On College: How Personal Appearance Makes a Good Impression


Most of the tips I provide to my audience concern college life. Apart from sharing my experience in academics, such as how to conduct research, manage time, and communicate with professors, I also like discussing ‘real-life’ topics, which are not related to studying directly but influence the quality of college life. Why do I do it? Because such things as etiquette, personal appearance, or manners are rarely discussed with students but they are vital. So, for just a few minutes, try not to think about your busy studying schedule and learn how to make a good impression.

Rule #1. Smell Well

Many students think that appearance is how people look, but smell is also a part of their appearance. And this is crucial, I’d say, because who cares what you look like if you stink? To put it in a nutshell: people shouldn’t be able to tell whether you have been running or working in the gym just by standing next to you. Neither should they be bothered by the smell of your perfume, so dousing your body in it is not a good idea. Here is a few more things that can make you smell bad:
  • Home cooking
You might not even feel it, but the smell of your morning breakfast lingers on your hair and clothes and some people might find it annoying.
  • Bad breath
It’s not that difficult to carry a chewing gum around, is it? Sure, you shouldn’t have it in your mouth during an important conversation or in class, but it can save you the trouble of embarrassment because of bad breath.

Rule #2. Clean Hair

The Frenchmen say: if you look bad, wash your hair. I couldn’t agree more because nice hair automatically makes you look healthy and refreshed. One more thing you should pay attention to is dandruff. Unsightly as they are, the tiny flakes of dead skin create an impression of a person’s careless attitude to others. Today, with an abundance of special shampoos, taking care of dandruff shouldn’t be a problem. However, if your case is serious and you can’t get rid of dandruff fast, try something creative, like wearing a nice scarf or a snapback.

Rule #3. Dress Appropriately

No matter how cute your uggs are, wearing them to a formal meeting is not a good idea. Similarly, save your short dresses, torn jeans, and bright T-shirts for informal events. Although you might say that your style helps you demonstrate your individuality, inappropriate clothes will prevent you from making a good impression when it really matters. I’m not saying that your clothes should be boring, though. However, make sure that your trendy stuff does not reveal the color of your underwear to an admission officer. Do not underestimate the importance of personal appearance. Of course, these are your talents, skills, and personality that matter, but don’t let small things distract people’s attention from who you really are.
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