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Style and Self Discovery: A Journey for BU’s Swedish Track Star Vera Sjöberg

The fastest woman at BU also has a notable knack for fashion.

By Sammy Seabury 

Photo By BU Athletics

Vera Sjöberg (CAS’ 26), a Swedish international student, competes for the women’s cross country and track teams here at Boston University. With a school record under her belt, huge goals for this track season, and the potential to compete at the European Championships this summer, Sjöberg is nothing short of extraordinary. However, when she’s off the track, her fashion sense starts to shine. 

“I don’t like the idea of just having one identity,” said Sjöberg. “It’s not like I’m trying to hide that I’m an athlete, but I don’t think that it has to be the first thing that someone knows about me.”

Her current best mile time of 4:38.85, which she ran at the John Thomas Terrier Classic in January, is BU’s third-fastest time of all time. Just last summer, Sjöberg represented Sweden on the grand stage when placing 4th in the 5000 meter at the under-23 European Championships. This year, Sjöberg has the chance to make her first senior European team. 

Outside of her sport, though, Sjöberg’s style and everyday wear are a big part of who she is — seemingly effortless and authentic.

“What I wear is definitely something that I think about a lot. I’m definitely invested in it, but I still want to make it look effortless,” said Sjöberg. 

But it hasn’t always been so easy. Her transition to BU from Sweden inevitably came with a culture shock. Sjöberg originally struggled with feeling out of place when coming to school in the US, which caused her to doubt her fashion choices.

“I became more aware of what I was wearing because I had gotten comments like, ‘Oh, what are you wearing? Is it a special occasion?’ and ‘You look so European!’ or something like that,” said Sjöberg.

Eventually, through her time at BU, she has come to appreciate her own individuality. Nevertheless, this hasn’t led her to shy away from American influences.

“My sense of style has definitely been influenced by American street style,” said Sjöberg. “I’ve incorporated athleisure into what I would normally wear. It can still be fashionable, just in a different way.”

Sjöberg emphasizes the importance of taking risks when searching for your own sense of style. Confidence may not come naturally, but it can gradually grow when you step outside your comfort zone and try something new.

“It’s fun to play with clothes that you’re not completely comfortable with. You’re faking it until you make it. Sometimes, you just need to put it on, even if it feels outside your comfort zone, and just go out in it. That eventually makes you feel more confident,” she said.

Confidence and comfort often go hand in hand when it comes to fashion, but Sjöberg’s bold approach shares a different story: personal style soars when you take a leap of faith.


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