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Alana AA R

Accepted into Prestigious Program. Need help showing that I belong

Question

Hi! I was accepted into a prestigious education program which admits 70-75 every year. I am currently an undergrad at a really laid-back and casual school in Northern California and I am not someone who has a lot of extra money to spend on material things. That being said, I do want to fit in with my new classmates and I want to show them that while I may be young (I was told that I am one of the younger students who was accepted) I belong as much as they do. My main question is whether or not I need to invest on newer, more adult-like clothing for class? I know that while I do my student teaching I will need to look like a professional, but do I also have to look that way in class? I know that this may seem dumb to some people, but I really want to prove to both my classmates and professors that I belong in the program and I am worthy of their time both grade-wise and appearance-wise. 

Thanks!

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You don't need to prove anything to your fellow students. And professors probably care more about your learning and your teaching than your clothes.

That being said, if you're going to get nice clothes for student teaching, you might as well wear those to class, too. If you can't afford them for each day, then just go casual. 

Also, I think this is the wrong forum for this question, so this thread may be deleted soon.

Edited by 2017 Applicant
where->wear

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8 minutes ago, 2017 Applicant said:

Also, I think this is the wrong forum for this question, so this thread may be deleted soon.

Not deleted, but moved (as we always do with posts that are posted in the wrong forums).

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14 hours ago, Alana AA R said:

Hi! I was accepted into a prestigious education program which admits 70-75 every year. I am currently an undergrad at a really laid-back and casual school in Northern California and I am not someone who has a lot of extra money to spend on material things. That being said, I do want to fit in with my new classmates and I want to show them that while I may be young (I was told that I am one of the younger students who was accepted) I belong as much as they do. My main question is whether or not I need to invest on newer, more adult-like clothing for class? I know that while I do my student teaching I will need to look like a professional, but do I also have to look that way in class? I know that this may seem dumb to some people, but I really want to prove to both my classmates and professors that I belong in the program and I am worthy of their time both grade-wise and appearance-wise. 

Thanks!

I understand the impulse to do this and had similar concerns moving from the Midwest to a coastal city a few years ago. Here's the best advice I can offer:

- You can be yourself AND be professional at the same time. What counts as appropriate attire will depend on the program, but you don't have to go all extreme makeover to fit in. Do your job well. Be courteous to students you teach, your peers, and faculty. 

- I think everybody likes the idea of being best buds with people in their class, but don't feel like this is your only avenue to find friends. Find activity or affinity groups when you get to campus. I joined a couple of recreational clubs during my first year and met most of my friends this way. Funnily enough, a lot of those people were in my program, but 3-4 years ahead of me in their graduate career. I would say the same thing to anyone starting a new job in a new city. If people who end up starting the program with you become your friends, great. Otherwise, realize there's a whole sea of people out there to meet. 

- As with any good program, you will find that some of your classmates are ridiculously more experienced than you, way smarter than you, or whatever. If you start school with the mindset of comparing yourself to your classmates in an effort to prove yourself, you are setting yourself up for depression. Be the best graduate assistant you can be. Learn from your classmates where you can and help them out when you can. You're in! Don't pysch yourself out!

Edited by DiscoTech
grammar

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Congratulations on your acceptance Alana! I agree with all of the people above. Don't worry about "keeping up with the Joneses", there will always be people in your program who are richer and flashier than you. That doesn't mean that they better students or future educators. In any case, you can dress professionally from the workwear section of Target. I would avoid ripped jeans/converse/graphic tees, but well-fitting shirts and dark jeans (or any other casual-friday kind of business wear) are hard to mess up! And if some bozo judges your for your clothes rather then your mind, that's their mistake.

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Don't worry so much about what you wear to class; it will certainly be different from what you wear teaching. Most of the grad students I know, which includes TA's I've had class with, dressed in whatever way they felt comfortable. Sometimes that was very casual, and sometimes not. Most of the time though, they looked like the rest of the students in the lecture/class when they were not teaching. Just find your own grove and style, don't change completely to fit in.

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Meh, nobody will question your "credentials" because you are wearing regular clothing. It's always nice to try and look good, but don't overdo it --- when I was working on my master's there used to be a guy who wore a suit every single day (even when it was raining) and I can't say that made him "look professional".

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