Look Good, Feel Good, Do Better in Online Courses

By Amanda Cohen on November 23, 2016

There is a common belief among college students that dressing nicely will help them focus better in class, and ultimately receive a better grade in the course. However, I have never thought about this “Look good, feel good, do better” debate applying to online courses until now.

Usually, students will take online courses over summer vacation in order to get ahead in credits (at least most of my friends did). Whenever we would discuss online courses, most of my friends would say that they complete most of the work in their pajamas/comfortable gear lying in bed.

Yet, most of these people do not complete the necessary work for their in-person classes lying in bed. They would either post-up in the library or a nearby coffee shop wearing an outfit that doesn’t resemble a trash bag. So, the question at hand is whether or not students would be more successful in their online courses if they dressed for the occasion?

Honestly, it truly depends on the person. However, I do find that I am most successful in accomplishing what I need to get done when my outward appearance is on the cute-casual spectrum rather than the pajama spectrum.

Image via. https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com

Okay, so now you heard what my opinion is, but you are now probably asking why I think this is true? So, just to start off, I have had firsthand experience in this situation. When completing an online course for a summer study abroad program I was planning to embark on, I was lying in bed wearing my comfiest pajamas (aka my favorite baggy sweatpants and an oversized t-shirt). This online course was extremely short and should not have taken me more than an hour to finish.

Well, low and behold two hours later I was finally done, but I continued to complain about the time it took to finish this short course. I thought nothing of it at the time. However, a few weeks later I was required to take a short online examination for the program — nothing too serious, but it still required me to maintain focus and pay attention to detail, similar to any other online course someone would have to take.

This time, I took this exam in a cute, matching athleisure outfit which consisted of pattern leggings, a white Lululemon top, my favorite pink running shoes, and a white headband to pull back my uncontrollable hair. I completed this exam so much faster than I completed the online mini-course, and I attribute this success to my outfit (well, obviously I deserve some credit, but the outfit was certainly helpful).

When I say “dress for the occasion,” you do not by any means need to pull out your most uncomfortable pair of blue jeans and itchy sweater just to look nice, you just need to wear an outfit that is presentable and makes you feel good. For me, I am always happiest in my workout clothes or in my “presentable” jogger-pants. However, many of my friends won’t go to the library without jeans, a nice top, and a full face of makeup because they believe that by looking a certain way, they will focus much better than if they were in sweatpants.

The definition of looking nice for an online course changes depending on the person. However, there are a few things that remain consistent no matter (1) your style, (2) your personality, (3) the course that you are taking, and (4) the type of apparel you have in your closet.

Looking good does not need to involve a face full of makeup, but I do recommend washing and moisturizing your face before you start work for your online course. You will not only feel refreshed, but your skin will look refreshed. Second, this should really go without saying, but brush your teeth before getting to work, even if you are doing your work in your room. You don’t want to have the feeling of just rolling out of bed when you start your online course … trust me, you will get absolutely nothing done and you will just attempt to fall asleep.

Third, brush your hair. Now, for those of us with curly hair, it is really difficult to brush our hair because it just becomes super frizzy rather than tame. In our case, try braiding your hair or pulling it back into a high, bouncy ponytail. If your hair still feels gross, just hop in the shower super quick and shampoo and condition it so you can run a brush through your gorgeous, curly locks.

Finally, do not ever wear your pajamas while doing your work. You can wear sweatpants, but make sure they are somewhat fitted or are joggers because you will look and feel more presentable in these than you would in your XXXL sweatpants that you stole from your best guy friend.

Happy studying and happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Image via. http://ussui.com

I am currently a junior at the University of Michigan.

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