Category Archives: Campus Life

Roommate Contracts

Hi everyone!

If you’ll be dorming at FIT there’s a good chance you’ll have a roommate or two or three! One of the mandatory things your RA will have you do is sign a roommate contract, basically agreeing to how you plan to live together. It can be hard knowing what to talk about before moving in with future roommates if you’ve never had any, so here are some of my tips.

  1. Ground rules

I don’t like surprises so I usually ask my roommates to text if they have a visitor and I do the same. Also we usually let each other know if we won’t be home for the night or if we’re traveling – which is also a safety measure. It’s good to talk about things like when you typically go to sleep and wake up, especially in a small dorm room! Anything else you feel passionate about is good to address ahead of time, wether it be dish washing policy or on overnight guests.

  1. Household supplies

It’s good to figure out how you intend to split or divide the buying of household supplies. I’ve done both “I buy toilet paper then you buy next” as well as just going 50/50 on expenses. If you want to take the 50/50 route, the app Splitwise makes it really easy – I’ve been using it since freshman year and it has been great for both household stuff and for when I travel with friends. Deciding how you’ll handle household shared expenses can help make sure you never run out of toilet paper.

On the flipside, I would say someone should own things that don’t get used up outright – splitting the cost of physical items up front may be cheaper in the moment, but when it comes time to move out it’s hard to decide who keeps the coffee maker. For my freshman year dorm, I bought all the kitchen stuff and my roommate bought all the bathroom items. This way when we moved out we knew who was taking what.

  1. Cleaning and upkeep

Some people like to have a cleaning calendar where you trade off week to week, but personally my schedule has always been kind of wild so I usually agree with my roommate to clean up after ourselves, and then give the dorm/apartment a good cleaning once a week or so. Others like the set schedule of cleaning periodically. As for doing dishes, I like to have a different set of dishes than my roommate so I always remember to wash mine. If I see my bowl in the sink, I know that it’s mine to clean! To prevent creatures moving in, it’s best practice to wash dishes before going to bed every night.

Obviously there is so much more to discuss with your roommate before moving in, but make sure to iron out what you expect in terms of ground rules, money and cleaning. These are easy pain points to avoid by discussing up front!


Working While in School

Hi all,

Today marks 1 month of working my full time job! I’ve enjoyed my time so far, and am optimistic about growth and learning in the future. While I am working full time, I still have a few remaining classes at FIT. It has been interesting balancing a full time position with two classes, but thankfully the workload of both has been manageable. Although it can be tough going to school after a full day of work, meeting up with classmates to have dinner before has made it much more bearable. I think as the semester goes by however I’ll hit some snags – so far I haven’t needed to stay late at work or wanted extra time in the labs at school. There will definitely be some adjustments when that comes along.

I’ve had a lot of returning-education students ask if you can work full time while attending FIT for Production Management. Honestly, the only reason I am able to this semester is the fact that I only have 2 classes remaining. Up until now, I’ve needed at least one weekday on campus to accommodate all the classes. Production Management is a very hands on major, and taking online classes is not an option for the core curriculum and related area classes. Typically there is a night class option, so technically you could go after a day of work, but it can be hard to align your schedule so all 4 or 5 classes you need to take are spaced out just so. In other semesters, I could be a full time student and work 30-35 hours a week, but typically I would have a shift or two on the weekend, or a jam packed schedule. If you commit to it, you can do it, but I definitely struggled at times!

Working a lot of hours while also going to school is possible, but not easy!


What to Major in for Product Development

Hi everyone!

Recently I was asked what the difference between majoring in Production Management at FIT versus majoring in Fashion Business Management with a concentration in Product Development is, and I thought I would share my view on the pros and cons to both!

When I was in high school, I thought I would attend FIT for Fashion Business Management, one of our biggest majors. I intended on being a buyer, and selecting the assortment for stores. However, what I couldn’t have foreseen at the time was my enjoyment in the process of making those products to be sold. I ended up in Production Management by truthfully falling into it, but I love it! It has provided me so many interesting experiences and insights. If you are deciding between the two majors, here are some key differences to help you select what will be best for you.

Production Management is much smaller than Fashion Business Management (FBM), so we all get to know each other and the professors pretty well. I have enjoyed networking with fellow students, and having professors that know my name and face. However, since we are smaller, sometimes the class offerings can be more limited than FBM, which runs many more sections of a class than the 2 options Production has. Additionally FBM has more major-wide contests and specific opportunities, as well as more study abroad options. Also, you can’t hide in a small major – we all know each other and know who is skipping class!

I think the main content difference between FBM and Production Management is that FBM covers a much wider variety of jobs in the apparel industry, where as PM trains you to be the best product developer or production manager. Graduates of both programs can (and do) hold jobs in both the front end (sales, buying) and back end (development and manufacturing), but the methods of study are pretty different. At the end of the day, I think it comes down to if you like the nitty-gritty, hands on, too much information on a single topic (PM), or a broader, more balanced view of multiple aspects in a more conceptual way (FBM).

As a kid, I was always sewing and crafting and plotting and planning. I liked reading craft books to learn how to loop rugs, bake clay figures, or sew a hammock. Even if I had no intention of crocheting a teddy bear, I still wanted to know how they did it. I think this is why I like Production Management so much. We get to examine the entire process of making something so we can optimize it. We take pattern making classes, sewing classes, textile and testing classes to see how things are done. However, you can be an amazing product developer or production manager, and never have sewn a stitch in your life! Many FBM students prefer how the program is much more broad, doesn’t require staying in the sewing labs late, and has more information on the sales side of the industry. The Product Development specialization from FBM gives you the necessary knowledge to start a career in that area.

At the end of the day, if you are attending FIT with the ultimate goal of being a Product Developer, both FBM and Production Management are great choices. I think the main differences are size and range of topics. If you want a broader understanding, more flexible class schedule, additional programs and study abroad choices, and to be more conceptual/less down and dirty, FBM’s Product Development specialization might be a better choice. If you want a more tailored, close knit, deep dive into the entire process instead of just an overview, with hands on work and experience in a multitude of facets in garment creation, Production Management might be more fun for you.

No path in fashion is a straight one, and you never know where you might end up!


“Fashion” School

Hi everyone!

Whenever I tell people I go to the Fashion Institute of Technology, they usually jokingly ask “how’s my outfit?”. A lot of people assume that everyone that goes to a fashion school is a fashionista, but that couldn’t be further from the truth at FIT! This school has so many types of people pursuing many different goals, and not always in fashion. We have majors like Toy Design, Advertising and Marketing, Interior Design, and other programs that do not center around apparel. We have students who routinely dress to the nines, and others who wear whatever they found in their closet first (me most days). One thing I love about FIT is that everyone is focused on their own outfit. I have worn pajamas to school and no one has batted an eye. You don’t need to have a massive closet, shop every weekend, or wear designer to fit in. People all have their own personal styles.

When I first got to FIT it was strange going from being known for liking fashion to being way out-dressed, even at 8am. I at first felt the pressure to adapt and be more on trend, but over time I realized that literally no one cares what I wear. I now enjoy curating things I like to wear. Comfort is more important to me than anything else, and I enjoy having unique jeans.

Another assumption is that fashion is frivolous. I would strongly disagree with this! Everyone needs to wear clothing. Why not make it fun? And if not fun, why not make it perform better, last longer, be better for the environment? FIT has “technology” in the name for a reason. During my time here I have taken 3d Modeling (which some day might replace the extra and wasteful samples required), Quality Management (making sure your clothes do what you want them to), and spent time in the sewing and testing labs learning what it takes to turn fibers like cotton and nylon into tee shirts and windbreakers.

FIT is more than just fashion. Between the 3 schools that make up FIT, we have 29 programs, 18 of which are not related to apparel. There are so many ways to express creativity and innovation at our school. And clothes are just the beginning!


What’s the Real Cost of Attending?

Hi everyone!

Recently I was asked how much food for the semester would cost roughly. It all depends what and where you eat, but it’s a good thing to consider! NYC is an expensive place, and it’s good to know what expenses you might encounter when attending. Below I’ve listed out some expenses you might want to consider.

Estimated Food

If you’re on the meal plan, it’s pretty easy to calculate based on the amount of meals you usually eat in a day. You can find that official information at this link.

Personally, I have not been on a meal plan during my time at FIT. I go grocery shopping about once a week at Trader Joe’s and a local shop, and spend about $120 a month on pretty much everything. This will definitely differ person to person, and if you eat out often that can raise the price. A to-go meal near campus is typically $7-12 and a sit down meal is about $20 including tip. But of course, there’s also a McDonald’s near campus as well as a dollar slice place (one slice of pizza for $1). Once again, every person will spend different.

Estimated Travel

Uber and taxis aren’t cheap in the city, but public transit can add up too. An unlimited monthly metro card is $127, and single rides are $2.75 as of time of writing. However there are plenty of things to do around campus within walking distance!  Freshman year I walked to my part time job from the dorms.  It’s a free “gym” membership – although we do have a real gym on campus you are free to use.

Also, if you live outside the NYC metro area you might want to travel home for holidays and to visit. There’s always flying, but if you live on the east coast many bus companies offer service to Boston, DC and other hot spots. I go home for $55 round trip using one of the many bus services in NYC.

Estimated Learning Materials

I would recommend contacting your professor to see if you really do need the textbook. Sometimes, there are just a few key pages that the professor will photocopy and hand out to the class. Some semesters I didn’t spend a penny on books, others I needed to buy a $100 code to do homework. It is hard to estimate how much you will need to spend on books, but if you buy used books from a friend or online, you can save. Many FIT Facebook groups have students selling past text books for many popular classes.

FIT does offer free tutoring services too. This, coupled with the Writing Studio (an on campus service helping you refine your essays and work) is a great resource provided that you don’t need to spend money on. All of your professors will have office hours where you can go to them directly with questions and for help.

Additionally, especially in the art school, the bulk of your expenses will be for materials and supplies. These depend on your sources and your tastes.

Estimated Entertainment

Movie tickets can run up to $15 in the city, but look for student discounts. Museums also offer some discounted nights. MoMA has free admission for SUNY (which includes FIT) students.

A broadway show can also be a pricey treat but FIT offers raffles where you could end up with tickets as low as $20. Also, look for fun on campus! We now a have new Students Activity Board (SAB) that plans things like carnivals, movie nights and other events that are free for students.

Health and Wellness

FIT has an on campus Health Services office, so if you catch a cold or want a checkup you can schedule an appointment with them.  This is paid for up front by a fee added to your semester’s tuition so it’s not technically “free” but you do not need to pay to visit.  They even have a meditation session you can book, and an acupuncturist.  There is also a gym available for use.

At the end of the day, it’s impossible to give an exact number of how much you will spend attending school. As much as you plan, it is hard to know exactly how much you might need for a semester. Every school will come with expenses outside of tuition, but it is good to get an idea of the costs associated with the location of the campus!  Being in NYC has so many perks, but things might cost a bit more than you might expect.