It’s a Hampton Thing, You Wouldn’t Understand –
Ogden Attire: A stepping stone to my future
“To be early, is to be on time. To be on time, is to be late. And to be late, is unacceptable.” These words have been engrained in me since I first entered Moton Hall my freshman year, August 2009. My dorm director, Ms. Wilkins, strived to instill principles in me and my peers about how to be a successful student, woman and Hamptonian.
My first week at Hampton was filled with multiple seminars and lectures, mostly held in Ogden Hall. Before attending, “Moton Misses” were urged to “act like a lady, look like a lady, smell like a lady,” and most importantly to be punctual.
Freshman year now seems like a blur, but every time I step foot in Ogden Hall I flashback to 2009 when my friends and I took long walks in the sun, wearing business casual to sit in chairs for what seemed like hours.
In those seats, we would listen to administrators, police officers and other officials explain their expectations of us, the Hampton University code of conduct and other information that would guide us through our following years at Hampton.
The first time my floormates realized that Ogden attire meant business casual, we panicked. What exactly is business casual? Do we have to wear a suit? Should I wear heels? Does anyone have a skirt I can borrow? These were common questions that could be heard throughout freshman dorms during new student orientation week.
By the time we figured out exactly what to wear, many had forgotten to iron their clothes, fix their hair or put on any makeup. In the dorm lobby the dorm director and/or dorm RA’s would critique outfits that they deemed unacceptable. Many girls were told, “Your skirt is too short,” “you need stockings” and “your dress is too low cut.”
At the time, dressing up to Hampton’s standards seemed like a hassle, but I now understand how beneficial it was. Looking polished helped us more than anything. It became the norm for me to get dressed up, and I began to look forward to putting on my new blazers and dresses.
Just three days away from commencement, I am truly grateful for all of my experiences and lessons learned at HU. I am fully prepared for life outside of my “Home by the Sea.” I am also completely comfortable dressing up for work, interviews, seminars and ceremonies. I have learned that clothing and being prepared can set you apart from your competitors. I am ready for the world because “Hampton made me this way.”
Jalisa Stanislaus ’13
Jalisa Stanislaus is a senior journalism major from Long Island, N.Y. Jalisa is a recipient of the National Hampton Alumni Association, Inc. Award. She will be interning at Brunswick Group.