There are often those moments as an upperclassman that you are looking around at the youngsters on campus thinking, “I wish I could tell you what I know now.” You can often spot a first-year simply by their outfit — overdone with strong fashion statements and wide, naïve eyes.

While I could try to tell them how it is, many times first-years are disinterested in taking advice from older students. First-years enter college excited for the forthcoming independence and the experience of it all, which inevitably leads to first-years making the same mistakes as the class before.

The very mistakes sophomores made a year earlier are repeated by incoming generations because of the desire to be cool and to fit in. Although the list of trends that first-years may be caught up in during their first months at college is endless, one major fashion faux pas I have found to be considerably disturbing are the “going out” clothes girls will wear in the winter time.

Yes mama, your booty looks voluptuous in that little black dress, but your goose bumps are giving me the chills! Spaghetti straps expire when there are snow piles on the sidewalks.

I do not exaggerate when I say that in 30-degree weather I have seen girls wearing mini skirts and crop tops walking in high heels over slushy sidewalks to get to a party. I enjoy going out and spending time with friends on the weekend, but I realize that this is Keene, New Hampshire, so I wear warm clothing to keep me comfortable as I walk places on the weekends.

I think the trouble with girls exposing themselves is so much is more than just a battle against the elements. I consider how in movies a boy would kindly take off his jacket to present to a girl with a chill on a cold winter night. Now, as you walk by the fraternity houses on a big party night, you see girls in jackets turned away while girls shivering in tiny clothes are welcomed in as though they have earned it. It makes the intelligent girl wearing her layers frustrated and disgruntled while the overexposed girl slips into a party where she will be rewarded for the health-hazard attire she is wearing. Girls, you are beautiful and a sweatshirt cannot change that.

Did I mention the fact that many of those girls going out half-dressed are consuming alcohol? Research done by the University of Rochester Medical Center said, “Drinking alcohol may make you feel warm because it causes blood to rush to your skin’s surface. But it actually causes your blood vessels to dilate and makes you lose heat faster.” So when I hear girls say, “Just take a shot and you will be warm,” I shiver.

The University of Rochester Medical Center also stated, “Drinking alcohol in the cold also impairs the shivering process, which generates extra body heat.” The plain fact of the matter is that it would be wise for girls to at least cover up with a sweater when going outside in the cold. Typically, people do not want to bring too many layers out with them because they do not want to have to carry them or worry about them at the party. My advice for this is not to party somewhere you do not trust your stuff to not get stolen. Why let yourself comfortably let loose somewhere that you are not trusting of those around you? I do not go any place in the winter if I cannot comfortably wear my jacket, scarf, hat and mittens there.

Seriously consider what you wear when going out. What I have discovered over my time at college is that your comfort is more important than your image — one hundred percent of the time. Bundle up and enjoy your winter nights out.

Arline Votruba can be contacted at

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