First Day of School Outfit + Thoughts


First Day of School Outfit + Thoughts

I cannot believe it’s already the first day of my junior year of college! It feels like just yesterday I was anxious and excited to move into my dorm room and meet my roomie for the first time. Thanks to my Google Photo Memories, I was reminded that two years ago this time I attended a Colorado Rockies baseball game in downtown Denver as part of freshman orientation, and one year ago I got to play my university’s carillon in the bell tower (aka “The Golden Nipple”—if you know, you know) and was asking the tall boys from down the hall to help my suitemates and me hang our string lights. Boy, time sure flies.


Obviously, the start of junior year is looking very different than past years. I’ve been extremely absent from the blogging world the last week and a half because A) I was busy packing, driving, and moving into my first real apartment and B) I didn’t have the wifi set up ‘til Thursday of last week (the struggle). So I’m so sorry if I haven’t gotten to your comments or new posts yet—I plan on spending this week catching up!

Unlike high school, where junior year is kind of dreaded as being the “hardest”—what with AP classes and standardized tests and all—junior year of college was supposed to be the best. Why? Because I was finally going to get the chance to study abroad! I’ve always been pretty indecisive about big plans—I didn’t know where I wanted to go to college, what I wanted to study, or what I want to do once I graduate. But study abroad? That’s the one thing in my life I’ve always wanted to do, since I found out it exists. In fact, it was a major factor in choosing the university I attend.

So you can imagine my disappointment when my semester abroad was cancelled due to the pandemic back in June. I was *this* close to doing something I’ve been looking forward to for years and years. I was supposed to attend the University of Glasgow in Scotland, and I had already done a ton of research on the town/school activities and had even picked most of my classes. One was a course about Scotland’s archaeology which involved two field trip days around the country. Another was a stained-glass class where I would learn to make my own art at their prestigious art school. I even had the opportunity to take a bagpiping course! How cool is that?


While the cancellation of study abroad was no surprise, I spent hours crying over it once the announcement was finally made. I was angry. And I was so afraid that my entire fall semester would be ruined due to my own bitterness about the situation. How could I enjoy (online) school when all I can think about is how I would’ve been having grand adventures in the Scottish countryside right now?

In fact, I spent the entire summer afraid—afraid that college as I knew it is over. Like study abroad, I’ve been waiting and dreaming of going to college for so long. I have notebooks from middle school that are filled with drawings of my future dorm room, if that gives you an idea. High school was enjoyable enough, but I always knew the university life would be the place for me. And it was. My freshman year of college was the best year of my life so far, filled with so many new experiences and endless self-growth. Sophomore year was a bit of a let-down—for some obvious reasons and some not—so I was looking forward to a redeeming junior year.

While I’ve managed to put a lot of that fear behind me (or at least, temporarily out of mind), I sometimes still worry that my college experience will never be the same. After all, there’s no saying how long this pandemic will continue… Will I be sent home this quarter? Will I have to move out weeks after moving in? Should I transfer to an in-state school so that I’m not wasting so much money on an unsatisfying online education? Will I even get to study abroad at all now? Or will I have to graduate early and just get the heck out of college to save money? Some of that may sound awfully dramatic, but if the coronavirus pandemic has taught me anything, it’s to prepare for the worst.

I realize that everyone is dealing with tremendous disappointment right now for various reasons. Yet, knowing “I’m not alone” has never been a comforting sentiment to me—anyone else? I also realize that I’m incredibly privileged if the cancellation of a study abroad program is one of the worst things to happen to me as a result of the pandemic. But, as my old therapist used to say, the comparison game doesn’t do anyone any good, even when comparing hardships. We all deserve to grieve and experience struggles without feeling any added guilt.


Wow—this blog post took a very depressing and unexpected turn! I didn’t write this in search of sympathy, and I’ve actually been trying to move away from posting about vulnerable subjects on the blog (I’m not into the sappy stuff anymore, ya know?). But I guess this is just what I’ve been thinking about as I head back to school… The good news—and the whole point of this post—is that I actually feel hopeful for the first time in a long time. Maybe the rest of college won’t turn out to be what I always expected… or maybe it will. Either way, it’s out of my control, and as my dad is always advocating, I’m doing my best to let go of what I don’t have control over (though it’s easier said than done).

Regardless, I finally feel excited again. If you had asked me a month ago if I was looking forward to the start of school, I would have said no, which is very uncharacteristic of me. But now, I feel excited to be living in my new apartment. I’m excited for my twinkle lights and the tiny orchid my aunt bought me and my card collection hanging on the wall (by the way—a room tour is coming soon). And I’m excited for quiet nights in with my roommate, playing Mario Kart on the Wii and eating ice cream. I’m also looking forward to outdoor, Covid-safe Colorado adventures. Maybe it’s not Scotland, but Colorful Colorado has a lot to offer, to say the least. And I’m very grateful to be able to spend this extra time with my friends and family here in Denver. Even on the worst days, there is still so much for which to be thankful.


And with that, I’ll finish today’s post on a light-hearted note—my outfit! I wore this outfit on my first day of freshman year (see below on the left). This pic was shot by a girl who lived on my floor and was taken right before my 8 am class, Intermediate Spanish. I picked this outfit for no particular reason, other than that I wanted to “dress to impress” for my first day of college. Little did I know that I would decide to keep the tradition alive and wear the same look on the first day of sophomore year, too (see below on the right). My hair was longer and in braids by sophomore year, and you may notice that I wore the wrong shoes! Or I guess, the right shoes, since I decided to wear the beige sparkly flats for my first day of junior year as well. I’m wearing this outfit RIGHT NOW, with the addition of a mask (gotta keep history accurate), and you can see this year’s photo down below as well. I just took it during my lunch break!


Anyways, this blog post, my blog in general, and my entire brain is all over the place right now. But thanks for staying with me! I missed blogging and talking with all you these last few weeks, and I hope your Monday is off to a great start. As always, thanks for reading.


Miles of smiles,



Green Striped Tee: Down East Style, $18, last worn here | Olive Green Skirt: Down East Style, $30, last worn here | Beige Sparkly Flats: Nordstrom Rack, $40, last worn here | Rust-Colored Clutch: Francesca’s, $20, last worn here

16 comments on “First Day of School Outfit + Thoughts”

  1. Now you had a lot of catching up on the writing part. Lol. That is bitter sweet about Scotland. It’s such a once in a lifetime chance. Oeps, don’t think I’m making things any easier. Just enjoy the now! That’s all we can do!

  2. Enjoy being back to college, Grace and don’t shy away from talking about your feelings. The pandemic has wrecked a lot of havoc and one of the ways how we can get through it is talking about things that upset us. I’m still upset we didn’t get a chance to go on our dream trip around Scotland this year! Thanks for sharing. I love your outfit 😍 Aiva

  3. Cute outfit! I think you need to make Scotland happen even if at a later date after you graduate! Might be even more fun! I think it helps to share and put your thoughts into words so keep on sharing when you need. And do the best with what this year offers! I may have to copy this outfit very soon! I see a blog post coming!

    1. Love it Mireille, can’t wait to see the post!! And thank you for these words. I think my new plan is to try to go to grad school in Scotland! Or maybe even just get a job there for a few years.

  4. I can see why losing a semester of studying abroad was a major disappointment. And while you’re right, many people have been more profoundly affected, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t grieve the loss of your plans. I had a hard time not being able to follow through on the plans I’d made for my mom’s 75th birthday last month. I am glad you have been able to recalibrate and get excited about the upcoming semester. Adapting is the key to all of this I think.


    1. Thank you so much, Michelle! Yes, the pandemic has definitely taught us to pivot. That is very hard having to miss such a big birthday celebration… Hopefully sometime soon we’ll be able to make up for all those events.

  5. I am so glad that you are happy to be back on campus even though it wasn’t how you envisioned it to be. It sucks that Covid has wreaked havoc on so many milestones for people but it looks like you have the right perspective and attitude. And who knows? Perhaps next year it will happen. Hold on to your dreams and it’s absolutely okay not to be okay. There’s a lesson there no matter how hard. That said, I adore your outfit! It’s simple yet so chic. It’s perfect for every day and with a swap of accessories, perfect for any season.

    Maureen |

  6. I hope you had a great first day back to school! I love your first day look. I am so sorry about your study abroad trip, that is such a bummer and you have every right to feel disappointed. I hope other good things come your way this year though!

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