Excessive college gear generates judgement

Cadence Neenan, Web Managing Editor

At Staples High School, college applications are treated with the type of air-tight security a clueless outsider might reserve for the CIA.

Forget “I love you;” the truest sign someone trusts you is if they tell you what school they’re EDing to.

So can someone please tell me what to do with the 10 t-shirts, seven sweatshirts, three hats, two pairs of shorts and one windbreaker I own that all feature the logo of a college I’m applying to?

Buying college apparel is a quantifiable addiction. After being successfully hypnotized by adorable photos of students laughing, impressed by statistics that somehow prove that every school in the nation is “#1 for undergraduate experience,” and intrigued by plenty of darling Adirondack chairs, you arrive at the gift shop like it’s holy ground.

And since this school is obviously, unquestionably, absolutely your destiny – you’re sure about this one, even though you know you said this on the last visit, too – you of course need yet another long-sleeved grey t-shirt (and maybe the matching yoga pants as well).

However, you inevitably become a little less enamored with your trendy new apparel when you realize that wearing it comes with the heavy implication that you plan on applying, being accepted and attending the given school.

Wearing college apparel can result in more than a couple of sideways glances from potential competition, plenty of questions from underclassmen, teachers and even a little low-key bullying from your friends, if they get around to it.

So really, major props to anyone who dares sport apparel in this season of stress.

But, out of curiosity, for a friend, are you actually applying there?