The Lost Year: Minnah, Rhea, and Ethan

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Washington students like Minnah Awad, Rhea Jain, and Ethan Huang changed not only their appearance, but their perspectives on self-expression in isolation. Barred from hair salons and clothing stores, many students found it hard not to take matters into their own hands. Without the pressure of going to school everyday, it made it easier to experiment with new things. Washington senior Minnah Awad completely changed her hair after chopping it, adding a set of bangs, and dyeing it from black to golden brown. When asked what inspired this change, Awaad said, “I wanted to try something new and take advantage of being at home to experiment with my hair.” She went on to say, “I love my new hair and how it finally reflects my style and personality.”

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Many people were also inspired to find new styles and change up the way they dress. Washington junior Rhea Jain explained that she started buying clothes that made her happy during quarantine, because before, she would wear things just because everyone else was. “I learned over quarantine that I should wear clothes for myself, rather than because of others,” she said. “For that reason, I’ll miss my comfort clothes, but I’m happy with the way it turned out.” However, not everyone was inspired by the idea of not having to care about what others think anymore. Washington senior Ethan Huang felt more pressure to work on his style and started caring about the way he dressed more than he did before. “I think I got inspired by the people around me,” he said. “I liked the way they dressed and I felt bad about how I dressed.” He went on to say that caring more about fashion trends led him to start experimenting with crewnecks, flannels, and jewelry.

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