That month where summer ends and the business of going back to school begins. This year, however, was a bit more stressful as I moved from the suburbs of Washington DC to the middle of Manhattan, New York to start at the Fashion Institute of Technology. This has been my dream for so long, but it is still nerve racking to move so far away without knowing anyone.
You know in tv shows and movies, the New York apartments are depicted as spacious, pristine, and having a view of Central Park? Yea, False. Pro Tip: Never do a full face of makeup for move in day because you will sweat it off lugging two suitcases up six flights of stairs in 80 degree weather. Thousands of aspiring fashion students all shuffled into the dorm building with anxious parents and siblings not far behind. As I got off onto my floor with half my closet lugging behind me, I quickly realized that the hallways were not made for CONVENIENT access and I got stuck in the doorway. Thankfully I have the best roommates who I had met literally five minutes before, who helped me gather all my bags and boxes. Although it was a struggle, move in day actually turned out pretty well. my roommates and i got to know each other while setting up mattress pads and bonding over how small our kitchen is.
The first day of school feels different without fighting for parking spots or having a pep rally on the football field, but nonetheless, my roommates and I got up, made our coffee, and loaded onto the escalators that brought us up to identical hallways and yes, we did get lost. Finally I made it to my first class and in case you are unaware, FIT classes are about 3-4 hours long. Now, I have the attention span of a gnat and I made the brilliant decision of sitting in the very middle and the very front, so the professor could clearly see my eyes glaze over as I fell asleep. Also in college, some teachers do not care if you come to class or if you pay attention and others are super religious about attendance. The former group has the mindset of, if you can pass the tests and quizzes and you teach yourself online, then go for it. The latter group believes in taking attendance twice a class and penalizing grades if you do not show up. However in the end, it really is up to you if you want to succeed and put in the extra work to get that A.
I have already learned so much from my experiences here, but not in a classroom or from a teacher, but from the people. You really have to have an open mind when walking into the classrooms and get out of your comfort zone because in reality, it is the people you meet that are going to get you through the classes that you forget to drink coffee before and the group projects you did not know were due (oops). A strong support system is absolutely necessary to do well and I have been so lucky to start to find my place in NY with the help of my roommates & new friends.
I get asked a lot about my social life, being at FIT, because it is known to be a school where the work is pretty vigorous and there are not frat parties or typical mixers that one would get at a state college. However, it is in New York, so even though there are not conventional parties, you do not have to look hard to find festivals, 18+ club openings, pop ups, or really anything else. I was pleasantly surprised by how easy it is to meet people here because everyone is in the same boat as you. No one is going to ignore you if you say hi or ask to go shopping together. It really is such a great environment and if you look in the right places, you will always find something to do with new people.
The first couple of weeks at FIT have really made me excited about the year to come and the opportunities that will come my way!