Tag Archives: t-shirt company

The First Day of Spring is Nigh

crocusAccording to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, spring, or the Vernal Equinox arrives on March 20 at 6:45pm EDT. The Vernal Equinox is the day when “day and night are each approximately 12 hours long (with the actual time of equal day and night, in the Northern Hemisphere, occurring a few days before the vernal equinox). The Sun crosses the celestial equator going northward; it rises exactly due east and sets exactly due west.” (http://www.almanac.com/content/first-day-seasons).

We are not so sure about the parenthetical bit about the actual time of equal day and night. True, the days are getting longer. And we are enjoying the increased daylight – maybe more this Spring than historically – but here in the Northeast (our T-shirt company has two primary locations: one in Vermont and one in Massachusetts) we are in a bit of limbo. Some call is Stick Season. Some call it Mud Season. Both names are quite accurate.

And so Stuck in the Mud, as it were, we are very keen for signs of spring. For us, spring isn’t just another season; it’s a chance to begin again. Here are a few signs that came to mind:

  • Seeds for sale in local stores
  • Daylight Savings Time
  • The beginning of Maple Sugaring season
  • The return of the red-winged black birds
  • Ice out (this is when the ice on frozen lakes and rivers gives way)
  • Snow drops, crocuses, daffodils
  • The smell of damp earth
  • Temperatures above freezing
  • Nesting birds
  • The beginning of baseball season
  • Trout season
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Class T-Shirts, Relatedness, and the Key to Happiness

cap-and-gownIt is class t-shirt season again. Thousands of high school seniors will dress alike (gasp!) for the last several days of school. The Western Interstate Commission on Higher Education predicts that there will be about 3.3 million high school graduates this year. That’s a lot of t-shirts! And a lot of happy people.

Who besides a t-shirt company or a high school student might equate a class t-shirt with happiness? Psychology Today, of course! While the noted psychological journal does not completely connect the dots between t-shirts and happiness, it does point out the relationship between consumer choices, a person’s psychological needs, and their degree of happiness.

Dr. Ryan T. Howell, Ph.D. writes: Based on one of the most prominent theories of motivation and well-being, Self-Determination Theory (SDT; Ryan & Deci, 2000), researchers have begun exploring the types of consumer choices that will satisfy a person’s psychological needs. SDT predicts that a person will be happiest when three basic psychological needs are satisfied: autonomy, competence, and relatedness. A person feels autonomous when his or her actions are freely chosen, self-guided, and internally (as opposed to externally) motivated. A person feels competence when they use their talents and abilities to master a skill or learn a new task. A person feels relatedness and connected to other people when their activities develop supportive relationships and when a person feels understood by others. (http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/cant-buy-happiness/201301/can-money-buy-happiness-money-and-need-satisfaction)

The class t-shirt satisfies all three of a graduating senior’s basic psychological needs…sort of. Let’s look at each of the basic needs a little closer:

  • Autonomy: “A person feels autonomous when his or her actions are freely chosen, self-guided, and internally (as opposed to externally) motivated.” The class t-shirt could go either way. The t-shirt still has a little bit of its 1960’s devil-may-care, rebel caché, especially at school. But since all the other seniors will probably don the class shirt, there are some external forces ta play here. It’s a toss up.
  • Competence: “A person feels competence when they use their talents and abilities to master a skill or learn a new task.” Competence is the corner stone of high school graduation. The talents and abilities of each graduate are tested. The class shirt signifies mastery.
  • Relatedness: “A person feels relatedness and connected to other people when their activities develop supportive relationships and when a person feels understood by others.” There are few things in a the average person’s life that feel more connected that the graduating class (in high school or college). Sharing the experience with peers amplifies its poignancy. This sense of belonging and camaraderie can be hard to come by later in life.

OK. A class t-shirt might not be the answer to the world’s most pressing question, but it will bring your thoughts (and maybe even your heart) back to an important time in your life. How many of you still have the tassel from your mortar board? You probably still have your class shirt, too. Break it out this weekend and put it on. It might just bring a smile to your face.

 

 

 

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