For college students, the end of April means one thing: Finals. I’m just about finished with my college career, but if there’s on thing I’ve learned about the end of the semester, it’s that finals schedules are unpredictable.
I don’t know about your college, but at my college, the day and time of the final exam is nothing close to the day and time that the class has been the rest of the semester. So even if all my classes are on Tuesday and Thursday, I might have three Wednesday and a Friday final.
But now matter when my tests are, or how many I have, it can still be stressful and involve a lot of studying. It’s not always easy to commit to study sessions that are several hours long, but feeling comfortable can help you to relax and improve your focus because you won’t be distracted by your clothing. When I’m looking for ultimate comfort, there’s certain styles I choose over others, and I’m sharing them with you so you can have an easier time getting through finals week.
Loose Shirt/Tank Top
It can be hard to stay focused on the important stuff if you start to feel sweaty or have to keeping readjusting your clothing. You might feel fine when you leave your apartment, but after migrating from place to place on campus, all of the movement might cause discomfort.
Constantly having to pull at your shirt because it’s sticking to your skin is a real annoyance, especially when you’re trying to study, but wearing loose tops will allow the air to flow in between your skin and the fabric, helping you feel cooler, and it won’t ride up like a fitted tank would. This works for both t-shirts and tank tops, but I personally like tanks better because I don’t have the extra fabric on my shoulder.
T-shirts and large tank tops don’t have to mean your old high school sports team shirts either, there’s tons of graphic tees and tanks out there that will allow you to look stylish and feel comfortable. I’m pretty sure I got this “BATCAT” muscle tank at PacSun around Halloween a few years ago, but it’s perfect for year-round studying because it’s cute, thin, loose, and isn’t too “Halloweenish”.
PINK makes a lot of cute ones with fun sayings too, and you can never go wrong with repping your school. If you don’t want the standard name/logo tee that the bookstore offers, check local boutiques and online stores for cuter and less expensive options. I love this FSU themed “Fear It” tank that I found in a small shop in Thomasville, Georgia, because it’s unique, stylish, and I can still show school spirit.
Unfortunately, you don’t always have control of the air conditioning, and after sitting in the library or a coffee shop for awhile, you might realize that it is suddenly really hot or really cold. Once you notice one of the extremes, that’s eventually all you are going to be able to think about, and it’s hard to concentrate if you’re sweating or shivering.
You can always put a jacket on if it’s cold, but if it’s hot, you’re limited on what you can take off. That’s why I like to wear the lightest top and bottoms possible and have a light sweater and/or pair of sweatpants handy to warm me up as needed. Also, different buildings may have big differences in temperature, so you’ll be prepared if going from a comfortble room temperature to freezing air conditioning.
If you bring sweatpants with you, you might have to find room for them in your bag, unless they have detachable legs, but with a cardigan you can easily tie it around your waist or drape it over the back of your chair when you aren’t using it, making it easily accessible and convenient to grab so you don’t have to entirely stop what you are doing. You don’t have to bring both, but it is a good idea to have one, depending on if your legs or arms get colder easily.
I like to keep this oversized garnet cardigan reserved for long study sessions because it’s loose enough to move around in, but still keeps me warm. Plus, it has a hood and a zipper for extra convenience.
As I just mentioned, you might want to have a pair of sweatpants that you can slip on if it gets cold, but they’re also a good option if you don’t want to wear shorts. I love leggings and yoga pants, but not if I’m planning to sit in the library with my laptop and a textbook for hours.
When sitting for a long period of time, I change positions frequently to stay awake and focused, and a lot of those positions include folding my legs on the chair, or stretching out one leg onto another object. Yoga pants don’t give me the flexibility to stay comfortable for that long because the elasticity will only let me stretch my legs so far before I feel like they’ll tear. Also, if I’m moving around a lot, sometimes the waistband will tend to slide down and I have to readjust more than I want to, because I can’t focus if I feel like my pants are falling off.
Loose fitted sweatpants are a better choice because they still offer the comfortable and relaxed feeling that yoga pants give you, but you’ll be able to sit in many positions without feeling the pull of the fabric. If the legs have elastic cuffs, it’s even better because if you suddenly notice that you are hot or cold, you can roll them up or down as needed. If you have a full day on campus, one building may be hot, but another cold, so it’s always good to be able to roll them up/down.
It’s not my school, but my University of Wisconsin sweatpants are my favorite because they have the fitted waist and elastic leg cuffs I was just talking about, and the inside is warm and fuzzy, so they’re still comfortable despite the bagginess.
Slip On Shoes
Sneakers are more comfortable for walking, but when you’re at a desk for a few hours straight, you’re feet might want some time to breathe. If you’re at home, it won’t be a problem taking your shoes on and off, but in public places, it’s not usually considered socially acceptable, and you could look like “that” person and cause the whole room to smell like feet.
You can avoid this with sandals, and but if they have a strap on the back it can still be hassle. Every time you want to take them on or off, you’ll have to adjust the strap, and it puts an extra step inbetween getting up to freshen up in the bathroom or order another coffee. By wearing backless sandals that you can easily slip on and off, you’ll be able to make yourself at home in a quiet corner of the library and easily get up if you need to.
These flip flops from American Eagle might make a lot of noise when walking, but they make it a lot easier to sprawl out on the floor or in a bean bag chair.
If you keep these tips in mind, you’re sure to have a more comfortable experience studying or taking an exam. But clothing is just one part of it, and it’s not a bad idea to have water, snacks, and a game plan with you when preparing for the last week of the semester.
I wish you all a successful and low-stress finals week!
dress well. eat well. live well.