I always think the end of the school year is a great time to step back for a moment and reflect. You can choose to reflect upon many things, but usually I like to sum it up as a measure of personal growth. I ask myself, how have I grown academically, socially, fashion-wise, career-wise and maturity-wise in this whirlwind school year? As the Tar Heel Trends columnist, I like to take my overarching observations about changes and lessons I’ve learned this year and apply them to my fashion choices.
This year, I learned to be truly fearless. The biggest thing I learned is that you never know what might come out of something until you ask. Your questions can vary widely, from “How can I get involved with this?” to “How can I prepare for my future?” Just make sure you ask. Out loud. Today. The worst someone can say to you is “no,” and I hope that when you hear the word no, you do not get discouraged. I hope you take that rejection and turn it into motivation. It is the people who are able to transform negatives into positives that become truly great. Is it scary to face the possibility of being rejected by someone you look up to and respect? Yes, absolutely, but if you let that fear paralyze you from even trying, you will end up with nothing every single time.
As far as my wardrobe connection to this piece of advice, it is that this year I learned that if I like it, I’m going to wear it with no fear. I’ve pretty much always been this way, but I feel like this year I’ve totally freed myself from worrying whether or not I can “pull something off.” I prefer shopping on my own now. I like knowing that at the end of the day, the only opinion involved in my outfit was my own and I believe that is the true mark of personal style.
This year, I also learned to be decisive. I learned to be clear about communicating what I want to others and creating a plan of attack for myself to achieve my goals. If you seem confident and knowledgeable about what you are doing or aim to do, people will notice. It’s a direct correlation – if you walk into a room strutting like a Victoria’s Secret model, people will notice you. If you shuffle in with your eyes on the ground, you will be as transparent as a ghost. Make people notice you. You’re here, you’re smart, you’re capable and you know what you want. Now go get it.
The same rule applies to my fashion choices. I am decisive with what I like and what I don’t. I refuse to pick up a trend just because it was shown on the Marc Jacobs runway (no matter how much I worship him) if I believe it doesn’t flatter me or reflect my personal style. Have an opinion on what you wear and make your statement as bold as your personality. People won’t be able to ignore you. Now hurry along, the world is out there waiting and it’s yours for the taking.