How midterm stress affects our appearance

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Midterm season is here and apparently, it is here to stay. The perpetual stress, the unending studying, the overly-high expectations from professors. All of this has inevitably rubbed off on our sanity, mental clarity, personality and appearance. For many of us, our wardrobe consists solely of UC Berkeley sweats and sneakers, while others strut through campus in their impeccably put-together outfits. We have composed a small study of how midterm stress correlates to the appearances of students walking through campus on a daily basis, based upon the hypothesis that the appearance of a student is directly and solely related to midterms. Because midterm season is that powerful.


Subject 1: The all-nighter, barely alive try-hard

We all have seen these students. They are the ones who are wearing sweatpants, sweatshirts, flip flops (or even slippers) and seemingly have not showered or combed their hair in days. They stumble through campus in a daze. They are cramming for their midterms and their stress (and sometimes, scent) is palpable. Beware of these students, however, for they may ruin the class curve or possibly stress you out even more with their evidently heightened stress.


Subject 2: The impeccably dressed and relaxed

These are the ladies in sundresses, wedges, perfectly curled hair and winged eyeliner and the guys in boat shoes, khakis, ironed button-ups and coifed hair. These people are calm and collected, not appearing stressed in the slightest. Maybe they aren’t putting enough time into their studies, maybe they are some of the lucky few done with finals or maybe they are just miracle workers able to juggle both midterm season and looking flawless. Either way, we are jealous of their effortless, put-together nature. Please lend some of your tips to the Subject 1’s.


Subject 3: The outfit repeater

You know that girl who wears nothing but the same yoga pants and hoodie? Or the guy who wears the same faded t-shirt, wrinkled jeans and sneakers? They are the outfit repeaters. So bogged down with homework and studying, these people just cannot be bothered with wearing something new or original. They have likely run out of clothes and refuse to take the time to do laundry. We mean, why not just wear the same thing all week — it’s not like you see most people every day, anyways? These repeaters try harder than the Subject 1’s, but still cannot juggle the midterm season like the Subject 2’s. They are stretched thin and it is noticeable.


Subject 4: The outlandish, mismatched delirious ones

The Subject 4’s are the students who walk through campus dressed in who-knows-what. You can spot these people by her short shorts, uggs and sweatshirt or by his gym shorts, flip flops and button-down. You don’t understand their wardrobe choices, and neither do they. They are barely surviving this time of school, and that is evident from their haphazard outfits. Cut these people some slack, though, for they are trying their best.


Subject 5: The in-betweeners

This is where most people fall, somewhere between the impeccably dressed students and the other fashion victims. These people make a noticeable effort to present themselves well. They shower regularly, keep their clothes clean, wear a variety of outfits and groom accordingly. But there is no denying the stress inherent in their dark circles and tired expressions.


Ultimately, most people’s appearances seem to be adversely affected by midterms (some more so than others, for sure). Don’t stress too much about how you look, though. You already have way too much to handle! Good luck with those tests and stay positive.


Image Source: Brittany Bush Bollay

Contact Bridget Hanzalik at [email protected].