I'm getting ready to enter my Senior year at The Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC this fall, and after being here for three years, I've learned a few things about the school. It's very different than the big state-schools that a lot of my friends go to, and while I love being here, and would never want to go anywhere else, it's definitely not for everyone.
Here are 7 things about The Fashion Institute of Technology that you should know before going:
It's not a 'real college'
By that, I mean if you're looking for the 'college experience', don't come here. Greek Life doesn't exist and there are little to no parties. It's very difficult to make friends unless you live in the dorms, or are very involved in a smaller club, and the majority of students are highly competitive. That might sound very negative, but if you're passionate, hard-working, and focused on a career, it's a great school, and it's in the center of Manhattan, so you're social life will not suffer, I promise.
You need thick skin
As I mentioned, FIT students are highly competitive. We all want to work in the same industry, and in relatively the same job. We're all looking at who has the best internships and who has better grades. Not to mention, this is one of the most cutthroat industries out there, so you need some pretty thick skin to handle it. That's not to say there aren't incredibly nice people, there are, but be prepared to toughen up a little bit.
You will work for free
For a few years, in fact. You have to work unpaid internships in order to get the experience to be hired by paid ones, and even the paid ones will be a lower wage than any retail job. I've only had good experiences as far as bosses / working / etc, but I've heard horror stories (especially from PR), so see above about that whole "thick skin" thing.
You will develop a caffeine dependency
Food gives you energy, this is true, but when you have a retail job, an internship, and 21 credit hours of classes, food does not give you as much energy as a extra-shot soy latte. Small piece of advice, buy one of those Starbucks-brand travel mugs to use at the Starbs in the cafeteria. you get a small discount, and that adds up when you go 3 times a day!
You will not find a boyfriend
FIT's demographic is about 75% female, 24% gay male, and 1% straight male (which are still slightly questionable). Because of this, every single FIT girl is on Bumble, Tinder, Hinge, or whatever the dating app of the moment is. Or, if you're completely opposed to those (that will change quickly, I promise) then you better make some friends at NYU, Columbia, or any other Manhattan college that actually has a social life.
You will no longer be the 'fashion queen'
I suppose this depends on where you come from, but if it's anything like my hometown, everyone is dressed in giant T-shirts, leggings, and sneakers, and anything above that is considered weird. Therefore, you've probably been used to being best dressed. Not anymore. There will always be someone whose just slightly more extra than you are, but the good news is, you're now free to express yourself completely through your style! You can wear some insane trend without any fear of people not understanding! So show up in a hot-pink pantsuit with see-through acrylic boots and pink eyebrows. You. Do. You.
If you work hard, it's all worth it
FIT is tough, just like any college, but if you work hard and push through, you'll end up with an amazing career in a field you love, life-long friends who are just as fashionable as you are, and you will have spent at least 3-4 years living in the greatest city on earth. You know what they say, If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere