Pearls (and Bows) of Wisdom

As my senior year comes to a close, I find myself reminiscing on freshman year and how strange it was to settle into a new place so far from home. Not only was the weather entirely different that day I arrived – 85 and humid versus the 72 and slightly sunny I was leaving behind at home – but the style made me feel like I was in another world. Not in a bad way I’ve come to realize, just different.

Getting ready for my very first class was seemingly easy – I had unpacked most of my clothes and my favorite floral shorts were the first to come out of the suitcase. I paired those with a graphic tee and combat boots and thought I was ready to go for my first day. I walked down Commonwealth Avenue trying to be stealth while constantly checking the map on my iPhone to make sure I was going the right way to Morse Auditorium. I slid into a chair on the aisle next to a few other girls and that’s when I saw it: a bow, a very large bow. I looked around the auditorium and saw a few more in all sorts of colors – bright red, mint, purple, white. I looked down at my beach waved blonde locks and wondered: did I miss the mem-bow? I peeked at the girls next to me and noticed that their feet were ready for a day at sea. Three different pairs of Sperrys lined the row accompanied by bright floral prints and stripes. I was definitely not in LA anymore.

At first, I was a victim of culture shock and I rejected the change but eventually I learned to embrace my own style in Boston and make my So-Cal look a little more New England friendly. Back home, tights are for style not for purpose and puffers are only worn by yoga moms who attend the 6am class. I toned down the shredded denim, open side tanks and studded pants and started replacing them with button downs, tall boots, gems and pearls. Four years later, I can also admit that I am now the proud owner of a pair of mint-colored skinny jeans, light brown Sperry topsiders, puffer vests and baseball caps for chilly fall days.

As I plan for graduation and my return to California, I’m surprised to say that I will miss the touches of prep I have stylistically adopted here in Boston. While many of my winter items will get boxed away and live in my parent’s home upstate New York only to be brought out for Thanksgiving and Christmas, I will definitely be bringing some east coast items out west.

But still, no bows for me.

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xx

@zoegillespie

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