Style Down Under: Backpacking around Campus

Welcome to the University of Melbourne! Time to fast forward a few days and everyone is almost ready for the start of semester two; stressfully registering and enrolling in classes and organising timetables. Of course time is being left for socialising and discovering Melbourne nightlife, that just goes without saying.

The campus covers a huge area of land, and is filled with beautiful, quaint old buildings and a student union which, to my amazement is the size of a small shopping centre. (Maybe I’m exaggerating but I can only compare it to what I am used to). All of this exploring has provided lots of time for me to play detective. In other words, I’ve been trying to figure out what’s popular with students and what kind of clothing and accessories define a classic student on the Parkville Campus.

If I successfully ticked unwritten rule number one, which simply involves wearing black clothing, rule number two was focused solely on getting the right backpack for uni. Considering I’ve just moved around the world and am tackling a foreign city alone, I can see how this perhaps shouldn’t have been a top priority. Given that I had no more space in my meagre 30kg baggage allowance to bring my backpack from home, and yes, I did travel with a huge, bright purple (and yet not so pretty) backpack as hand luggage, in order to camouflage amongst the 50,000 students at the University of Melbourne, I was told the next essential item was a Herschel backpack. After spending a fair amount of money on a simple bag, I was left wondering if it really was a necessary buy. Surely it’s not such a big thing here? What’s so special about owning a backpack which will also serve to scream the name of the brand when I’m walking around?

My questioning was trumped however the minute I walked around campus for the first time; Herschel backpack after Herschel backpack in all shapes and sizes. A favourite of mine is the ‘Surrey Backpack’, large enough for books, but not massive, cheaper than a regular backpack and they definitely compliment an outfit as the buckles update it for a much more modern and trendier look. The outfits I’ve seen to date also set alarm bells ringing when thinking back to QMUL campus style; quirky, casual and very well put together: the ultimate hipster. The overall ‘look’ seems to be important here; it’s not just about the clothing, but accessories and even the right hair style are clearly given the same thought – every other person has a top knot!

I’ll definitely be snapping away on my walks over the coming weeks, so stay tuned for a complete campus style comparison, but so far everything all feels very familiar when walking around Uni. Who knows, maybe Herschel backpacks are already very popular in Mile End, and something I’ve just failed to notice.

So, only a matter of days before classes begin and the infamous ‘Disso Week’ commences. Let’s see if I can suss the Melbourne unwritten-style-rule number three.

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