The summer before entering my junior year in college, I was sifting through the deep, dark cave that is my closet at my parents’ house. My ultimate goal was to speedily organize what I wanted to give away, and what I wanted to pack for school. I was fully aware that this meant I would actually be A) fucking around on my phone for three hours, B) going through my senior yearbook and laughing at all the high school sweethearts that broke up the first week of college, or C) trying on old clothes to see what still fit, and crying over what didn’t.
After trying on my prom dress and refreshing my Insta for the 300th time that morning, I discovered a strange and unfamiliar article of clothing at the bottom of my closet. It looked like my jeggings, but after further inspection, I realized it was something else. Low and behold, I had found a pair of my high school jeans. Not jeggings. I am talking straight (see: unforgiving) denim. Ignoring the size 4 tag in the back of these skinny jeans, I tried them on. Or, more accurately, I tried to try them on. I couldn’t even button them.
When was the last time I had actually been jean shopping, anyway? Was I sixteen? Seventeen? I had typically sported either leggings or running shorts for the past five years, so it was really hard to say. Refusing to feel defeated by a pair of pants, I went to the mall and decided to invest in some bottoms that didn’t include spandex in its fabric content. Having literally no idea of my actual size, I tried on approximately four different sizes in the dressing room, a.k.a. the portal to hell. Who knew that drinking five bottles of Moscato a week for two years could up your size so much? Not I, clearly.
Did I feel ashamed about my new official size at first? Duh. My refusal to acknowledge that I had gotten bigger since high school was a huge blow to the ol’ ego. As it turns out, you can’t eat a strict diet of dollar-slice pizza and dollar-pitcher beer and not turn into a huge fucking potato. But then I remembered something important: my body, like my life, had changed since I last wore a cap and gown. The last time I had bought jeans, I was sixteen and playing sports year-round, all without a substantial ass or an alcohol tolerance. Of course you want to be as healthy as you can be; the convenience of low-quality alcohol and Ramen Noodles isn’t an excuse to neglect yourself. By all means, jog! Drink green shit! But comparing your size to what you were in high school is a completely unrealistic standard.
Your life now is not what is was back then, and you can’t expect your bod to stay frozen in time. When I think of high school, I think of volleyball conditioning, AP World History, Friday nights in my BFF’s basement watching The Notebook, and plotting who I was going to trick into asking me to Homecoming. When I think of college, I think about all the nights spent out with my roommates when we danced to Nelly until 3 o’clock in the morning, cramming at the library for an 8 a.m. final, and laughing with my best friends at how ugly our exes got while enjoying waffles and mimosas at brunch. #NoRagrets. Not even a single letter.
And when in doubt, just think: have you ever seen an elderly lady wearing jeans? No, you haven’t. That is because baddies who have lived 80 years on this Earth know that it’s perfectly okay for our bodies to change, and at the end of the day, leggings and sweatpants are what’s up. Your pants won’t be too tight if you don’t wear any in the first place..
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