Category Archives: Emily

I’m Going on an Adventure!

I know I said that this year was my “year of travel”, but I am about to embark on my biggest adventure yet! After my last final on Thursday I will be packing up everything I brought to (and bought in) Italy and sending it home. Fingers crossed nothing gets lost or broken in transit. All I will be keeping is my trusty bright red backpack, hiking shoes, the ever important Nalgene, and a minimal amount of clothes and travel necessities. When you have to carry everything you own on your back, the line between needs and wants becomes much more clear.

I am doing this because in a week exactly I will be walking. A lot. I’m going to walk from one end of Spain to the other. Actually I am walking from a little town in France called St. Jean Pied-de-Port to Santiago, Spain and hopefully if I have time to Fisterre or “The Ends of the Earth” – the last place people believed you could go before falling off the edge of the world. I can’t think of a better, or more dramatic, place to end my pilgrimage.

Full disclosure: I have never actually watched any of the Lord of the Rings movies, this is just too perfect to not include

Full disclosure: I have never actually watched any of the Lord of the Rings movies, this is just too perfect to not include

That is what I am doing, a pilgrimage. Specifically El Camino de Santiago de Compostela, as it is officially called, is a medieval trail that Christians crossed to see the remains of Saint James. By proving you walked a certain amount of miles (by getting stamps at stops along the way) each pilgrim receives a fancy diploma-like document in Latin that absolves you from all your sins. To be honest, I am not an extremely religious person (I don’t really see the point when the basis of all religions boils down to the same basic beliefs, but that’s a whole different conversation), so completing this journey will be less about being forgiven for my sins and more about focusing on making myself a better person, and just the fact I could do it.

Each one of those blue dots represents a day of walking

Each one of those blue dots represents a day of walking

This whole thing started a few summers ago when I went to go see a movie with my mom at the little, artsy movie theater in my hometown. It was called “The Way” and it started Martin Sheen and Emilio Estevez. When the movie finished I just said to my mom “One day I’m gonna do that.” And here we are, I’m following through with the promise I made myself. (Also the movie is really good and still on instant streaming on Netflix ((I think)), check it out!)

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With only a week left I am getting pretty nervous. I was originally going to have a friend from high school who is fluent in basically every language come with me, but due to money issues she had to cancel. After that, trying to find someone not only willing to walk 458 miles, but who also had all of June and some of May free proved extremely difficult, and so, I will be doing this on my own. In a way I think it might be better this way. I will be forced to meet new people and I will be able to reflect on my own life in more peace. But that in itself is pretty scary, let alone the actual physical dangers that the Camino can hold.

On the other hand, you can’t have an adventure without a little danger!

–Emily–

Reflections on Italy

I love Italy. I love the food, I love the views, I love the art. Everything. There is one thing that I have been missing though. It is the one thing that has made me appreciate FIT immensely since I have been here, and that is our teachers.

I’ll admit that as a freshmen I really didn’t think that the teachers at FIT would be the absolute best. I mean, it’s not like we’re Harvard or Yale. But after three years I realized how wrong I was, and I didn’t comprehend how great they were until I didn’t have them anymore. This semester was the first time I have been exposed to teachers other than ours at FIT, and they were not all bad, but they just could not hold up to the quality back home.

I didn’t realize how much our FIT professors strive to make our lectures interesting and engaging, or how (relatively) easy it is to get help from them one-on-one. For example, I am currently taking a class called “History of Italian Fashion” and every time I walk into the classroom I find myself wishing that Lourdes Font was teaching the class. Professor Font is by far one of the smartest and most knowledgeable people I have ever met. She knows everything about fashion! I took her class “Costume and Fashion in Film” and despite it being a four hour long class on a Friday, it was one I constantly looked forward to attending. If you can make history of anything interesting to a twenty year old at six o’clock on a Friday, kudos.

As much as you may believe your professors are trying to drive you to the loony bin for all the work they give out (especially during finals and midterms), they are truly invested in your success. Linda Sands was my first draping professor and she scared the crap out of me for the first half of the semester. Every time she came by my table to check my work I felt like I was going to throw up. By the end of the semester I realized she was so harsh because she was pushing us to pay attention and make our garments perfect. Needless to say our whole class ended up loving her and we even threw her a surprise birthday party! I was so happy when I got her the next semester for pattern-making. She can be a little scary, but it’s just her mamma bear claws. I know that if I were to show up at her office with a project I was working on, she would stop what she was doing and help me solve my problem.

The professors at FIT are the greatest asset I didn’t realize I had until I lost them. They always say one of the most important things you should do while in college is make relationships with your professors. I always thought that sounded really intimidating. I mean, they’re adults with lives, and there are so many of us how could they possibly single each one of us out to care about? But trust me, when you find a class you love taught by a professor you really admire, you will create that relationship. Honestly, there have been so many professors at FIT who have helped me grow, academically as well as personally.

And don’t always trust ratemyprofessor.com. You’ll be surprised.

–Emily–

It’s Happening!

I have some exciting news, but first read this post from a few months ago.

Done? Okay cool. Well guess what? I did it! I’m an adult!! Not really. Actually I just got my act together and learned to cook a few meals…but whatever, same thing right? And I did it without even taking a cooking class! (Which, to be fair, is one of my biggest complaints about this study abroad experience. Most kids here only take about four classes and those will include “Italian Style Cooking” and “Pairing Food & Wine”. WHAT?! I’m taking six classes and none of them have anything to do with food. Ugh.) But like the proverbial baby turtle crawling its way back to the ocean, I persevered. Just look:

Parmesan zucchini - Healthy AND delicious

Parmesan zucchini – Healthy AND delicious

Roasted potatoes, zucchini and pasta with shaved provolone

Roasted potatoes, zucchini and pasta with shaved provolone

family burrito night!

family burrito night!

Just makin' risotto

Just makin’ risotto

I am now the fried rice QUEEN

I am now the fried rice QUEEN

Spinach and ricotta tortellini with chicken, fresh cherry tomatoes and shaved parmesan

Spinach and ricotta tortellini with chicken, fresh cherry tomatoes and shaved Parmesan

the classic pesto pasta with fresh cherry tomatoes and melted mozzarella

the classic pesto pasta with fresh cherry tomatoes and melted mozzarella

I mean come on, that’s pretty impressive considering the first post, no? Alright fine, they’re pretty much all pasta dishes, but what can I say? I’m in Italy! (Also we thought our stove was broken for like, two months. Turns out we had one of the knobs turned wrong….oops!) Pinterest and Epicurious are two fantastic websites (who are we kidding, just download the apps) for cooking inspiration. If I can do it, you can do it! (Unless you live in CoEd or Nagler. Then you won’t have a kitchen, so you can’t do it, soz mate.)

–Emily–

Pantomimes Anonymous

Two different Italians stopped me on the street today to ask for directions. On the one hand, I was proud because these authentic Italians mistook me as one of their own. I get a strange sense of satisfaction from being able to blend in with other cultures. However, this happiness quickly became became uncomfortable and embarrassing. This is because, wait for it….I can’t speak Italian!

Yes, my name is Emily Bennett, I’ve lived in Florence for three months and I still cannot speak Italian. I am so ashamed. For most people, the biggest worry while traveling abroad is whether they will be able to understand the locals. This, of course, leads to desperate hopes that most people will know English and even conversations stating how much easier and better the world would be if everyone just spoke one language (i.e. English). But what a horrific white-washing of culture that would be! Can you imagine living in a world where no one knows the subtle romantic quality of the French language, or the explosive passion of Italian, or even the mysterious Swahili?

I get it, it’s intimidating and embarrassing to attempt to speak a language that you haven’t mastered, especially to people who have been speaking said language since they were babies. Trust me, that is what got me in this situation in the first place. When I was studying in France, it was a whole different ball game. I had been studying French for six years before I was living on my own there, so I had a sturdy background of the language and was well-informed of the culture as well. This is the first time I have ever studied Italian, and I know what you are thinking, if I live in Italy, I should be learning the language twice as fast, right? No, wrong, completely wrong. Everyone here speaks English! At least the French have the decency to refuse to speak English to you! Obviously, it would have been much harder for me to survive here if people didn’t speak English, but I think I could have done it, and forcing me to attempt even the most broken Italian in every situation would have sped up my learning immensely. However, I am a self-conscious little baby when it comes to Italian. Too quickly will I revert to English, or not say anything at all. I go to the grocery store at least once a week and I think the only things I have ever said to any of the cashiers are “si” “no” and “grazie”.

Now that my time in Italy is coming quickly to a close, I wish I had pushed myself harder to learn the language and speak it. Honestly, it is a really horrible feeling to be in a country and unable to speak the language. It is embarrassing! Not to mention completely disheartening. I don’t mean for this post to be such a downer, but if you can learn anything from my little failure, really take the time to learn the language before traveling. It will make your time there much more rewarding, and the locals will definitely like you more. Also, don’t be afraid to forget about English and instead rely on whatever of the language you do know (miming helps too). It is much more endearing to see someone struggling to speak the language than one who just starts speaking English and assumes whoever they are talking to will understand.

Buon viaggio!

–Emily–

Health and Safety

As I write this, I feel like crap. My head feels like there is a table clamp squeezing it, my cough makes me sound like I’m dying of consumption, and my nose is simultaneously constantly running, yet so stuffed up I cannot breathe. I. Am. So. Sick. And I realized that while at college, there is no one to take care of you when you feel awful. Sure, there is Health Services, but they can’t really do much for the common cold or flu. Being sick alone sucks, especially if you have a million things to do! So, here are some tips to just avoid it happening altogether:

1. Drink water. Lots of water.

I’m sure you have heard this before, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you follow it. I’ll admit that I am horrible when it comes to this. I know I should be drinking about two liters (68 ounces) every day, but I definitely am not drinking the equivalent of four Poland Spring water bottles every day (yeah four). I suggest carrying around a water bottle that way water is always on hand, and it will result in you drinking more casually, not just when you are parched. For example, if you fill a 32 oz. Nalgene bottle before you leave for class and refill it in the afternoon then you will have had about two liters/ 64 ounces! Success!!

nalgene water

2. Fruit juice: it’s like water but more exciting

Even more healthy than water is fruit juice! I mean water is still necessary on its own, but fruit juices contain essential vitamins that water does not have. However, many bottled juices contain a lot of artificial sweeteners, and do not actually have as many vitamins as they would like you to think. There are a lot of “organic juice bars” in New York City that offer fresh made “pure” juice. Other than that I would stick to good old o.j. and apple juice. If juice is not really your favorite, a cool trick I have seen friends do is fill their water bottle (see above) with fresh sliced fruit. There are many completely natural options, and they are just slightly flavored, so it is easy to drink a lot. Also, there is something satisfying about knowing exactly what is going into your body.

fruit water

3. Do you even lift?

Exercise and I have a complicated relationship. I love the feeling after a really great workout, and I do use running as a way to deal with stress, but sometimes it is just so hard to get up off the couch and go to the gym. Luckily, FIT has two very conveniently placed gyms! The larger one is in the basement of the David Dubinsky student center and classes are offered for free! The second is in the basement of the Kaufman dorm. However, this one is only available to students who are residents. Also, FIT actually has quite a few athletic teams. Less than the average college, but more than you thought I bet. If exercising with your peers doesn’t sound so enticing, you can always do what I do and run along the Hudson river. It is a five minute walk from Kaufman and maybe 10 – 15 from 27th street. I prefer to run outdoors and the city has renovated the area along the river and made it perfect for runners. Another one of my alternative workouts is yoga…at home! You can really find anything on YouTube. Why pay for a gym membership again?

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4. Sleep is for the weak. Just kidding, I’m tired and going to bed. 

Sleep is super important for staying healthy. They say you need eight hours every night, but  more is better. Let’s be real though, who gets eight hours every night? My advice would be just to avoid all nighters at all costs. There will probably be nights throughout your college career where you have to stay up all night to finish a project, but try to make these happen as few times as possible. Your body, and your grades, will thank you. A project is always better when it is not rushed. The biggest thing is simply learning to not procrastinate, and instead of binge watching Orange is the New Black, writing that paper, or sewing that shirt. Something that actually helped me a lot was having a roommate was asleep every night by 11 o’clock. Because she went to bed earlier than I did, it forced me to go to bed earlier because I didn’t want to keep her up with lights or noise I was making. As the semester went on, I began to plan doing my work around being finished by 11 so she could sleep, and I ended up being much more productive, and sleeping more! Creating (and actually sticking to) a schedule can really make getting work done at a normal time much easier to accomplish.

–Emily–

Are You There Housing Gods? It’s Me, Emily.

I’d like to say that the stress that comes from trying to figure out housing goes away after freshmen year, alas I cannot. Finding a place to live is always complicated, especially in New York City. Basically you have three options:

1. Live at Home

If you, like many FIT students, live in the tri-state area, it is probably possible for you to commute to school everyday using the Metro North, LIRR or Subway. The biggest pro of this is free housing (assuming your parents are not going to charge you rent). That is huge when considering the high price of rent in the city, and dorming isn’t exactly cheap. However, living at home has its downsides. First of all, most people want to feel like they are getting away and starting their own life at college. Living at home doesn’t really create this type of fulfillment and may detract from learning to live on your own, i.e. cooking for yourself, cleaning up after yourself, doing laundry, etc. Also, commuting is extremely tiring. I interned and did one class over the winterim session one year and I would get home around 7 or 8 pm and just crash. Sometimes I wouldn’t even eat dinner I was so tired. The commute doesn’t even have to be that long, just the stress, and dealing with other stressed travelers, can really take it out of you. Finding time for a social life is demanding as well. You can’t just walk down the hall, or decide to meet down the block if you are living an hour away. In terms of stuff, FIT offers lockers to rent for $10. These are reserved for commuter students, although they go quickly, so get one asap. To be honest, I’ve never had a locker so I cannot say whether or not they are big enough for all the stuff every major has. Trust me, everyone has so much stuff at FIT.

2. Finding an Apartment

I’m going to be honest, I have never looked for an apartment before, but I’m terrified of it. I am hoping to start looking when I get home from Italy, and it all is very overwhelming. Apartments in New York are small, expensive and hard to come by. I wish I could give advice on this subject, but instead I’ll just have to ask for some! As soon as I start the process I will definitely let you know what I find. *Gulp*

3. Dorming

This is where I have my expertise. I have dormed for three years at FIT (except for here in Italy) and there are definitely pros and cons. There are four different dorms. Alumni, CoEd and Nagler are reserved (for the most part) for freshmen. Kaufman, the biggest, is mostly upper classmen. Generally the biggest pro of living in the dorms is how close it is to the school. It takes about three minutes from bedroom to classroom at any of the 27th Street (freshmen) dorms and about ten minutes from Kaufman. All the dorms also have laundry machines in the building, which is a rarity in NYC, and Kaufman has a (small) gym. Each building has a workroom which can be convenient for finding a space to work on projects without going into a room at the school. Alumni and Kaufman both have kitchens in the room, and therefore do not require meal plans. The biggest complaint for all dorms is overnight visitation. There are many steps for requesting an overnight guest and most students are fed up with it by the end of the first semester. The dorms are also very strict about alcohol as FIT is a dry campus, even if you are 21. Many students prefer Kaufman because it has newer facilities and is slightly more spacious (or at least seems that way because of the extremely high ceilings). Dorming is pretty much a toss up for pros and cons, but as a senior I am definitely hoping to move out on my own. Fingers crossed, I can find a place.

For any more specific information on the dorms I can answer any of your questions in the comments!

–Emily–

Fashion Advice from the Famous

As one of the world’s foremost fashion philosopher-sociologist-historian-genius, I thought I’d breakdown some of the most famous slices of wisdom from the leaders of the fashion world. (Ed note: I haven’t heard back from the board of directors of fashion geniuses of the world about my self-proclaimed title, but I’m sure they’re fine with it).

“Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and remove one accessory.”

— Coco Chanel

Now I’m not one to restrict anyone’s accessory affinity, I myself have been collecting rings from my travels and my fingers have filled up very quickly. However, I think of this more as look at yourself before you leave and remove anything that could interfere with your activities for the day. The fashion industry is all about getting work done and getting it done quickly. Personally, I have given up on bracelets (especially bangles) because all you hear all day is loud clacking as they bang against your desk when you type. Extremely infuriating. If the hat won’t stay on your head when it’s windy – ditch it. Basically, don’t wear anything that is going to require more time to deal with than it takes to put it on in the morning.

“Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.”

—Kate Moss

Completely untrue. Have you never been to Shake Shack? Or eaten a burrito before? I mean hello, CHOCOLATE. End of story.

“You can have anything you want in life if you dress for it.”

—Edith Head

I mean we are in the business of fashion people, this shouldn’t really be much of a shocker. It is important in any aspect of life to convince people you are whatever they need. As much as we try not to judge a book solely by it’s cover, that cover is the first message, and sometimes the only message, seen. Don’t waste an opportunity, be convincing.

“Fashion is the armor to survive the reality of everyday life.”

—Bill Cunningham

Let’s face it, fashion is a luxury. All that is necessary is something to keep you warm when it snows and protect you from the sun when it’s hot. Anything you want for the sake of having it is a luxury. It has been said that Vogue magazine is meant to create aspirational dreams, not be a catalog for the everyday woman, and that is what fashion is – an aspirational, dream-like distraction. Fashion is supposed to be fun because it’s fun to pick what you wear and how people will see you today! Did people wearing the Mao suit look like they were having fun? Embrace the frivolity of fashion.

“Fashion is what you’re offered four times a year by designers. And style is what you choose.”

—Lauren Hutton

Fashion designers do not determine style, they influence it. Style can only be created by the individual, that is what makes it so exciting to see someone with truly great style. If one designer determined style all you would have to do is dress head to toe in that label, but you don’t see anyone on the best dressed lists wearing head to toe Michael Kors or even Saint Laurent. Not to get to in depth with the trickle-up vs. trickle-down theories, but it is obvious in our current fashion climate that designers are taking much of their inspiration from the streets and the boundaries of who is who is influencing whom are blurred. Fashion trends fade, but style is eternal, right Yves?

“A little bad taste is like a nice splash of paprika. We all need a splash of bad taste—it’s hearty, it’s healthy, it’s physical. I think we could use more of it. No taste is what I’m against.”

—Diana Vreeland

With all the stuff available in fashion now, it is easy for clothing to start looking homogenous. Staying relevant in fashion is all about being new and different (even though we all know fashion runs on an ever quickening pendulum of trends that is catching up to us). I love people who can dress totally kooky and be completely confident. They make my life more interesting just by existing. Vreeland captured this spirit perfectly in her famed “Why Don’t You” column for Harper’s Bazaar. The worst thing you could be in fashion is boring.

Why Don't You

Why Don’t You

(and lastly, my personal favorite:)

“People will stare. Make it worth their while.”

—Harry Winston

–Emily–

To go or not to go: That is the question.

fit acceptance

So, letters have been sent out and you have either been accepted to FIT or not.

If you haven’t, I know it is extremely disappointing, but it is not the end of the world. Of course, it would be nice to have gotten in the first time, but I have many friends who have gone to a liberal arts school or community college for the first one or two years and then transferred to FIT. In fact, it is a great way to finish your liberal arts requirements so that when you do get to FIT you have more time for your major and minor classes, or to work or do an internship. Just be sure to check which liberal arts are required by FIT here. If there is one thing I have learned from meeting working people, it is that life will take you on a journey of many twists and turns, and that you will most likely end up doing something you never thought of on your way to your goal. I know it’s hard, but try to look for the silver lining and make this an unexpected, yet opportune moment to grow.

—————

Campus Outdoors

For those of you who did get that acceptance letter, congratulations! Now comes the herculean task of deciding whether or not to actually attend FIT. If this was the only school you applied to or got accepted to, the choice is a little easier. However, the majority of applicants have received acceptance letters to multiple schools. Here comes the fun / devastating part: making a decision. I personally love the pro/con list. It is a great way to visually map out what will give you the most benefits while also helping sort out your priorities. For example, will the fact that FIT does not have a fraternity/sorority culture make you feel like you are missing out on the college experience you want? Does going to football games on Saturday mornings take precedence over going to Central Park? It is important to be honest with yourself during this time as well. If you know you do not prosper under stress, it might be more prudent to attend a more rural school with a more slowly paced curriculum. There’s no shame in choosing a school that will help you gain more from your experience despite having a less recognizable name.information

One of the best ways to determine if the school is right for you is to attend accepted students days. (FIT’s admitted student days are April 5th and 6th this year.) Yes, you can read a lot about every school and it’s facilities on its website, but there is nothing that can make you feel the true personality of the school and its student body like actually being there. Here is an example:

My Mom made me apply to Syracuse University because she thought I should look at a school that was more of a traditional university rather than just the art schools I was applying to, even though I really didn’t think it was worth it. A few months later, acceptance letters arrived and as luck would have it I was accepted into FIT and Syracuse (plus a few others, but who’s counting amirite?) So began the long car rides and extensive tours, and I was begrudgingly dragged all five hours up to Syracuse despite my persistent decelerations of disinterest because, let’s face it, the school with the best program is FIT so I would obviously be going there. Well guess what? I got on campus and I flipping loved it! The wide open quads, the buildings that look like Harry Potter castles, the downtown arts warehouse, the quaint surrounding town. It was everything I had been told college would be like. And that’s where life got complicated.

fit01

I mean it's not really a fair comparison, sigh.

I mean it’s not really a fair comparison, sigh.

Obviously I chose FIT, otherwise you would not be reading this right now, but it was a hard and arduous decision. Mainly, it came down to price, location and curriculum. FIT had Syracuse beat on all of those, but I knew that by giving up Syracuse, I was giving up my chance at that “traditional college experience”. Now, as a rising senior, I do not regret my choice at all as I do not think that experience could out weigh the ones I have had here (and I have managed to visit my best friend at Penn State for many a football game and frat party, so no loss there), but I did realize the importance of experiencing the campus in person at least for a day in the decision making process. An open mind and self awareness are key for making the right decision.

Plus like I said before, your life will take you through many unexpected detours, so if you do end up deciding that the choice you made was not the best, you can always transfer!

–Emily–

Seeing vs. experiencing

If you read an interview with any photographer almost all will say that the biggest difference between shooting film versus digital is the immediate editing. Digital cameras let you take infinite number of pictures while film rolls have less than 50 exposures each. Many photographers say that this has changed the psychology of taking pictures because with film each shot had to be “worth” it and would therefore require more thought, while digital allows you to snap away to your heart’s content and just delete later on the computer (or more likely hoard all of them in a folder on your desktop never to be looked at again).

I’ve noticed this applies to how we experience life as well. We constantly want to prove we have done something, even if it is just to ourselves, and constantly being able to take pictures makes it so easy. But is it too easy? As someone who has been lucky enough to travel as much as I have, I have definitely realized the strongest memories that survive are not ones seen in photographs, but rather the ones where I was just hanging out and experiencing the moment fully.

I’m not saying “don’t take pictures”, obviously you want to have something to look at to remind you of amazing things you have done, I just think it is important to put your camera or iPhone or whatever away and just sit and be. Don’t let an amazing experience slip by because you were too busy seeing it through a screen.

–Emily–

Boys Boys Boys

Speaking of the misconceptions of the girls (and guys) at FIT, let’s talk about boys. I don’t know if you heard, but Cosmopolitan magazine recently named us the worst school to meet guys. Ouch, that sounds bad doesn’t it? Well let’s start from the beginning. I’m assuming since you are reading the admissions blog, you are at least a little interested in attending FIT, and I assume that you have looked up the basic facts about FIT already. Therefore, you probably know that FIT is 86% female and 14% male. Please don’t show up on your first day of class and act surprised that there is only one guy in each of your classes. This goes for gay guys too, although there is a larger percentage of gay men at the school than straight, it is not as drastic as many people believe. However, the idea that there are only gay men here is not true at all. I have many straight male friends at FIT and know several more casually.

That said, it is probably unlikely you will meet a significant other in one of your classes (however, my roommate met her boyfriend of two years in one of her graphic design classes at FIT, and they are probably the cutest couple I have ever met in my entire life). Fear not, you live in the center of New York City! Now before you go translating this into “I will meet my husband at [insert club name here] tonight” let’s slow down a bit shall we? I will admit to falling into the ridiculous train of thought for about the first week of experiencing nightlife in the city, but soon realized this is crazy, and once you go to a club you will definitely understand why. But this applies to bars as well! What are the chances you will meet the person you will spend the rest of your life with in a crowded room that is shaking with music so loud you can’t hear the person next to you and everyone is drinking in excess?

I do not mean to scare you; love does exist in New York City! I am a firm believer in “a watched pot never boils”, meaning that the more concerned you are with finding a guy, the less likely you are to going to find him. Personally, I think most of us attend FIT because we are concerned with our careers and want to succeed. This being said, it is not wrong to be focused more on your studies, networking and internships than on finding a guy. Don’t worry, it will happen – and probably someplace you would have never imagined.