Category Archives: Commuting

Apartment Hunting

If you have been keeping up with the blog, you’d know that I am planning on living off campus in an apartment next year.  I spent my entire spring break looking, having appointments, and well…stressing out.  Here are some tips that I have for those of you looking for apartments in the future:

  • Download StreetEasy: StreetEasy a website that lists apartments on the market in your area.  You can put in all of your criteria as far as budget, neighborhoods, amenities, etc.  It’s an incredible website and it also has an app so you can constantly be checking new listings, saving apartments to your favorites on your account, and reaching out to the buildings themselves.
  • Be prepared: Myself and my roommate didn’t use a broker because of the amounts of research that was done in advanced.  For a year now, I have been taking notes in my phone of buildings that I pass by and writing down their addresses to look up later.  While you don’t have to be constantly on the watch and taking notes for an entire year, it is good to not start from scratch, but StreetEasy also makes it simple if you don’t have a ton of apartment requirements.
  • Talk things out beforehand: While this may seem like common sense, be sure that everyone involved is on the same page with what you are looking for not only in an apartment but as a roommate as well.
  • Don’t compromise: Remain firm in what you want in an apartment.  If you know that you are going to be miserable commuting from the Upper East Side (6 to the S to the 1…no thank you), then don’t do it.  Half of the battle with going to school is getting there!  And if you are an Art & Design major, the supplies that you have to bring with you can make a simple commute 100000x worse, especially at prime rush hour times.
  • Ask questions: Ask whomever you made the appointment with tons of questions!  Ask about what’s included in the rent, how long the rent would be, the application process, the necessary documents, if there have been any issues with bedbugs or cleanliness, the laundry room, and the environment of the building.  You don’t want to move in and be unhappy now, do you?

I hope these tips helped!  Feel free to ask any questions about apartments!

Ashley

#Motivation

So being a college student just about anywhere can be pretty difficult. Being a working student is even harder. Did you know that nearly 80% of todays college students work and go to school and most cant even get a loan or finical aid?

My first semester at FIT I was working nearly 30 hours a week and was a full time student. I was in the interior design program, the work load is defiantly a full time job in itself. I was taking one day at a time trying to get through the program and wondering how I was going to pay for next semester. Needless to say my grades really suffered because I wasn’t putting in the time I should have been. As I got further into the program I was able to work less and learned how to manage my time much better. It was probably the hardest two years of my life, But I cant tell you I have ever felt more proud of myself then when I received my first diploma in the mail the other day. unnamed

Before this day I was struggling to get motivated again, I felt like my hard work wasn’t paying off. I had nothing to show for it. I was run down, tired, and mentally exhausted. Until I received this and it made me think of what motivated me all along. Sometimes all you need is to see your hard work pay off or remind yourself how you got where you are. After reevaluating all my hard work I thought of three things I normally do that make me motivated again.

1. Refocus. Take a day to yourself, do something you love try and remind yourself what got you to this point in your life.

2.Set Goals. This will help you see your dreams in a real life setting, you can set them for every week what you would like to accomplish or every year it all depends on what you think will work for you. Personally I set them for every six months , not to long where it feels like you will never get there and short enough to make you push yourself.

3. Speak with someone. Sometimes all you need is a kick in high gear , it can be anything from talking to someone you look up to , or your parents, an advisor, someone who knows you well enough to tell you how far you’ve come and how much you’ve achieved.

So to all of you that think its not possible it is! You will make it through the good and the bad days. So for now… “Wake up early. Drink coffee. Work hard. Work really hard. Be ambitious. Keep your priorities straight, your mind right and your head up. Do well , live well and dress really well. Do what you love, love what you do. It is time to start living”

XOXO

Kailee

Tips for High School Students

  1. Take AP classes

If your school offers them and your schedule allows, Advanced Placement classes can really free up time in your schedule when you get to college (IF the school accepts them, definitely worth it to check first)

2. Take an Art History course

Here at FIT everyone has to take at least one Art History course for the general education requirements. It’s pretty helpful considering this is by and large an art school, even for the business kids. However, having general knowledge of art can be helpful in understanding concepts in history, sociology and even science  and math! (Ever hear of the golden ratio??) Also, if you take this as an AP and the credits transfer you can get out of this requirement (see above)

3. Apply early

4. Enjoy the summer!

It’s not like summers post college won’t be fun, but right now you have very few responsibilities compared to your future so revel in it baby!

5. Get to know the area around FIT

If it’s possible, you might want to come to 27th Street and scope out the area, find a few food places, see how far the walk to the grocery store is, start making a mental list of cool places you want to visit, etc.

6. If you will be commuting, do a test run day so you know where you’re going

You really don’t want your first day of class to be when you realize the walk from the subway to the school takes fifteen minutes longer than you thought. Trust me, you will be stressed out enough on your first day, and knowing where you’re going will make everything easier. Also, the other people on their way to work won’t hate you for getting in their way.

7. Do creative stuff!

Even though many of your classes and projects will force you to be creative, there will be a lot of stress and guidelines. If you have any personal projects you want to work on do it now while you have the time!

8. Keep up with cultural events around your area/the world

9. Talk to other people starting FIT on Facebook or social media

10. Get to know your roommate(s) and plan what you’re bringing

You really don’t want to end up with three microwaves and no dishes.

11. Talk to people in the industry in your area (boutique owners, FIT alumni, artists, etc.)

People are busy, but if you are respectful of their time everyone loves talking to the next generation of artists!

12. If you’re going to be an Art & Design student consider getting the Adobe Suite

Most of the Art & Design majors will require you to take classes in Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign as well as use them independently in projects. Look at what classes you will be taking in your major and see what Adobe is offering (student pricing!) to decide what would be best for your needs.

13. Immerse yourself in culture (movies, books, paintings, etc.) because you will be expected to be able to reference things for projects

14. Save up some money

 NYC is expensive man.


Do you guys have any tips you want to share?

–Emily–

Housing – Why or Why Not?

As a freshman and sophomore I made a decision to live in on campus housing.  I definitely think that I benefited from those experiences, especially freshman year.  I made a lot of friends and it’s nice to have everyone accessible for group projects or help with homework all within your building.  As I look towards my junior year here, I am looking into moving off campus.  I am doing this because I want to move in with one of my friends from home, who does not attend FIT.  I also want to be more independent as far as living independently and creating a space that feels like my own.  While New York has become my home, I don’t think it will truly feel like home until I separate myself from campus.  I think that if I had gotten an apartment sooner than this upcoming year, it would have been too soon. You need to experience the life living in a dorm and create friendships within FIT.  If I had lived in an apartment this year, I feel that my sophomore year experience would have been very different, not necessarily bad, but different.  I feel like once you get your own place, you take on a completely different lifestyle and independence.  I am looking forward to living off campus and the responsibilities that come with it, but I’ll report back in several months to tell you how things are going and to give my tips and tricks!

Ashley

A day in the life of a commuter student!

It’s Monday 5:50 am and my alarm is going off, sleepy I roll over and hit snooze for another ten minutes. I just went to sleep a few hours ago if that, because I was waitressing the night before. My class starts at 9:00 and since I live in New Jersey that means I have to take the 7:17 to New York Penn Station. It’s now 6:25 I didn’t hear my alarm go off for the 12th time and my mom is running in my room “Kailee get up! You slept to late again!” So I quickly get up rummage through my closet and find a cute outfit to start my week off right. I then go over to my dresser and put on my makeup and throw my hair up. Gathering my things it’s now 7:00 my train leaves in 17 minutes. I go outside to turn on my bright orange beetle to warm up because today its only 7 degrees out. I quickly go back inside grab my things, make some organic flaxseed oatmeal with blueberries, grab the little snack bag of fruits and veggies my mom packed for me and finally I am off.

Turning left onto broad street I am trying to find a good radio station to listen to a good song on the short car ride. Nothings on the radio as usual because its 7am and everyone’s having a talk show. I finally reach the light before the train station and some kid cuts me off almost every morning because the high school is only a few blocks away. I pull into the parking spot at the train station, check the number on the spot and run to pay its 7:14 I only have a few minutes left until my train arrives. After paying I am running to get onto my train that just arrived.

Walking each car carefully looking for a sit that is empty so I can sit and read in peace. I sit down in the same car everyday. The man collecting the tickets gets to my seat his name is Jim. Jim sees me all the time, has seen me since I first started FIT, when I went on my first interview, has seen me crying, happy , just about all emotions I have had for the past 3 years. He says hello to me I wish him good morning as he checks my monthly pass. I then reach for my oatmeal and start eating slowly while admiring the view out the window. This morning I dosed off shortly after, I wake up and we are at New York Penn station. Its 8:43 and I am  now running up the stairs by the LIRR , while putting my scarf and gloves on. I get outside and put my head down and walk quickly from 34th to 27th, it feels like the longest walk of my life in the cold and wind.

I get to FIT and the security guard greets me in the D building lobby while I show him my ID. I go through to the B building and go down to the basement for my French class. Few lecture hours and a break later ,I am heading back home. By this point my brain and body are exhausted, Monday’s are always the longest since I work the night before and then work again once I get home. I get home it’s now 1:45 I have to be at work by 4:00. I sit down for a few minutes, eat a quick snack, start some homework and then its time to get changed for work.

It’s 3:55 as I am walking into the building, I am always a few minutes early. Monday’s are kids night so its usually pretty busy. Before I know it, its 9:00 time to go home, I quickly finish my side work so I can go home. Its been a pretty long day its now 11:10 and I am finally getting ready for bed. A few hours from now I will be waking up to do it all over again.

What’s a day in your life? Are you a commuter student? Do you live at school? I would love to know :)

-Kailee

Notes From the 6 Train: How to Survive the 12 Hour School-day

So I’m kind of a pro on this topic. Because I take 6 credits every semester, and only want to come to campus (at most 3 days a week, last semester it was 2) I usually end up having one day where I’m at campus for 12 hours, from 9 am to 9 pm. This is not my preferred schedule, but the class always seem to line up like this, so let me give you a play by play on how I survive, in case you ever find yourself in a similar position. This is particularly true for commuter students who have to travel long distances to come to campus.

1. First, and most importantly, I remind myself that I only come 2 or 3 days a week.

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2. Eat to win! I pack my lunch everyday, and it especially on these longs because going on and off campus to get food can be such a hassle, plus super expensive. You will need:
– A water bottle (gotta stay hydrated)
– A full lunch (full of protein, as you will need that energy to remain focused during your classes)
– Snacks! This one is pretty self explanatory.

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3. Use whatever time you’re not in class to your advantage. You won’t be in class during the entire time. I have 3 classes that are scheduled in 3 hour time blocks, but I have still about 3 hours in between to kill. During these breaks I get work done, get a massage or acupuncture at the health clinic (this does have to be scheduled in advanced though) or even take a free fitness to waken myself up (there are free classes at the gym at FIT.) Though, with this last option I obviously I don’t do a really sweat inducing workout. I would suggest yoga.

Other things you can doing your breaks:

– Work! On campus jobs or workstudy
– Take a nap. the commuter lounge was basically made for that

CCG-Countdown-to-grad-school-checklist

4. Handle all of your on campus errands.
– Running to financial aid/ bursar’s office
– Go to a club meeting/ events held during common hours
– Go to a tutoring center/ visit a teacher’s office hours

I know that a 12 hour day seems daunting, but when you get home after such a productive day you feel good! Luckily, my 12 hour day is Thursday, and I have no classes on Friday so I either start my weekend early and go out OR go home and enjoy the well deserved, blissful rest.

All things Color, Love, & Fashion,
Ayanna L.

The Last First Day

Most of you reading this probably haven’t even started college yet, so I’m sure you’re not thinking about the way it will end. Well one day, in the distant future, you too will have your last first day of school.

It is a weird sensation to know that this could very well be my last first day of school ever. That is, unless I go to grad school or take a night class. I’ve always had the strange desire to be that one old person who is in at least one of your classes each semester without fail.

^^ Me tho

^^ Me tho

I couldn’t sleep the night before. I’m not sure why, I mean I have done this first day of the semester thing seven times already – maybe it was because I stayed up until 4 am over the weekend? Nah, that couldn’t be why. Of course, waking up the next morning was hard and I ended up oversleeping a little which meant I had to rush. Great. The commuting time is earlier than it had been in the past few weeks for my job, so I forgot that the hundred or so elementary schools surrounding my apartment opened at the same time. This meant that the Dunkin’ near my house was full to the brim of yelling, confused and spatially unaware ten year-olds. No coffee for me then. Already late I rushed to the 6 train station only to find it was backed up. Even going to the very end of the platform didn’t help! Two trains later I got on, woo! Oh wait, just two stops and we’re delayed because someone got sick. About fifteen minutes of waiting. It was at this point that I realized I would not have time to wait on line for the new sticker for my ID. Every dang semester! Would I ever learn? Guess it’s too late now. I decided I would just have to do what I normally do, which is mumble something incoherent to the security guard about being late and run through too quickly for them to stop me. I could always come back after class. Five minutes late to film class. Damn, he already started. Luckily, the professor turned out to be really cool and the class was quite fun. Leaving class I have five texts and a missed call. The rest of the day was cancelled because of the impending blizzard. Tuesday too. This was the strangest last first day ever.

–Emily–

Emotions of Juno

While we’ve heard enough about the winter storm that is Juno, we have yet to see many posts about the current state that we as NYC residents are feeling about this storm, and that is where I come in to help.  You’re welcome.

  1. Hearing about the predicted inches of snow
  2. Immediately telling your roommates/friends/family
  3. Running to the grocery store to stock up on well…snacks.
  4. Seeing the lines and empty shelves.
  5. Dealing with the lines and getting ALL THE SNACKS.
  6. Constantly refreshing your email to see if class is canceled.
  7. Sees class is canceled Monday afternoon and all day Tuesday
  8. Finally reach home and see the storm occurring
  9. But you have Netflix, food, and blankets soo…

    Stay safe and be careful out there!  Juno doesn’t stop for anyone.

    Ashley

Biking in the City

Hi there,

Well if you have been keeping up with this blog for a year now (really, have YOU?) you will be happy to know that I have upgraded from a push scooter (adult version of course lol) to a bicycle. Things to take into consideration before I took this big step was price, space and ease of use. Turns out that when your friend just says: “Here you go this bike is now yours” there is really nothing to consider. After saying yes, I suddenly realized (I just love free stuff, can’t help it) that I did not know how to bike in the city or how to use a bike that had the brakes on the pedals. It also came to my attention that I needed to refill the wheels and had no clue where to go. unnamed1

So after extensive research (Google ya know) I found out a sale at KMART and headed there to buy a pump and some lights that would help me stay alive at night. For what I think was the first time in my life I pumped wheels and discovered the difference between Schrader and Presta valves. Trying to get ready for the special day when I decided to venture out I oiled the chain and looked up apps to bike in the city. Turns out it is your choice to use bike lanes or not, depends on how adventurous you want to be. I honestly recommend for a first time biker STAY IN THE LANES and please if you love yourself just wear a helmet (even if your head looks like an egg)!unnamed2

Other than that I use Google Maps to tell me how to get to places, the time it will take me and how steep the terrain is. For tracking my ride (distance, calories, speed and +) without having to connect it to Facebook and be annoying and share my progress to all my friends (but I will with you haha that is how much I<3u) I use Exclo.   unnamed

Biking in the city has enabled me to:

  • see parts of the city that I never knew existed
  • find time to workout everyday
  • appreciate air so much more
  • get rid of my monthly metro card
  • look amazingly cool while riding

In case anyone is up for the challenge I definitely suggest you do it. If your not a long term commitment person just use Citi Bikes (they are all over now) which conveniently for us has a station right in front of FIT. If you feel you can handle it just go for it and make yourself healthier (workin up them iron thighs) while making the world a greener place.

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Carpe Diem,

Sadie

 

Annoying Apartments

So, I finally decided to move out of the dorms and stake out on my own. I had heard that looking for real estate in New York City was hard, but heeeyy it can’t be that bad, right? “It will be fiiiiiine” I told myself.

omg totes gonna be my apartment

omg totes gonna be my apartment

Um…no.

There are many reasons why looking for an apartment in New York is so frustrating, but I think most stem from people changing their minds. One of the biggest issues I had was finding a roommate. This didn’t seem so hard at first, I was going to live with one of my friends who hadn’t moved in with the rest of our group in their place on Wall Street. Great, awesome. Fast forward to the middle of the summer before the semester starts and all of the sudden she is graduating a semester early and then moving back home to go to grad school. I mean, I’m happy for her of course, but it put me in a really crappy position. Then, I met this guy through a friend of mine who was also looking for an apartment near Columbia because he was going to start grad school. I met him, he seemed chill, so we decided to go in it together. However, neither of us was really doing a good job researching places and it kind of hung in the air for a while. Then a friend of mine who just graduated from FIT said he wanted to look for a place on the west side so he wouldn’t have to commute from Long Island for his job anymore. Great! I told Columbia guy “Sorry, I have to back out,” and he said he was going to tell me the same anyway because he got into med school! New roommate guy was an actual friend of mine and I looked forward to living together. Well, living with a guy who is not your significant other made finding the right apartment even harder (i.e. two bedrooms only, and railroads are not an option). Add in some inflexibility about location and price and the situation becomes almost impossible. Finally, after many frantic lunch break and after work trips up, down, and all over town I found one that would work for us! Only to have him tell me he decided he wanted to continue commuting to save money to go to grad school next year. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

I mean I didn’t take it very personally, I know that I am not hard to live with, but it was incredibly frustrating to have seemingly every option presented pulled out from under me just as I thought it was really going to work out. Eventually I met my new roommate through the last guy I was supposed to live with. It was scary jumping into a year long contract with someone I had only met once or twice, but it all worked out fine. She’s super nice and incredibly easy to live with as well.

There are other issues, like the speed at which apartments are put on the market and then sold, pushy brokers and their exorbitant fees, picky landlords, and just finding a place that actually works and you feel comfortable in. Yet, I do find it really nice to be able to come home to my own place after class or work and truly not feel like I am still in school. It has also pushed me much further into becoming more responsible. I have to pay my bills on time now, budget my money and be extra careful about my own safety. Am I adult-ing yet?

my new room! yayy!!

my new room! yayy!!

–Emily–