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Dressing to impress should clearly not cause you any worry during midterm season. Throwing on the first clothing item in sight, running to the library, and not taking much thought into your outfit seems like the most logical and efficient option. I wore the same pajama pants to Butler three days in a row during the last midterm season. I get it. However, one year later, I realize that I did not need to do that to myself. If you are anything like me, you feel better and study more effectively when you are dressed (semi) well. I have a much harder time focusing on my school work when I don’t feel like I have everything together, especially my appearance. When I am stressing about exams and papers, I find that I can calm down when I take 30 minutes to pick out a cute outfit. This makes me feel more put together, even when I am swamped with work or stressing about an exam.

Here are some examples of what I have worn over the past few days of studying for midterms:


DAY 1:

For the first day of midterms, I wore a light pink sweater from Gap and paired it with a pair of cropped plaid pants from Zara TRF. While these two pieces of clothing are rather simple, this outfit came together to create a “put together” look. To make this outfit even more comfortable, I wore my white Reebok sneakers, and I tied my hair up in a ponytail. I spent my morning in the Toddler Center, where I am a student teacher and research assistant. After this, I went straight to Butler to study for the exam I had later that day.

Pictured: My trip to the eye doctor to pick up new glasses. I am wearing the outfit described above.

After I took a shower later in the day, I threw on a pair of grey leggings from New Balance and a soft, blue sweater from Ann Taylor. My blue Nike sneakers tied this outfit together and are equally (if not more) comfortable than the sneakers I wore earlier in the day. If you can’t already tell, I’m a big fan of sneakers. Once I was in this outfit and felt refreshed, I went back to the library to start working on a project that is due at the end of the week. While this outfit was far more casual and chill than the other outfit, it was still cute.


DAY 2:

For the second day of midterms, I went to work in the afternoon. I have an internship at a cool, trendy jewelry company, where everyone is really fashionable. I wore a pair of blue snap-off pants, which I found at a random shop near Columbus Circle, and paired them with a white sweater from Zara Girls. I find these sweaters to be extremely soft and flattering. The weather was a bit chilly, so I wore a big grey scarf with a long black coat; both items are from Zara. I topped off the outfit with my white Reebok sneakers.

Pictured: I am wearing the outfit described above without the scarf.

After work, I went to the library to write upcoming articles. I stayed in the same outfit all day. This outfit was super simple, but the statement pants made it seem as though I spent far longer picking it out than I actually did. I took no longer than 20 minutes to get dressed in the morning.


DAY 3:

Today was Friday, and my outfit knew it. I wore a nice silk top from Zara with a pair of light wash bootcut jeans from Levi’s. They are my favorite jeans ever. I wore my white Adidas Stan Smith sneakers, and I tied my hair up in a low bun for most of the day to keep it out of my face at work. I brought my huge orange Prada bag to work and filled it with workout clothes so I could go to the gym after work. I again wore the long black coat from Zara to make me look far more professional and trendy than I really am.

Pictured: I am wearing the outfit described above while holding a huge package from my sister with cables sticking out of my bag.


The point of this article is not to tell you how to dress nor what brands to wear. Self care is incredibly important, and the way I dress is the way I choose to take care of myself. Taking 30 minutes a day to feel put together is healthy and important. All in all, this is a reminder to take care of yourself in whatever form necessary, especially during the stressful period of midterms.

Gabriela Martin is a Sophomore at Barnard College of Columbia University. She is majoring in Sociology and is very interested in Education Policy. She currently interns at a jewelry company called Roxanne Assoulin.
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