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To Uniform or Not to Uniform

Submitted By: Katherine Han

Most private schools, in this age, either have uniforms or require students to wear uniforms. Although a portion of the schools have uniforms, there is also a number of schools, private or public, that do not have school uniforms. A controversial topic that has existed for a while is whether or not school uniforms are a good or bad thing. Many students who attend schools that do not require uniforms enjoy and cherish the privilege of choosing what to wear. However, there are also students that have been wearing school uniforms, and they see benefits in it.

As a young child, I have always thought of school uniforms as a bad thing, a limit of my freedom. But, as I got older, I came to recognize some of the benefits in having school uniforms. The main reason that a good deal of schools have uniforms is so that no one individual would judge another by what they are wearing. For example, some students may become embarrassed if their clothing is not as fancy as the other students. Having school uniforms, in this case, would eliminate that. Everyone wears the same thing so no one would judge each other by what they wear. Esmi Pistelak, a seventh grader who attended a private elementary school that required uniforms, says, “I liked the free-dress days because I got to choose what I could wear, but I felt like the uniforms were good because it was easy to choose what to wear in the morning. But, I like the free-dress days too, because it allowed us to show individuality”.  According to Pistelak, having school uniforms made choosing what to wear in the morning easier and no one judged you by what you were wearing.

Having uniforms can be a great thing, but there are definitely pluses in not having school uniforms as well. Emma Tsui is a current seventh grader and she had to wear uniforms since kindergarten. Once she entered 7th grade, she was no longer required to wear school uniforms. Tsui states, “I really like how [in middle school] I get the freedom to choose my own clothes, [because I can show my] personality. After wearing uniforms for so long, they get kind of boring. The free-dress days were like a break and I looked forward to them”. Ethan Walsey is also a current 7th grader and is a classmate of Tsui. He first started having school uniforms in 6th grade and had to transition into wearing uniforms. According to Walsey, “the transition was kind of weird. Some of the new kids were out of it. But I got used to it eventually. The free-dress days were like the weekends, definitely looked forward to them”. With no school uniforms, students can choose what they want to wear, and the privilege to choose allows students to show their own personality through their outfits. Without uniforms, students have more freedom and can dress more freely. Picking out the perfect outfit to wear can sometimes be a struggle, but, the compliments you get from your friends often make it worth the while.

To some individuals, the lack of uniforms allows them to demonstrate their personality, but, on the contrary, to some uniforms are the perfect solution to potential social problems. This debate may never be resolved because there are numerous benefits to both sides of the argument. As William Shakespeare might say, to uniform or not to uniform, that is the question.

-Katherine Han

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