Tag Archives: growth

Ode to New York

Being from the midwest, New York has changed me for the better.  Before coming to FIT or New York City, I would have never taken risks or stepped outside of my comfort zone.  I would have never been able to walk into an interview or even get offered said position.  I’m not afraid to speak my mind or stand up for what I believe in.  I have gained confidence above all.  New York can make you grow up really quickly.  Not grow up in a way that you’re looking at retirement plans, but growing up in a way where you figure yourself out.  You start to know what you want and what you don’t.  You now have that sense of freedom and independence.  People may say that you gain those things just by going to college, but New York is a different ball game.  Prepare yourself to begin an entirely new book in your life.  New York is the place where you become the person that you are meant to be.

“I believe in New Yorkers. Whether they’ve ever questioned the dream in which they live, I wouldn’t know, because I won’t ever dare ask that question.” — Dylan Thomas

Very literally…welcome to New York.  It’s been waiting for you.

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

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

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–

Summer Intensives

Summer Intensive programs are classes that anyone can take during the months of June and July. They are ideal for people who want to dip their toes into a new topic of study, but cannot afford (for either monetary or time constraints) to enroll in a full or part-time certificate program. The courses range from 3 to 10 days and touch on a variety of topics we learn here at FIT.

To see what courses are being offered this summer, click here!

The Center for Continuing and Professional Studies offers Certificate and non-credit programs that give additional and more specific training to those already in the industry.

–Emily–

#Nepal

Hey everyone,

Nepal_donation

With all the devastating occurs happening all around the world recently one that hasn’t been publicized as much as the Baltimore riots but should be is the earthquake that affected the people in Nepal. You may have seen it on Facebook recently that you can donate to the people there. Did you realize a lot of our students and staff at FIT are affected by this tragic event?

Coming from a small town in New Jersey you don’t always realize how many different people from all over the world you surround yourself with everyday when you are at FIT. More and more i have been noticing this walking through the hallways, sometimes you become so wrapped up in your own situation you forget that the people around you may be hurting.
So in the upcoming days i would like you to take a minute and think of a way you could help. It could be the smallest gesture by just saying a prayer or donating a dollar to the relief fund, or even giving someone who you see often in class some kind words of encouragement.

As for me i will be donating to UNICEF who vow to help the children of Nepal before, during an after this crisis.

“A devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake near Nepal’s capital city of Kathmandu has claimed more than 5,000 lives, caused thousands of injuries, and destroyed homes and infrastructure. Some 1.7 million children require humanitarian assistance, and UNICEF is on the ground working to provide critical aid to children and families.” You can donate today too! Just follow my link below.

https://www.unicefusa.org/donate/nepal-earthquake-help-children-now/24226?ms=sem_dig_2015_misc_20150425_google&initialms=sem_dig_2015_misc_20150425_google&gclid=COroycGWn8UCFWoV7AodpS8An

#helpnepal

Kailee

Finishing an Internship. Now What?

As the semester comes to a close, many students, including myself are finishing off our semester long internships.  While this is my first internship through the school, I think there are a few standard requirements to say goodbye to your internship and leave on a good note.  Here’s my advice:

  1. Thank you note.  This is pretty standard, but it is important that you thank your supervisor(s) for giving you this opportunity.  A handwritten note given on the last day of your internship is always better than an email.  You don’t want to just leave without something physically tangible.  Whether your internship was amazing or not what you expected, you still learned what you liked and didn’t like.  You got something out of it, whether it was this grand wealth of knowledge or information to contribute to your future best-selling novel about internships.  Who knows?
  2. A gift.  While a thank you note is pretty much required, a gift is not.  It is though a very nice gesture to show your appreciation for your supervisor.  Whether you’re getting Baked by Melissa cupcakes for the whole department, our an individual Crumb’s cupcake, show your appreciation for your higher ups.
  3. A letter of recommendation and/or reference.  One of the most important things about an internship experience is what you learn and who you meet.  Having a letter of recommendation that you can bring to future interviews is a massive asset.  Ask your supervisor kindly for a letter of recommendation when you leave your internship rather than 6 months down the road and 24 hours before your interview.  The same goes with a reference.  Some supervisors may not want to be bothered, so check with your supervisor first and ask them what sort of communication they are okay with.  Do they prefer a phone call or email?  Be sure to ask!
  4. End on a good note.  Many sayings derive from “you’re only as good as your last (insert word)”.  This goes for internships too.  Just because it’s your last day or week, that doesn’t mean you should slack off or not take on new projects.  Give it your all as if it was your first week.  Be sure to leave on a positive note so that #3 will turn out in your favor.
  5. Reflect on what you learned. Internships are all about the learning experience so reflect on what you gained from your semester.  Decide what you want from your next internship and if you changed your career path or mindset compared to the beginning of your internship.
  6. Update your LinkedIn. This goes hand in hand with #5.  While the internship is still fresh in your mind, update your LinkedIn with the type of assignments and tasks that you did at your internship.  It’ll be much easier now when it’s fresh in your mind compared to a year from now because you finally reset your password!

Happy end of the semester!
Ashley

You’re Here, Now What?

You’ve made it to New York!! Tall buildings, bright lights, how exciting! …Now what? All your friends and family are back home. Your roommate is kinda cool, but you two don’t exactly “click”. Despite New York’s reputation as one of the loneliest cities there are many ways to meet cool people!

If you are missing being an athlete and bonding with a team, you can look for inter-city sports teams. If venturing off-campus is a little too daunting for you, FIT also has classes anyone can attend including yoga, spin, kickboxing and open gyms for basketball.

A fantastic way to meet people and give back to your new home is by volunteering. Believe it or not, this megalithic city doesn’t just run itself. The City has a program set up to match volunteers with types of organizations they are interested in working with, like the environment, community/neighborhoods, health, education, etc. Volunteer Match is another organization that finds opportunities close to you (but you can also sort based on your interests).

New York is a city full of artists. If you want to expand your creativity or be inspired by others there are ample opportunities to see artists at work. A fun and safe environment to overcome stage fright is The Open Mic Downstairs – a great place to meet other actors, comedians, singers, etc. It is also only $3 if you want to just see talented people letting themselves go. If spoken word (with some comedy) is more your style “Bareburger Unplugged” is a place also meant to be a safe environment for artists to experiment, and they have some of the best organic burgers on the island. Another fun way to meet people is to go to a paint night.  Located all over the city, and almost every day, this is no pressure studio time (the paintings they give as the sample are more like guidelines I say).

It can be kind of awkward to start a conversation with a random person out of the blue, so the easiest way to do it is to have something to talk about right away, like something you have in common. The best way to have this is to attend events that are centered around shared interests. New York Comic Con is one of the biggest and most famous example, although tickets can cost hundreds of dollars and sell out within minutes. Meetup facilitates meetings of people with similar interests, and extend all through New York City, not just Manhattan. These groups are incredibly diverse with runners, a Capella singers, “foodie couples”, and Jewish parents of Astoria (I don’t know if that last one would apply to anyone reading this, but hey, FIT has an incredibly diverse student body!). The coolest “meetup” idea I’ve seen, which I totally want to try ASAP, is meal sharing. Eat With puts up times that chefs in your area are hosting dinner parties or cooking classes. Not only is it a great way to have a fantastic, authentic  meal, but it is an awesome resource for students who cannot get home for the holidays, but still want to have a group meal.

For even more ideas try Time Out NY. Do any of you have suggestions?

–Emily–

Let’s Get Creative!

“The Foundation Year”

If you have been applying to other arts universities, you will recognize this as the first year of school that is dedicated not to your major of choice, but rather a general sampling of a majority of the visual arts mediums. The idea is to allow students to experience as many forms of the creative process as possible, before they decide what they want to focus in for the rest of their time at college, and potentially the rest of their lives.

The fact that FIT does not have a foundation year was actually one of the main draws for me when I was a senior in high school. Back then I thought the foundation year seemed like a waste, since I was already so sure of what I was going to do for the rest of my life (and we all know how that turned out – cue self-deprecating eye roll). I never like to be wrong, but I must admit that in hindsight sixteen-year-old me may have been slightly too self-assured.

Honestly, one of the hardest parts of FIT for me was continually pushing myself creatively. Of course, projects require a certain amount of creativity, but it is usually restricted by some guidelines or simply time restraints. The workload at FIT is exhausting, so it can be very difficult to  carve out time for personal and uninhibited creation. Even when I had time, I was usually too tired from all the work I had just finished to focus and push myself to put in the effort to do something extra. Looking back, I think a foundation year could have been really effective in learning to hone original thought and experiment with unexpected materials and techniques. It would be especially cool if we could pick our own classes – like a “create your own foundation year”. I definitely would have taken some photography classes, experimental materials, classical drawing for anatomy, film production, ceramics, figure drawing (actually I did take this class my first semester of Fashion Design and it was great and I would totally do it again), I mean the list could go on.

Realistically, there is not enough time in the Art & Design school’s curriculum for such an idea, but the huge wealth of specific information we receive here is one of the largest benefits of coming to FIT. Yet, I wonder if I have missed out on some of the most creatively fruitful years of my life. I have found that the most exciting work does not come from knowing, but instead not knowing and saying, “Hey I have the crazy idea and I don’t have a clue how to make it work but let’s just try it!” Whether or not you end up attending FIT, I hope you keep this in the back of your head. Grades and classes are important of course, but I bet the work you will be most proud of is the stuff that you had no idea if it would work or not, but experimented and failed until it did.

–Emily–

#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