How I Became the Ex Fashion Student

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The Back Story

My sophomore year of high school I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. My junior year I thought I knew exactly what I wanted to do. Little did I know, I knew absolutely nothing. This is where FIT comes in. Originally I was really interested in the cosmetic industry. I thought that it would be a cool idea to incorporate that into my career. I didn’t even know that that was a realistic idea until I found out that the Fashion Institute of Technology was the only school in the country to offer a degree in Cosmetics and Fragrance Marketing. The twist is that FIT runs on a two and two year program. So the first two years you work towards an associate’s degree and the second two years you work towards your bachelor’s degree. The thing was Cosmetics and Fragrance Marketing was only offered as a bachelor’s degree. Therefore, I would have to pursue a different major for my associate’s degree. I chose to major in Advertising and Marketing Communications (aka AMC) which is on the list of associate’s degrees that can lead to the Cosmetics and Fragrance Marketing bachelor’s degree. Or if I wanted I could also remain in AMC for my bachelor’s degree. I had everything planned out. I had gained an interest in communications and I really liked the idea of the major as a whole. I figured this would be the perfect start to my career at FIT and then I could obtain my bachelors in Cosmetics and work in marketing for a high-end makeup company in New York City. I’ve always had a fascination with the idea of living in the city and I’d been interested in the fashion industry since I was young. It seemed like the perfect place for me. Once this idea was planted in my head there was no way I could get my mind off of it.

FullSizeRender-6The Story 

Fast forward to first semester of college. After dreaming about FIT for the majority of high school, once I got there it was much different than I had anticipated. Even though I had already toured and knew exactly what I was getting myself into, it didn’t hit me until I was actually doing it. New York City is huge. It’s a lot to take in. Living there is far different from visiting. Once you’re there for a while it may not be as glamorous as it seems. On the brightside, there’s so much to do and see. I really thought I wanted that fast past city lifestyle but coming from a smaller town in Virginia it was a slight culture shock. I realized that I might have underappreciated the slow, relaxed pace of Virginia. The city is either something you love or something you don’t and I was beginning to think it really wasn’t for me.

FIT is far different from a normal college. It’s funny because before going there I wouldn’t have even thought that I was going to an all girl school but I was. It’s definitely harder to make friends because everyone is so focused on themselves. Luckily I managed to find a few pretty amazing ones that I couldn’t have made it without (s/o to my soul sistas). We also are an extremely dry campus with very strict rules. If you want to have fun you have to go to clubs and bars (and trust me they aren’t cheap). We have don’t have Greek life and although we do have sports, we don’t have the ones with boys like men’s basketball or football. It’s a very career driven, work-ready environment. It doesn’t have the fun, laid back college feel. You always have to be on top of your game because everything is a competition. Although I consider myself a hardworking and career driven person, it was just so much so fast. Living in the city it’s like you’re forced to grow up instantly. At the same time you’re also getting a really cool and different college experience. Granted I knew this and it’s not that I couldn’t be in this environment, it just wasn’t what I wanted anymore.

Overall I loved my classes. I love how we do a few general education courses while also jumping right into our major classes. This is where I really took a fond interest in communications. With my extreme interest in my classes and writing for my school magazine I really began to picture myself in this field. I soon realized that I completely lost my interest for the cosmetic industry as a career path. I also realized, even though I love fashion, maybe I didn’t want a fashion-based career. I figured I would just keep beauty and fashion as hobbies. So with that and the city just not being a good fit for me, I thought it might be a time for a change.

The first semester started out really rough and confusing for me but I was excited at the same time because I discovered my love for communications. I began looking at schools back in Virginia because I figured why stay somewhere and pay more money if I didn’t absolutely love it. Then I came across George Mason University. I was surprised at first because I would have never considered the school before because I thought it was too close to home. After living in New York I realized that there was no such thing. I really looked into their communications program and it sounded like a really good fit for me. I went to the school over my winter break and I knew that it was the place I needed to be.

The Conclusion

At the end of the day FIT is a really great school. It’s truly amazing but it wasn’t the place for me. I never thought that I’d be leaving my dream school. I’m so thankful that I had the opportunity to take as shot at following my dreams. Although my dreams changed a little bit, this opportunity gave me a chance to learn a lot about myself that I wouldn’t have learned otherwise. It’s a lesson (a rather expensive one) that probably changed my life. I thought I had to go to New York City to be successful but I learned that wasn’t the case. This experience has helped me grow and shape me into the person I’m becoming. I’m so excited to continue learning and see where my future takes me. Who knows, maybe I’ll end up back in New York one day. After college I can go wherever I want. I can be whoever I want to be. That goes for everyone. Figuring out who you are and what you want is all part of growing up. It’s only the beginning. This whole thing has only made me want to push myself harder and see what I can do. I’m ready to continue my educational career at George Mason University and from there, the sky’s the limit.

“You may not always end up where you thought you were going. But you will always end up where you are meant to be”

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