By Rachel Garvey
If the question of ‘should school uniforms be introduced into universities’ was put to you, what would be your answer? Say no, please say no. We are students who spend enough money on our accommodation, food and college text books, imagine having to spend another lump of money on a college uniform.
If anyone remembers primary school through secondary school and getting up every single morning to put on that ghastly outfit, then you’ll remember exactly why we are so glad we don’t have to wear uniforms nowadays. Do you remember the constant nagging anxiety to always keep it clean for fear that your Mam would give out holy hell to you if a stain got on it?
Do you remember the continuous pulling at your pathetic little tie and unbuttoning the two top buttons in your school shirt because it felt uncomfortably tight? Or the worst one yet, everything had to be the same colour.
When I say everything had to be the same colour, I mean we had to wear the same colour socks. We weren’t allowed to wear the bright pink fluffy socks or the socks with the crazy designs on them, and it didn’t matter if they were covered or not by the school pants that were way too long, but black or navy socks were only permitted. The wrong socks, shoes or clothes meant borrowing them from the school storage room or having our parents called in to replace the fluffy socks with normal black cotton socks. They are just pieces of cloth, it’s not like they will affect the way we learn or think. I do understand that people represent their school when wearing the uniform and I respect that, but no uniform is perfect, so don’t try to make it perfect. If they make a big deal about socks, then what’s next? Underwear?
As a college that supports all individual students, I think a school uniform would take away our identity. Students dress in their own specific and original way in order to express themselves and who they are. If we take that away and replace it with a uniform, then how will they show their identity?
As a college, our students all strive to have different styles to put a bit of colour and fun in the place, replace that with a uniform of the same colour for everyone and we would be walking around the college looking like one solid moving colour. No thank you! Imagine tapping someone on the shoulder and saying, “Hey girl! Finally found you, ready for our fat night tonight?” and when the person turns around it’s the wrong person. At least if everyone was dressed in their own original clothes we would recognise them.
As a college, we don’t need uniforms. It won’t increase our attendance rates or the quality of our assignments and students will feel how everyone else feels, miserable at the thought of having the same identity as everyone else. We will never need a school uniform, we show who we are by what we choose to wear every morning, not what we are permitted to wear. Plus, no student is in the mood for a lecture from their Mam on how to keep their uniform clean.
Photo by National Library of Ireland on The Commons [No restrictions], via Wikimedia Commons