Back to campus, back to uniforms

Juniors+show+off+their+school+uniforms.

The Catalyst / Molly Phan

Juniors show off their school uniforms.

NDB has had a uniform policy since the school first began, but due to the pandemic, for the last year and a half the dress code has been much more relaxed. This year, the dress code has returned to pre-pandemic normalcy, and many students are excited to be back in the familiar uniforms that bring life back into our community.

During distance learning, students could wear whatever they wanted behind their Zoom screen as long as it was appropriate. Transitioning onto campus during the spring semester of 2021 for the hybrid model, students were allowed more freedom with their clothing choices. Sweatpants, leggings, jeans, and non-NDB tops were permitted in an effort to make the transition smoother and more comfortable for students. The school was also forced to keep all windows open for air circulation, so students were permitted to bring non-NDB coats, jackets and blankets.

As school has fully returned back on campus this fall, so has the uniform policy from before the COVID-19 shutdown. For juniors and seniors, this means digging out our skirts, polos and NDB gear some have not seen since their freshman or sophomore year. For underclassmen, it is their first experience being on campus in the school’s uniform.

Although we now have to wear our uniform again, I’m not upset about it. I love wearing the navy and khaki skirts along with an NDB hoodie because I find it so comfortable. It is so nice to not have to think about what I should wear at 7 A.M.”

— Ciara Kingham

There are many variations of the uniform so that students can choose the combination of skirts or pants, NDB T-shirt or polo shirts, and NDB jackets, hoodies or outerwear. In addition, Fridays are reserved for “free dress” meaning students have the choice of comfortable clothes, similar to that of the COVID-19 relaxed dress code, or our day-to-day uniform. Therefore, between the numerous uniform combinations and weekly free dress days, students have the ability to express themselves as individuals while still building the sense of community and unity that the uniform tradition brings.

“This school year I almost forgot I had to put back on a uniform; I was so used to showing up to school everyday in sweatpants and a hoodie,” said junior Ciara Kingham. “Although we now have to wear our uniform again, I’m not upset about it. I love wearing the navy and khaki skirts along with an NDB hoodie because I find it so comfortable. It is so nice to not have to think about what I should wear at 7 A.M.”

To many students, the uniform is essential to creating a successful academic environment at NDB. Because it is worn when school is in session, and comfortable everyday clothes are worn outside of school, students are able to better separate their academic and everyday lives. Wearing the uniform is a reminder that the student is in class and should remain focused and hardworking; wearing sweatpants, leggings and pajamas is a symbol of stress-free relaxation, so is reserved for time away from school.

“I love the uniform because it is easy and I don’t have to spend time picking out what to wear as opposed to last year. I also feel more productive while in my uniform than I did in my comfortable clothes last year,” sophomore Julia Oliveira-Killmon said.

The uniform policy at NDB, although strictly enforced, is beneficial for students as it promotes unity and professionalism within the school community. Students are excited to have returned to uniforms even though the luxury of a comfortable dress code last year will be missed.

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