Tag Archives: Tips

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!


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!


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?


Love Your Library!

The FIT library is more than just a room with bookshelves; it has more resources than most students realize! Of course, the Gladys Marcus Library houses an impressive collection of print books pertaining to fashion, art, architecture, etc., but it also has books on every subject including history, psychology, and literature. There is also a whole section dedicated to DVDs of movies (classic as well as modern) and TV shows. In addition, if there is a book or journal that you cannot find in-house, FIT is part of the Interlibrary Loan system, so you can get anything you need! Before heading up there, here is some information about the various services offered:

See, we have stacks too!

See, we have stacks too!

Even a ton of books about economics

Even a ton of books about economics

Quiet Study Space

Quiet Study Space

Picture FilesPicture Files

The Picture Files are relatively new to the library. You can browse through the extensive collection freely and even check out up to 20 images at once! These can be extremely helpful for Illustration and Fine Arts students who need references. We also have access to the FitDigital Image Library, which is a digital collection of images from the Museum at FIT, the Special Collections, student and staff work, images used in Art History classes and the Designer Files collection.


Vogue spreads from the 2000s vs the 1930s

Vogue spreads from the 2000s vs the 1930s

Magazine Archive

The Gladys Marcus library subscribes and keeps an archive of numerous magazines, mainly focused on design. The periodicals can be checked out for two hours either for reading or doing research. FIT also has a backlog of Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar dating back to the very first issues. These are collected in books chronologically and can be looked at in the library at your leisure. We also have access to the Vogue Archives online that can be extra useful when you search within the collection for specific words or phrases. Designer Files can also be checked out. These are tear sheet collections of centered on a specific designer.

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Art Reference Collection

The Art Reference collection has the most inspiring books in the library. It is pretty much all of those beautiful coffee table books that are too expensive to buy yourself. The subjects range into all types of design, not just fashion. These books cannot be taken out of the library, but thanks to the scanners and copiers you can bring the images home.

Special Collections

The Special Collections houses over 500,000 books, periodicals, illustrations and designer scrapbooks. Any student or outside researcher can make an appointment, but you have to request a subject or time period you want to look at, you cannot just browse like in the Art Reference Collection or Picture Files.


In addition to print collections, the library subscribes to online databases that are incredibly helpful for research papers. The databases range across all types of topics from fashion history and forecasting to psychology and international trade. The FIT library’s website collects all of the databases in one place so they are easy to find and use. These databases are trustworthy sources for information and can be accessed at any time through the library website.


StyleCat is the main search engine used in the Gladys Marcus library. It can be accessed anywhere via the library website, but there are also computers stationed around the library with it open. It’s pretty basic: you search one or more terms and a list of all the books in the collection that relate pop-up with the call number and how many copies there are and which are checked out.

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FIT also uses the stairwells of the library as a gallery showcasing student and faculty work

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A main work area in the library

A friendly student librarian

A friendly student librarian

If you have more questions about these services, a librarian is always available to help at the desk or you can call 212-217-4400. If you have a question when the library is closed we have this handy feature called Ask a Librarian where you can call/text/send a message.


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?