When enrolling in Precollege, I had a lot of misconceptions about the program and a lot of expectations that actually turned out to be very close to reality. Putting oneself in a situation that for many people is foreign, can be nerve-wracking. The following are some expectations I had of Precollege at FIT, and what the reality turned out to be.
Expectation: The environment would be intense, competitive, and stressful.
Reality: The environment at FIT is supportive and helpful. There is no denying that the courses are very educational, but it is not nearly as similar to a normal high school or middle school setting as it may appear. It is not to say that the environment of the class is not sufficient, but rather that the environment is perfectly appropriate. The community of students and professors involved in Precollege is lovely, and I am yet to meet anyone who expresses any aggression at all.
Expectation: The emphasis on paperwork would be heavy in order to calculate grades, and there would be tests.
Reality: I can’t speak for the other classes, but at least in my classes and in those of other students who I’ve spoken to, the amount of paperwork is minimal. The grading system is almost always based on rubrics and project work, including a final project. Again, I can’t speak for every class, but in the course I am taking, there are no tests and our final is an artistic portfolio assignment that is very open in concept and in grading.
Expectation: We would never leave the FIT campus.
Reality: My class has left the FIT campus several times to go on field trip style walks around the city in the area. It has always been safe, staying in a group and never being more than about a mile radius outside of the campus, but going outdoors has definitely had a positive impact on my experience. I was gifted with a lot of inspiration and the quality of my work and photos has improved.
Expectation: The class populations would be large, and the teaching would mostly be lecture-based.
Reality: The classes are not overpopulated at all. My class has around 15 students, and the course is super individualized. It’s a teaching style that I really benefit from, and I think most students would agree because it’s easy to stay focused. The class keeps the students extremely involved in the work with hands-on and visual methods. This is super helpful to me and to artistic right-side brain learners, who have trouble listening to something like a lecture and taking in the information.
Overall, Precollege has exceeded my expectations by far, and I am so grateful for it.