Extreme Makeover, Grad Student Edition

I never thought I would go to graduate school to get a fashion makeover. I came here to study, right?


Introducing the newest breakout hit in reality television, Extreme Makeover: Graduate Student Edition. Although lacking in “move that bus” lachrymal drama and Stacy’s erstwhile pointy-toed heels, this show will revolutionize the way graduate students throw on a sweater vest.

It certainly has for me.

The semester is more than half over, and the graduate school machine has already worked its magic in my daily wardrobe.

See for yourself.

That watch you’re wearing? It is so totally yesterday. Obsolete. I mean it. For shame. When you leave a class, or a job, or an appointment, that means it’s time to be at the next one! Life does not fit itself into 24 hours anymore. Get used to it. Embrace it. Ditch the timepiece.

Slender computer shoulder bag? Whoa, stop right there. How many books can you fit in that thing? Two? Three? What are you thinking!!! The first cardinal rule of grad school apparel is that if it fits on your bookshelf, it must fit in your book bag. This season, we’re seeing a reemergence of the traditional pack, with significant increases in the swiss army backpack, although some avant-garde grads are already moving toward the frame pack. Slight difficulties with fitting up the stairs in the library have temporarily hindered the progression of this trend.

Cute shoes? Hold it just a second: 13 x 3. I would tell you to do the math except that you’re studying the Humanities. Count them: 39 stairs, and that’s just to get to your study carrel. If you want to come back down (not that you would), that’s another 39 right there. It’s time to put your feet first for a change.

Ponytails, buns, and other up-do’s? I can’t believe we’re even having this conversation. When was the last time you slept on a pillow made of tennis balls and needles? So why would you want to inhibit your ability to fall asleep in any chair, anywhere by creating a tennis ball and/or mat of bobby pins on the back of your head? Keep it simple, ladies. Keep it simple.

And finally, the second cardinal rule of gradual school apparel: any clothing that can substitute for pajamas is a no-brainer. Unless, of course, you’re still wearing the outfit after you fell asleep in the library last night while trying to write a paper…

There is a limit to everything.

Now go forth and conquer the world of fashion.


Published by Jen

The author of Snark on the Side is not your average run-of-the-millennial generation. Jen is a contradiction in terms: a graceful klutz, a smart blond, a math-savvy English degree-holder, a southern liberal, and an adult amateur equestrian who doesn’t match her saddle pads. Snark on the Side is a work in progress, born out of years of rambling email newsletters and anthropomorphized Christmas letters, small town observations, and the ever-present irony of pursuing a career with a degree in English literature. Thanks for visiting!

2 thoughts on “Extreme Makeover, Grad Student Edition

  1. 🙂 This is great and sad at once. I love the swiss army backpack. I am guilty of it myself. You're right. The large pack can making getting through small areas difficult.

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