Addiction to Repetition: Sweatshirts


Maverick Mendoza

HOODIE LOVE: A vast majority of teens wear sweatshirts. What most people don’t realize is that a fair number of those people have formed strong connections to those sweatshirts and will wear them in poor conditions, feeling naked without them.

Eric Bachman, Staff Writer

Life is nothing if not repetition. Our brains like it by nature. They feel more comfortable when they are able to cut down on the processing of a simple repetitive task. Take, for example, a phone game. You might just zone out, and start playing the game without even thinking. Then, once pulled out of the game and into real life, you may feel irrationally upset. This effect is also present in modern music. The Pop Theory is a new idea that tries to explain why modern music all sounds so similar. Most modern music has a specific sequence of notes somewhere in the song. This sequence makes it easier for a casual listener to flow into other artists and new songs while still feeling like the music is familiar. Unsurprisingly, the effect of repetition follows to other parts of our lives such as routines, learning, and clothing. Have you ever forgotten an item, a watch, your phone, or a sweatshirt? According to Psychology Today, that feeling that you experience, that strange floatiness, described sometimes as nakedness, is actually related to the feeling that you have once separated from a pattern you have found yourself in. Your nakedness, you being uneasy, perhaps even grumpy, all come from this pattern.

One very common example of this一especially among our peers一is the sweatshirt. If you were to look around in the halls of Issaquah High, you would find that a vast majority of students wear sweatshirts. What you may not notice, is that a vast majority of them have formed a psychological connection of sorts to those sweatshirts? According to Britannica, people often feel odd without them and will go out of their ways to go wear one. Junior Natalia Mendez said, “I wear sweatshirts even in bad conditions.” This could very well be due to an unconscious attachment that Mendez formed with her sweatshirt. This strength of this attachment can vary greatly individual to individual. Freshman Cameron Morgan said that he “won’t wear a sweatshirt inside. It’s too hot.” For Morgan, the attachment made is likely weaker as he is able to easily part with it. Sweatshirts could also be worn for completely different reasons. Senior Raelynn Fleisher says that she wears sweatshirts simply because it is “just very comfortable.”

This feeling of attachment is not restricted to only sweatshirts. It can easily be made with other commonly used objects. Sophomore Nathaniel Eckert said, “I am mildly bothered without my watch or my glasses.” Watches, glasses, and hats can have unconscious attachments to them. Clothing, in general, is a way that people can express themselves. People always tell each other ‘not to judge a book by its cover.’ However, the reality is that first impressions often determine how the rest of the interaction may go (Psychology Today). Take for example hoods on sweatshirts. Having a hood up can give a viewer a feeling of unease. As if a person can not be trusted. Almost every article of clothing, every style, is a reflection of who we are, whether we like it or not.

Life is repetition, and repetition is life. Our brain loves it and will try to find it everywhere to cut corners. It really is no surprise that our brain, therefore, hates it when we leave those patterns. The longer we are in them, the more invested our brains get, and the more that they will resist withdrawal. It is, in a way, an addiction. An addiction to repetition.