The subway is like an alternate universe. A place where all riders are kind of forced into a community, usually different from the one in which they reside. One in which an internship, or job can be secured by a simple smile or compliment (yes, this actually happens. I met a girl who complimented this nicely dressed guy who ended being the VP at Donna Karen & offered her an internship).
All riders know that we are just puns at the mercy of the transit gods. These gods, are inaccurate and imperfect, regardless of bitter cold and the sweltering heat. These are the times our true character is tested. It’s a place where the virtue of patience is sometimes thrust upon us, however unwelcome. This moment of clarity usually comes exactly when one realizes how unethical it would be to push the lady with the walker out of your way, even if that means being late to a morning class.
The world is a hard place. If anyone knows that, it’s New Yorkers. We are often such in a rush it becomes easy to forget what to means to be kind. So, my advice is this: smile, take your headphones out once in a while and pay a compliment to a fellow traveler. I figure that if one imposes this way of thinking on the train, these skills can be transferred across all areas of life.
A positive attitude is an asset in the fashion world. As fashions students, we are bombarded with images and ideas that people in our industry are mean, nasty and sneaky (The Devil Wears Prada, anyone?) Yet, whenever industry professionals talk about interns, new employees, etc., they always make it a point to mention just how stifling a bad attitude can be. Earlier this week I sent a short email to a professor. I don’t know her that well, but I knew that she is from the Philippines and her country recently experienced one of the worst natural disasters in recent history. So, I sent a brief message letting her know that I was sending positive energy to her family and friends during the aftermath of the typhoon. She responded with a sincere and appreciative message, thanking me time out of my busy schedule to send her a message ( her words, not mine’s.)
I’m not a saint, by any means. Often, you will find me aggressively pushing through the crowds like everyone else or trying to fine solace in chaos that is the train with my headphones unreasonably loud, writing or reading. But i try not to give off unfriendly vibes, bad to maintain a smile even when my train is late. I’ve learned the importance of building and maintaining community. Constantly being a source of negativity is bad for the community.From Harlem to mass transit to FIT, I try not be a source for bad energy.
FIT is our community, and we can support each other, even if they’re just small acts. Words travel fast in small communities, and before you know it, everyone in the NY fashion community will know that you were the girl/model/ intern with the short temper or rude remarks. No one wants to be THAT girl. A bad attitude is never fashionable, consequently, a smile is always in style.
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