My experience at the Fashion Institute of Technology may not technically be over yet, but I am already feeling sentimental about my time there. This is for my fellow seniors: those that I studied with, worked with, explored the city with, and even those that I never personally knew.
None of us could have anticipated that our last semester would end like this. Just three weeks ago, we were in the midst of thesis projects, capstone classes, and highly esteemed internship programs. Now, we are at home with our families across the country or in a Brooklyn shoebox with three roommates.
It’s more than just our academics that have changed. We cheers over Facetime instead of at The Chelsea Bell or Oscar Wilde during happy hour. We are shopping and selling our unused clothing online, using Depop and Poshmark simultaneously. We are spewing our emotional thoughts and feelings all over Twitter and Instagram. We are expressing our creatively charged boredom on Tik Tok and YouTube. Yet throughout all of this, we are still expected to be ourselves… our, nose to the grindstone, working an ungodly amount of hours every week, all while looking like an avant-garde masterpiece… selves.
Our undying work has inevitably caught up to us over these four years. And now, we can finally breathe. We were never going to truly get that breath of fresh air given our anticipated trajectory. We were going to graduate on May 21st, and start our full-time jobs a few days later. Maybe the more relaxed of us would take a couple weeks off to travel or spend time with family. But a few months? Never for an FIT student.
We are a class like no other. FIT students as a whole are the most unique, hard-working population in the city, maybe even the country. We have never considered ourselves unified, like those schools that all sing the same anthem at football games or recite sorority chants together. We are constantly competitive, but our one-upping mindset has only helped each other to grow greater.
Now, we are finally unified. We are going through this uncanny graduation experience together. When we reunite five or even thirty years down the road, we will still lament the Radio City commencement that never was. However, I am optimistic that, unlike other students across the country, it will not be so long until we see eachother again. The majority of us are still in the same city, the same community, and the same industry. Though we may have had our last classes together just three weeks ago, I believe that these four years were just the beginning of our time together.