What NOT To Wear

Now, I know my professional closet can still use some sprucing up, but this entry is more about the lovely ensembles I’ve seen some potential students sporting during their visits to campus. I am hoping that my colleagues will find this humorous, that my former co-workers from will have tears in their eyes from laughing so hard, and that any prospective students reading this will take this to heart and write down everything I say.

But seriously. I don’t know if I’m the only one paying attention here, but these are some of the things that I’ve seen students wearing on tours: crop tops, sky high heels, flip flops in the rain, shorts and jeans with holes in them, full suits, clothing advertising another college…the list goes on. The particular prospective student that inspired this entry decided that teeny tiny yellow shorts was something appropriate to wear to an on-campus event.

One thing prospective students need to keep in mind is the “feel” of the event they are attending on campus. You might want to dress one way for an interview with an admissions office and another way for an overnight event with social activities. If you are unsure of what to wear for a visit to campus, ask around! For example, if you are planning on going to an open house, you can ask friends that may have already been to one. You can also call the admissions office and ask what activities are part of the day. You can even ask the person on the other end of the phone what to wear, especially if it is a day-long or weekend-long event. I promise, if “what should I wear” is your “strangest” question, you’re fine. Admissions officers have heard A LOT worse.

Another important thing is to check out the weather forecast, especially if you are visiting a school far from home. Spring in New England looks (and feels!) a lot different than spring in Arizona. If it’s going to rain, bring an umbrella and shoes you won’t fall out of. If it’s going to be hot, wear a nice short sleeve shirt (nothing with large logos or writing), but make sure to bring a sweater in case you’re sitting in an ice box – I MEAN- air conditioned office. You definitely want to be comfortable during your campus visit!

The last thing I want prospective students to keep in mind is to be prepared. If you are doing a road trip and looking at ten different colleges, bring clothing for all types of events and weather. Bring extras in case a button falls off or you spill something. Even if you are only visiting a nearby campus for an afternoon, having a spare sweater or shirt in your car won’t hurt you.

So prospective students, as you head out on your college tours, remember dress to impress! And any colleagues, feel free to share your “favorite” student ensembles in the comments.

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