Category Archives: Student Life

Orientation Experiences

Orientation officially kicks off tomorrow morning and I couldn’t be more excited!  As a Student Ambassador, I lead a small group of new students and help them adjust to their new home here at FIT!  Whether it’s a question about classes or about dorming, I’m here to help and take the students to info sessions throughout the week.

It was only 2 years ago that I was a new student entering orientation.  I had no idea that it would be one the best weeks of the year and that I would later join the Student Ambassador family.  I had no idea that one of the people that I met during orientation week would become my best friend and 2 years later, I’d be a bridesmaid in her wedding.  I had no idea how valuable the information that I learned throughout the week was.

After orientation I recognized faces in my classes and on 27th St.  I instantly had thousands of conversation topics that I could discuss about our experiences during orientation.  The adjustment to FIT, college, and New York wasn’t easy, but orientation began it all.  After orientation, I felt like I could begin to call New York my home.

To view the orientation Fall 2015 Orientation schedule: https://www.fitnyc.edu/files/pdfs/EMSS-NSO-Fall2015-081215.pdf

Ashley

How to Handle Being Sick

While being sick on its own isn’t fun at all, add on school, work, and internships AND being away from home, and it can seem like a hopeless recipe for disaster.  I for one, hate missing class or a day of work or an internship and even worse, I hate letting my boss or professor down.  Sometimes you just get really really sick because you are human and you have to take a day to get better and not get everyone around you sick.  I have some tips for when you have to make the dreaded call about missing an important days’ work.

  1. Let your professor or boss know as early as possible.  While you may only wake up 10 minutes before class starts, let your professor know immediately.  If you tell someone in your class to tell your professor, that can come off as irresponsible.  The professor may not check their email until later but it’s important to be as professional as possible.
  2. Find out what you missed if you’re missing class.  If it is a class where you MUST ask the professor what you missed, then so be it, but most of the time it’s much easier and less of an annoyance for your professor if you ask a responsible friend.
  3. Just because you missed class, that doesn’t mean that you have an excuse to not have something done on time.  If you missed more than one day of class, then you have an actual excuse, but if you missed one day because you were feeling under the weather, you still have six more days to get your work accomplished before next week’s class.
  4. Don’t miss exam days unless you’re incredibly ill or if it’s an emergency.  Sometimes the professor may not let you make up an exam or they may give you a harder exam (doesn’t always make sense).  If you have a cold and a headache and feel crummy, it’s best to get the exam over with and crawl back into bed.  With this being said, isolate yourself from other people to prevent others from getting sick.  While it is slightly selfish to go anywhere while being sick, it will cause greater stress for your professor and yourself if you have to take an exam at a later date or not at all.
  5. Thank your professor or boss for being understanding.  Most of the time, your boss or professor will understand your circumstances and be accommodating if missing class is unlike your behavior.  If you go out of your way to thank them, they will appreciate it even more, especially since you were just bedridden for a couple days.  A little kindness goes a long way.

    Ashley

Apartment Update

So I have officially been living in my new apartment for about a month and a half and I’m in love.  I was skeptical at first and I was nervous about coming back to New York after being home for a week but I’ve fallen back into the swing of things and all is well.  I have some advice as far as apartment planning and the things I did right and the things I did wrong.

  1. You don’t have to buy all your furniture at once.  When you are making that trek out to IKEA for the first time to get all of your furniture, get the essentials such as a bed and a place to put things like clothes and a TV.  You don’t need a couch and a table and chairs right away.  If you wait a little while, you’ll have more money in your pocket and it’ll be less of a financial burden.
  2. Buy toilet paper and paper towel in bulk.  No one wants to make a special trip to buy several rolls of toilet paper or paper towel, so see if your parents or someone that is helping you move can bring a good ol trusty pack from Costco or Target.
  3. Why didn’t I buy a vacuum?!  I am in desperate need of one, especially being on hardwood floors.  You don’t think you need it, but you do.  Dust galore.
  4. A good roommate will make or break your apartment experience.  I am thankful enough to live with one of my best friends and I couldn’t be happier.  We already know how each other live and we don’t have to tiptoe around each other to try to live normally.  We are like minded in our organizational habits and our lifestyles.  A good roommate truly makes all the difference.
  5. Ask questions ahead of time.  How do you pay for rent each month?  If there is an issue with the apartment do I call the super or outside maintenance and how much will it cost?  When will the rent checks be cashed each month?  How will I know if you received my payment?

Hope this helps you on your apartment adventures!
Ashley

Conquering the LIRR

For those of you who aren’t from Long Island and the idea of walking into Penn Station with an end destination but no idea how to get there, I’m here to help.  This past weekend I took the LIRR for the FIRST time to go to my best friend’s bridal shower.  I was absolutely terrified, especially because I had to transfer trains at Jamaica which before coming to New York, I thought only existed in the Caribbean…

So the biggest help will be your friends that are from Long Island.  They will give you the best advice as to how to take on the train system.

  1. Figure out where you’re going
  2. Use the LIRR Trip Planner to see what trains you need to take http://lirr42.mta.info/
  3. When you arrive in Penn, follow the signs to the LIRR.  You have the option to use the ticket window to buy your tickets, the ticket machine similar to refilling your MetroCard, buying the tickets online, or buying them on the train (more expensive).
  4. Tickets will vary in price depending on the day and time that you are traveling, which you can view on the trip planner.  You can purchase single ride, round trip, monthly passes and several other options
  5. Once you purchase your ticket, you will look up at the big screen that tells you what time your train is arriving and what track it is on.  If you followed step #2, you will know what train you are taking.  Anywhere from 4-12 minutes prior to departure, the screen will notify you of what train your track is on and you as well as 50+ other people will all rush in the same direction.  Follow their lead if you are going on that train!
  6. If you have to transfer at Jamaica, the connection train will always be across the track upon arrival or a few minutes later.  If you are not taking the connection train, then you must go and find your train.  Ask the people around you as well as employees.  They know best!
  7. While on the train the conductor will come around and hole punch your ticket and return it to you depending on the type of ticket that you have and your destination.  Be sure that if you are on a round trip, don’t lose your ticket coming back to the city!

That pretty much covers it!  Good luck on the LIRR!

Ashley

Fun in the Sun – June

Each month, I’ll break down some of the top events happening for the month in NYC.  Here are some of the events that I’m looking forward to:

June 1st – Taste of Times Square: Some of the top : in the city ready to serve you with tastes from around the world! More info

June 11th – BINGO in Bryant Park: Need I say more?  More info

June 13th – The Games: An event in motion – literally.  Games and events all day long to get you up and active.  Participate with friends or meet people there!  Want to participate?  More info

June 20th – Mermaid Parade: People channeling their inner Little Mermaid on Coney Island.  What a juxtaposition! More info

June 21st – Solstice in Times Square: Yoga sponsored by Athleta in the middle of Times Square.  What a sight! More info

June 23rd-28th – Pride Week: One of the most celebrated events of the summer.  It’s incredible to see a city come together. More info

All Summer – Bryant Park Shakespeare: Various Shakespearean plays performed in the park!  More info

All Summer – HBO Bryant Park Summer Film Festival: Movies every Monday in Bryant Park starting June 22nd!  Pull up a chair and enjoy in the summer sunset.  More info

All Summer – GMA Concert Series: The biggest names in the music industry performing in the heart of Manhattan in Central Park.  More info

-Ashley

Goals for the Summer

Now that the school year has officially ended, it’s time to look ahead towards brighter days!  I’m staying in the city this summer and interning.  I was only able to see my family and be at home for 9 days and now I won’t see them until winter break.  It’s going to be really tough but I just have to focus on school and interning and bettering myself.  With that in mind, I figured I’d share some of my goals for this summer!

  1. Have a successful internship and learn from my experiences.
  2. Explore New York City!  I have a massive list of places that I want to see, restaurants that I want to try, and fun locations to visit.
  3. Step outside of my comfort zone whether it’s at my internship, a new food, or just in everyday life.
  4. Continue to stay active and improve my health.
  5. Relax and have fun.  This one is going to be very difficult for me, which I know sounds weird.  I spend my entire year completely focused 24/7, rarely spending time away from my desk or photo studio, so now is the time.
  6. Educate myself.  There are plenty of skills that are applicable to my major but I am not allowed to take as part of my curriculum here at FIT.  So I am going to be using FIT’s resources and lynda.com – an online video portal with hundreds of videos that teach you about your desired topic.  I’m going to educate myself on Adobe Software such as InDesign and Illustrator as well as marketing strategies and how they’re applicable to photography.

What are some of your summer goals?

Ashley

Notes From the 6 Train: Implementing Grace (When Life Changes Without Your Permission)

I just returned from Boston where I attended my best friend’s graduation. Look how beautiful she looked!

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I am beyond proud of my her, she’s essentially my sister, as I’ve known her since we went to kindergarten together. She’s not just good-looking, but also incredibly intelligent & passionate. This fall she will continue her education at Berkeley to get her Phd.

I was slated to graduate this May, but as I am a transfer student, I was set back by just a semester. So I will be graduating in the fall (yay!). For a while, I was quite upset that I wasn’t graduating “on time.” I felt like I was failure, and was ashamed about telling people, as there is stigma about graduating “late” (which I’m not sure what that means since there are significant amount of students who graduate undergrad in more than 4 years.)

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But, as mentioned before, not only am I “okay,” with the fact that I have a remaining semester, but I am thankful for it. There are programs, people and things I would am able to do that are necessary for (that have and will continue to mold my life) if I graduated this May. This was certainly about a bigger plan, divine order if you will.

This, learning to deal with unforeseen circumstances with grace, is one of the most important lessons I’m learning, which has been spearheaded by college events. If I hadn’t, I would have been at my soul sister’s graduation reeling with hidden jealously and disappointment. However, knowing, confidently that both of our paths are leading us to passionate,full lives of magic and love, I was able to be in present and overwhelming proud with a heart of joy.

Sometimes, we set plans and things change. And that’s okay. A quote I heard recently and identified with a lot is “we make plans & God laughs,” that’s life. Let go of the reins and enjoy the ride.

All Things Color, Love & Fashion,
Ayanna Lane

Yes, It Was My Way

 Yesterday I took my last final ever. It was probably my last day of school ever as well. It’s kind of crazy how fast college has gone by, and a little scary to think about such a huge change. However, I am happy with my four years here. These mixed feelings are hard to sum up, so I’ll just let Frank help me explain (yes, it’s cheesy, but just be glad I’m not using the “as we go on, we remember all the times we had together” song):

 

I’ve lived a life that’s full. I’ve traveled each and every highway; And more, much more than this, I did it my way

I think the most important aspect of my college career was that I tried everything I could and got to experience as much as possible. Salsa club, film critique, tennis, study abroad in Italy, walking the Camino de Santiago, fashion design, fabric styling, field biology, french conversation in Paris, the list can go on. This allowed me to meet so many interesting, lovely people and become excited about things I otherwise would not have even known about.

Regrets, I’ve had a few; But then again, too few to mention. I did what I had to do, and saw it through without exemption

I think people are most successful when they put their all into something, whether it be a project or an outfit. Sure, there may be some failures along your road, but I’ve heard some of the most accomplished people say they were not successful until they had their first huge failure. Failure is not something to be ashamed of, as long as you didn’t go down passively. If you’re going to fail, fail with all your might.

Yes, there were times, I’m sure you knew, when I bit off more than I could chew. But through it all, when there was doubt,  I ate it up and spit it out. I faced it all and I stood tall;  And did it my way

Personally, I viewed my biggest “failure” as when I realized I couldn’t keep doing the Fashion Design program, and that what I grew up thinking was my future was in reality not going to happen. At the time it seemed like the end of everything – my ambition, my dreams and goals – however, looking back now I am glad I switched out of Fashion Design. It was too much stress for me and I cannot imagine where I would be now mentally if I had stayed on. Deciding to switch majors was one of the hardest choices I had to make so far, but I’m glad I continued to my Bachelor’s and found a new path.

I’ve loved, I’ve laughed and cried. I’ve had my fill; my share of losing. And now, as tears subside, I find it all so amusing

FIT has certainly brought me a fair share of laughter and tears. I have made some of the craziest, silliest, best friends in the world over the past four years, and done some ridiculous and completely unforgettable things. On the flip side, if you ask my mom, I’m sure she could regale you with stories of late night crying phone calls and exasperated, endless discussions about my future, but looking back now it’s hard to remember those bad times. I would say don’t stress so much about making decisions and going crazy over little upsets, but it is hard to realize that in the moment.

For what is a man, what has he got? If not himself, then he has naught. To say the things he truly feels; And not the words of one who kneels. The record shows I took the blows – And did it my way!

You just have to do work that you can be proud of, and put your all into it. There are going to be obstacles and mistakes along your journey, I can guarantee it, so don’t worry about if it is going to happen, just know it is so important to not let those hardships stop you. And don’t be afraid of change, because change is not the end, it is not failing.

If you are a graduating senior in high school or college, I hope you feel as fulfilled as I do as you look back on your time thus far. And if you are facing a new chapter in your life, I hope my cheesy quote-advice will help reassure you as you begin a new path on your adventure.

 Thank you so much for reading my posts for the past two years!

–Emily–

Professor Beware

Having a good professor can make or break a class. There are certainly a range here at FIT, as anywhere else. I have found most of my professors as extremely helpful, knowledgeable, and interesting. I will admit to checking sites like ratemyprofessor.com as soon as teachers were announced, and I’m sure you will too.

However, you have to be careful with websites like this. First of all, ratings are not necessarily the best indicator of what a teacher will really be like. Many times people just use rating sites to complain when they did not get along with a professor, or feel like they were not being treated fairly whether it is true or not. Hopefully the teacher will have many reviews and you can judge for yourself if they seem reliable.

I think feedback for the professors and the school is a great tool if said feedback is honest and sincere, and I encourage students to rate their teachers (fairly, of course). I just went back and rated every teacher I had for my bachelors degree. That being said, these comments are not guarantees and I have often found my experience with a teacher to be completely opposite of what most people wrote, for better or worse.

Do you use ratemyprofessor.com or other sites like it? What experiences have you had with them?

–Emily–

How to Celebrate Finals…#MadSqEats

If you are reading this, hopefully that means you are not procrastinating and that you are actually DONE WITH FINALS!  First off, CONGRATULATIONS!  You made it through!  While many people have different ways of celebrating something, I celebrate with food, so today I went down in 80 degree weather to Madison Square Park for Madison Square Eats.  For those of you who have never been or never heard of Madison Square Eats, it takes place every year and about 20 food vendors set up booths in the park.  You can have everything from hand rolled sushi to a soft pretzel to tacos.  The world is your oyster (they probably have oysters too…).  It is such a fun atmosphere to be in especially when celebrating the end of something.  I got myself some gluten free spring rolls from Two Tablespoons and a Perfect 10 cookie from Momofuku Milk Bar, both healthy options.  For more information head to http://urbanspacenyc.com/mad-sq-eats/.  Eat up and enjoy!  Happy end of the semester!

Madison Square Eats - Karlie's Kookie Madison Square Eats - Two Tablespoons

Ashley