During my undergrad years, 80% of the time I looked like I’d just rolled out of bed. Most of the remaining time I looked like a ninja, dressed in Victoria’s Secret black (I worked there part-time). Then once in a while, if I woke up early or had something important to do that day, I would dress up and look presentable.
Could dressing up every day have made an impact on my GPA? Perhaps. It certainly would have changed my mindset for the day.
Which brings me to my list–here are the top 5 reasons why you should dress up for class and how to boost GPA.
1. You’ll be more alert when you get to class
Waking up, choosing an outfit, and doing your hair and makeup require a bit of time. If you’re efficient, you might only have to get up 15 minutes earlier than you would otherwise.
Those 15+ minutes are extra time that your mind and body have to wake up. Bonus points if you can multitask and drink a cup of coffee or tea while getting ready.
If you can get up in the morning and get dressed for the day (no sweatpants or hoodies) your odds of being awake, and staying awake, for class will increase.
2. Look good, feel good
It really is that simple.
Looking good will boost your self-confidence! Higher self-confidence leads to higher self-efficacy (believing you can do something). This greater self-efficacy might mean that you approach the professor after class to ask for help, share your thoughts during a class discussion, or ask a group of peers to join their study group.
It’s kind of crazy how much of an influence our appearance has on ourselves and others’ perceptions of us.
3. Professors will take you more seriously
Let’s think about this for a minute. Pretend you’re a professor teaching an Intro Chemistry course (chem not your thing? pick something else, we’re pretending here). Two students walk into your lecture hall. One is wearing Family Guy pajama pants and has his t-shirt on inside out and backwards. The other is wearing dark wash jeans and a wrinkle-free, button-up shirt.
- Who are you more likely to help after class?
- Who will you believe when assignments are late?
- Who will you give an extension to?
- Who are you more likely to check in on when they don’t show up for class?
- Who do you believe cares more about their education and your class?
You might not think professors pay attention to these things, but they do. Most have done research, which means they’re observant folk.
4. If it’s good for napping it’s not good for studying
Have you seen those memes with the person laying on the couch that say something like “that moment when you have so much to do that you decide to nap instead”? Well, that’s you at the library if you’re wearing the same thing you slept in the night before.
I’m not saying that you need to wear a suit to class–unless that’s a requirement for a presentation, but you’ll be less inclined to nap later at the library if you’re wearing “real clothes”.
It’s natural consequences at their finest. You go to class in sweats, you’re tired and nodding for the whole 50 or 90 minutes. Then you go to the library and you sit down and can’t stay focused. So you decide to nap, which means you’re not productive. Chances are your grades will suffer.
5. Dress for success and your peers will notice
Group projects are terrible, I’ve always disliked them. There’s always one person who does most of the work while the others take credit (yes, this happens in college too).
And even in college, group projects (unless groups are assigned) can be a bit clique-y. If you’re dressed well, you look like you’re serious about your studies. Perhaps your outfit will lead to you being chosen to work with the “top students”.
Do you want to be in a group with the serious, productive students or the procrastinating, adequate-work-producing students? How you’re dressed can make a difference.
If you’re a highly motivated student that can get up at 6 am, go to breakfast, and then study at the library for a few hours before class you’re lucky. Not all of us are morning people, myself included.
Getting up and making yourself look well put together can actually have an impact on your GPA. No, looking fancy will not magically raise you from a 3.45 to a 3.5. But, it can open doors to beneficial interactions with professors and peers.
If you’re one of those people that really doesn’t care what others think, then do it for you. Make yourself look good (whatever that means to you) and your self-confidence and self-efficacy will rise. Only in very rare occurrences is that detrimental to your grades.
Not ready to commit to getting up earlier or putting effort into getting ready in the morning, but still want to improve your grades? Try these tips for increasing productivity during study sessions, or improving motivation.