A complete guide to the chaotic academia aesthetic

We've been obsessed with all things academia ever since the popular aesthetic first made its appearance on TikTok. Bringing back our Gilmore Girls phase, dark academia romanticizes reading, writing and learning. As any student knows, school life can be a little hectic at times. The latest (and greatest!) subtype of dark academia, chaotic academia, is embracing all the #relatable struggles that come with academia and we've got the ultimate guide to the aesthetic.

What is chaotic academia? 


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♬ Laughing on the Outside - Bernadette Carroll

Chaotic academia aesthetic involves haphazard routines and having a bit of a messy schedule. (And room...) Occasionally being a bit forgetful and not quite understanding yourself but loving yourself anyway is a lifestyle we can *totally* get behind. If you're always losing your pens and pencils, your favorite study spot is the floor or your cup of coffee is somehow always cold by the time you get around to drinking it, you'll feel right at home with chaotic academia. 

Movies and shows

Perfectly imperfect, chaotic academia media often is about characters who don't follow the rules and are a little (you guessed it!) chaotic. These movies and shows are super fun watches after a late-night study sesh. 

The Umbrella Academy 



The Breakfast Club

The Imitation Game

Call Me By Your Name 


Books from the banned literature section are everywhere on the chaotic academia to be read list. Even our all-time fave Harry Potter series has occasionally been banned from schools, making it the ultimate chaotic academia read. 

Harry Potter—J.K Rowling

Carry On—Rainbow Rowell

Romeo and Juliet—William Shakespeare

The Picture of Dorian Gray—Oscar Wilde

To Kill a Mockingbird—Harper Lee

Hamlet—William Shakespeare

The Great Gatsby—F.Scott Fitzgerald


Chaotic academia style doesn't have to be prim and proper. Messy eyeliner ripped jeans, paint-splattered cardigans or blazers and constantly untied laces will add a bit of flair to your look.  No matter what you wear, make sure it's totally *you*. 


Image via:


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♬ achilles come down - THE VOID

If you're no stranger to the occasional all-nighter, chaotic academia may already be part of your daily routine. Passionate book discussions with your squad, occasionally zoning out in class, scribbling notes anywhere and everywhere and always being excited to learn random bits of information are all part of the chaotic academic lifestyle. Although you might sometimes procrastinate your homework until the last minute, you always submit your best work. 

Chaotic academia not quite right for you? We have the guide to the top trendy TikTok aesthetics here! 

Front image via:


by Abigail Adams | 3/3/2021