So this is it, ladies and gentlemen — my final column as your handy-dandy Minnesota Daily Fashionista. We’ve been together for a little more than a year, which is quite a bit longer than any of my college-era dalliances have lasted. Good for us! I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here in this cozy little space of Tuesday’s paper and truthfully, I’m reluctant to leave. So, as a Fashionista gift to you, my darlings, I’ve compiled a list of the things I learned in college, style-wise and otherwise.
Use your money wisely, but have fun, too. College students have it relatively easy: cheap booze at Dinkytown bars, rent (probably) paid by Mom and Dad, no huge pressing concerns besides a paper or project once in awhile, no bills to pay. But money makes the world go around, and I’ve experienced both sides of this debate. On one hand, I’d never take back any of the cash I spent getting drunk at Burrito Loco . It’s acceptable, and encouraged in your twenties. So do it. Go out, sing karaoke (just not “Sweet Caroline”), make out with a stranger. You’ll never regret spending money on experiences.
But then again, try not to spend like me. Your student account is not a magical portal to endless spending on foreign fashion magazines and hardcover books. A Nordstrom card is great when you really, really must have those boots or that lipstick, but it doesn’t help much with exercising self-control. Now that I have student loans to start paying back, it’s time for me to learn how to – gasp – budget.
Take chances. The most important thing I learned in my four years was how to network. I know that sounds so boring and lecture-worthy, but it’s true. It really is all in who you know, especially in creative fields. So go to gallery openings, shows at bars like the Turf Club and even our own Kitty Cat Klub . Send an e-mail to someone you admire who works in your chosen field and ask them to meet you for coffee. They rarely say no and they’re usually really fun to chat with. You can learn a lot more from people who are actually working than you can in a classroom. Get involved; take some time out of your busy schedule of drinking and pretending to study and intern somewhere.
Wear what you want. Unless, of course, you want to wear Uggs in May. (I gotta get one last Ugg dig in before I retire.) Don’t pay any attention to those snooty looks you can garner on campus for wearing fur or a quirky hat. Those people are jealous of your chutzpah and ability to pull off what they consider “scary” items of clothing. Personal style is important. Be confident.
Appearance does matter. The way you present yourself to the world, which is a hell of a lot bigger than the U of M campus, matters more than you think. Making a little effort, like choosing not to wear sweatpants, can change the way others perceive you and the way you see yourself. But don’t overdo it and show the world your all by dressing like a hooker. Nobody wants to see your vag at noon. And fine, I’ll admit it: It’s OK to roll into class looking like a mess, once in a while.
I think that’s quite enough sap from me. I don’t like to get all sentimental about things like this, but I do want you to know that being your Fashionista has been an amazing, fabulous experience, especially when I go to the bar and drunk dudes ask me, “Hey, are you the Fashionista?” Don’t worry, boys, I’m not going anywhere. I plan to take this column into blog format, so follow my Twitter (twitter.com/myfakeyelashes) or the A&E Tumblr (minnesotadailyae.tumblr.com) for details on its launch. Have a beautiful, wonderful summer, kittens! XO.
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