Like most Duke guys on the dance floor, you’ll probably never be able to shake it.
By “it” I don’t actually mean your booty on the d-floor, I mean some of the odd things you begin to do as a student at Duke University. We’re a different breed here. I hate to be the bearer of news that might not even really affect you all that much, but here it goes. I’m afraid that although you can take the student out of Duke, you can’t take the Duke out of the student (that’s what she said?). When we continue to do some of the things we learn here, and apply them in the big girl (and big boy) world, people who went to normal schools might give us the stink eye.
Let’s start with what Duke students choose to wear. The entire world takes its fashion cues from the pages of glamorous magazines (say, for instance, the creatively titled “Glamour”), where glossy ads feature chic trousers, shiny leather boots and luxurious cashmere sweaters. This is where I get confused. I know Duke students read these publications—I myself subscribe to several. I also know Duke students are observant. So, where do the leggings and UGG boots come from?
All right, all right, I can’t be too harsh, considering I have sported this look many times myself (luckily, I have a cute butt). My concern is not for this outfit making its way to Perkins, but rather the moment it leaves an apartment that is not at the Belmont. Leggings aren’t even pants, much less beautifully tailored tweed trousers. This get-up will definitely puzzle a few CEOs in line at any Starbucks outside of Durham (come to think of it, probably in Durham too).
Now, it isn’t just the ladies who are making daring fashion choices. Dudes: I’ve seen way too much flip-flop-and-khaki-pant action around this place. And what’s with the fratastic T-shirts and baggy sweatpants? It takes the same amount of effort to pull on sweatpants as it does to slip into a sporty pair of seersuckers. I’m also going to be bold and suggest you dudes invest in an iron. Your current ensembles won’t translate well even to a company picnic.
Of course, I can’t not mention Tailgate attire. The notion that rocking fairy wings, tie-dye and a tutu (shirt optional) to pre-football festivities is odd may come as a surprise to some students, but the looks I’ve gotten from families on my way to the Blue Zone told me that Dukies might be overdressed at a real tailgate (I mean, who wears a tutu AND fairy wings?).
In addition to clothing styles, there are a few sleeping styles we might want to ditch when we no longer spend our nights in a bed within 3 feet of someone else’s. Ladies: Forget the creepy eye mask with the eyes printed on it to make it look like you’re really still awake (and like you’re on crack as well). Believe it or not, there is a time in the not so distant future when there won’t be another person switching lights on and off at 4 o’clock in the morning. It’s a magical world out there, and I’m hoping the magic will also eliminate the need for earplugs. I imagine most of the world sleeps with empty ears. And, with any luck, away from Duke’s campus you won’t need to drown out sounds of pleasure emanating from your roommate’s bed (or from the room down the hall for that matter).
I think one of the greatest obstacles for Duke students to overcome will be realizing that acting like “you’re my best friend and I want to lick the inside of your mouth” toward someone when they’re out at night, but giving off the “do I know you?” vibe the next day is not socially acceptable anywhere but among the Blue Devils. Like my family has told me a ga-jillion times—lose the ’tude.
We all want to make it in the real world. We all want to fit in. And you know what? I think that despite our eccentricities, we still can. Maybe other people think pants are necessary, or that you should be fully clothed for Tailgate. Maybe other people can sleep soundly every night unaided, and maybe other people are consistently courteous. But maybe those other people just aren’t as cool as we are, and don’t realize that we will be “forever Duke.”
Anna Sadler is a Trinity sophomore. Her column runs every other Tuesday.
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