Depending on where you’re from, moving to New York has so many different meanings. But for most, it is the city of dreams and a place where anyone can thrive. But moving to a big city is hard, not to mention you’re starting a new chapter of your life, college! Going to the Fashion Institute of Technology sounds glamorous between opportunities of working at New York Fashion Week and living in the heart of NYC, but it isn’t always as it seems. So to get the inside scoop, keep reading for 20 tips about your freshman year at FIT!
1. Making friends takes time!
Many people are very competitive and focused on their work since you have to declare a very specific major at the Fashion Institute of Technology. People can seem unfriendly and self-absorbed because of this, but if you’re social and friendly to everyone, you’ll find people you can relate to and become friends with! It just takes a little extra effort!
2. The dining hall isn’t all that great.
Living in the dorms means most people have to get some type of meal plan. With 10,000 students and only one dining hall, it’s sometimes hard to get a quick, healthy meal. Most of the food at the dining hall is not very good and there’s little selection, so it’s easy to run out of options. With so many choices in NYC, you can get healthier, cheaper meals outside of the dining hall.
3. Save a lot of money before moving to New York!
Anything and everything in NYC is extremely expensive. That means everyday things like groceries and coffee are much pricier than in your hometown, so having a lot of money saved up can definitely help you make your freshman year less stressful!
4. Making time to explore NYC is hard!
Between three to four hour classes and the many clubs and activities FIT has to offer, there is often no time to go out and explore the beautiful city we live in. As a busy FIT student, exploring can sometimes be the last thing on your mind, but it is important to get to know the most amazing city in the world.
5. Navigational apps are your friends.
Making your way around NYC is hard, especially if you’re not from here. Google Maps and subway apps will quickly become your best friend. It’ll take some getting used to, but NYC is easy to navigate once you get the hang of it.
6. The freshman 15 is real, even if you’re in a health-conscious city like NY!
So many people underestimate the freshman 15 but it is alive and real! Especially if you’re going to the dining hall, it is easy to choose an unhealthy option for every meal. The dining hall lacks a lot of healthy options so it is very easy to eat poorly!
7. Every day is a fashion show.
When you think of college, you think of rolling out of bed for your 9 a.m. class and going in a sweatshirt and sweatpants. But at FIT, it’s not like this at all. Even early in the morning, everyone is dressed to the nines in heels and dresses, ready to take on the daily life of a fashion student!
8. You will be judged if you don’t dress right.
Although not by everyone, there is a large chance that if you go to class in sweatpants and no makeup, you will get judged and stared at. So at FIT, you have to be able to be your own person and not worry about others think of you.
9. The social scene is hard to find.
Going to a school with no Greek life makes partying hard and expensive. Most students at FIT go to upscale NYC clubs like 1Oak, Up and Down and Marquee. Unless you have a reliable promoter, it is hard to get into these clubs on your own. And beyond it being difficult, it can break the bank quickly.
10. Security is very tight.
Around every corner, there is a security guard. When you go into every single building at FIT, you have to show your student ID. Sometimes this can get annoying when you’re late for class or need to run up to your dorm for something.
11. Having visitors up in your dorm is a process.
FIT has very strict visitation rules. For day visitors, you have to sign your guest in at the desk and exchange their ID for a day pass every time they come in and out of the dorms. For overnight visitors, you must request the visitation online by 4 p.m. the day of or else they will not be allowed up into your dorm. This can be really annoying especially if it is a spontaneous visit.
12. Most students at FIT commute to school every day!
Since FIT is located in the heart of New York City, more than 75 percent of students commute from Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, Long Island and New Jersey! Located only four blocks from Penn Station, it is a very easy commute.
13. Most people who dorm go home on the weekends.
Unless you’re not from New York, most people who dorm go home on the weekends, since they live locally. A lot of people are from New York or New Jersey, so they spend their week at the dorms and weekends at home. By mid-day Friday, the campus is mostly empty.
14. Attendance is very, very important!
Waking up for a four-hour lecture at 8 a.m. is hard, but it has to be done! Most of the professors at FIT do not condone more than one absence per semester since the classes are usually only once a week. Since the classes really prepare you for your industry, you will miss a lot even if you miss one class.
15. Just because it’s a fashion school doesn’t mean the academics aren’t hard!
So many people assume that since it is a fashion school means that all the classes will be easy, but that’s obviously not true! Since you have to declare a specific major when applying to FIT, professors really prepare you for the real world and for your future career. That includes sleepless nights and long hours of studying, like any other college!
16. You might not be the most creative person in your class like you were in high school.
You may have been the most creative and unique person in your high school class, but almost everyone at FIT is artistic and unique. Most people have similar interests, so it is really easy to fade into the background.
17. Although the professors are knowledgeable in the industry, they’re not teachers.
Most of the professors at FIT are not full-time professors and still work in the industry they teach about. This can sometimes lead to bad teaching skills, although they are very knowledgeable.
18. You’re going to meet people from all around the world.
Thirty-seven percent of FIT’s students are from outside New York and around 10 percent are international. It’s amazing to see so many different cultures come into one school. I have friends at FIT from Michigan, California, Washington, Georgia and New Jersey.
19. There is a very high chance of getting a job after graduation.
Ninety-two percent of FIT graduates got a job after graduation, with 73 percent getting a job in their very specific major. When coming to FIT, I knew the chances were high but not that high!
20. Going to FIT will be the most rewarding choice of your life.
Although the school has many cons, it will be the best and most fulfilling choice of your life. You will learn so much about the industry and get a great job from one of the best fashion schools in world.