'I feel more confident and outgoing.'
Text and photo Linde Klop

You can see great-looking people on Wageningen campus. In this column, we put one of them in the spotlight. This time, meet Joshua van Aswegen, an Environmental Sciences Bachelor’s student from South Africa.

‘Before Covid I was a very reserved person, someone who wanted to blend in, not stick out. I wore clothes that resembled pyjamas rather than outfits, and felt like I was breaking fashion boundaries when I wore a simple flannel. But when the whole world stood still during lockdown, I started scrolling. TikTok became my source of inspiration and movies started guiding my aesthetic. During that time, I discovered that fashion was an art form. Clothing provides a medium through which to present yourself, a tool to show your personality even to passing strangers. With newfound interest I delved into second-hand shops and discovered my thrift gift, an ability to scavenge through endless racks to find that one item that enriches my wardrobe. Now I plan my outfits days ahead, fearing nothing more than repeating something I’ve already worn.

When I was younger, I had to wear a uniform to school, so now uniformity is my biggest enemy. My whole demeanour has changed since I started dressing the way I do now. I feel more confident and outgoing. All of a sudden, I was surrounded by a great group of like-minded people, all with fantastic personalities and incredible fashion sense. And although I love it when they compliment me on my outfit, nothing is better than a simple “I like your shirt” from a stranger. But my favourite thing is seeing my little brother going through the same metamorphosis that I had when I was his age. At least, as long as he doesn’t start stealing my stuff.’

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