I learned something very disturbing today. This morning I went to the Bryant Park holiday shops just browsing for Christmas presents, and I stopped in a booth that was selling jewelry and scarves made by women in Ethiopia (This has nothing to do with the story, but this company’s mission is to create sustainable business for African women which is pretty awesome so you should check it out). The girl running it was super nice, so we started talking and realized that we were both fashion design students, but she completed her degree at another fashion school. We were comparing our experiences and I mentioned that I thought it is funny when people would ask if the fashion design students would really destroy each others work, and steal things from one another because that is so ridiculous to me. Suddenly, the girl cut in saying those things actually did happen at her school! I couldn’t believe it. She told me stories of a girl’s project getting paint thrown on it the day before it was due, people being rude to one another and just being generally mean. I am not writing this to discredit other fashion programs, just to say that this is not how it works at FIT. I was in the fashion design program for two years and I never experienced anything like that. Of course, some teachers can be intimidating and harsh because they really expect the best from you, and don’t expect strangers to walk down the halls smiling and high-fiving each other. The fashion design curriculum is stressful and tiring, but I’ve never been afraid for my work. It is common to ask a stranger in the workroom to look after your stuff so you can grab dinner when you’re working on a project. Of course you want to be careful with your personal items no matter where you are, but I have never been scared someone would try to ruin a project I put countless hours of work into. In fact, I have had people return things to me after accidentally leaving them after class. FIT is not a scary place and people are not vindictive or horrible to each other here so don’t worry!