me shopping for a new piece of clothing to wear on the first day of school. First days of a new grade can be daunting and anxiety-inducing, but having a new outfit to wear helped me look forward to school starting again. It also helped give me the confidence I needed to meet my teachers and make new friends.

The author posing with her best friend on the first day of school in a color coordinated outfit. Not pictured: purple Crocs that complete the look.

When I was younger, I struggled with putting myself out there at school. My mom would tell me to ask my peers questions like, “What did you do over the summer?” or start with a compliment, like, “I love your shoes!” Even in college, introducing myself to people is still scary; I still have a hard time with it. My mom and I don’t have the same ritual of going shopping before school together anymore, but putting together an outfit that makes me feel confident is the best way to start the year off on a good note.

I was curious to see if my friends at Colorado College had the same fond memories of back-to-school shopping and first-day outfits. When I asked them, their faces lit up as they began to reminisce about grade school days. “Absolutely!” said Anna Grace Keller ’25. “I remember going to Justice before school started and wanting all the ‘cool’ clothes.”

By the way, if you didn’t have a Justice phase when you were younger, did you even experience the 2010s?

Daphne Frantzis ’23 echoed Keller’s feelings. “I did plan what I wore beforehand because my mom would take a first day picture with all my siblings,” she said. “I wanted to feel confident and make a good impression on my first day.”

Unlike my other articles, I won’t tell you what you should be wearing, what I’ll be wearing, or inform you of this season’s trends. The only advice I can give you is to wear whatever makes you feel the happiest, and whatever you think will make this school year rock.

PS: There will be a clothing sale on Saturday, Sept. 3 outside Worner at 10 a.m. Come shop sustainably for new and used clothing to jumpstart your closet this year!

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