During the last week of August 2012, I started a journey that millions of young adults also experience each fall. It is difficult for me to accept that there is only 1 year left of the college life I thought would feel endless. I am, however, feeling ready for the upcoming transition into what many call “real life.” I’ve learned that it’s a terrible thing in life, to wait until you’re ready. In today’s faced paced world, there is almost no such thing as ready. There is only now. Walking into my freshman dorm at Marist, I had no idea what the next couple of years were going to bring. I can tell you one thing though, I never thought my senior self would be sitting here today, feeling an overwhelming amount of jealousy toward the Marist freshman class.
I’m probably not the first one to mention that you are about to embark on the most exciting 4 years of your life. College advice comes from every direction these days, whether it’s your parents advising that you can’t go more than 2 hours away, or Buzzfeed articles telling you that most of your nights will be spent worrying if a 2 a.m. slice of pizza will bring your bank account to zero. Despite what you’ve heard, I believe I have some pretty valuable senior wisdom to throw into the mix.
My first piece of advice for any fashion enthusiast: apply to Marist.
As a campus tour guide and a fashion merchandising major, I constantly get asked the question, “What was your college search like?” Well, the answer to that is quite simple: Marist was my first and only choice. During my junior year of high school, I actually enrolled in pre-college classes at The Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. At 17, it seemed like a pretty good fit for me – close to my Long Island home and offered the major I wanted. However, as final applications were due a year later, I realized that’s not all I wanted. I wanted a place I could call home. I wanted a dorm experience. I wanted to be a fan at football games. I wanted to study abroad. I wanted help with finding an internship. I even wanted simpler things, like grass. After researching countless colleges and comparing fashion programs, Marist easily became my top choice. Our program here has successfully prepared me to enter the world of fashion and pursue my dream career in merchandising. To anyone looking for a rich academic plan supported by both academic opportunities and real life industry experiences, the Marist Fashion Program is for you.
Once getting settled at Marist, always remember the reason why you’re here. Take your freshman year classes seriously. Each semester leads into another, and you’ll learn that each one comes with new connections. My professors are extremely talented industry professionals, as well as individuals I strive to mirror. They are your recommendations for internships and one day, jobs. Every interview I’ve gone on and every industry contact I’ve received was a connection from a professor, an advisor, or a Marist alumni. I’ve learned that my success so far is partly owed to the valuable connections I have made by being here. If you want to go somewhere, it’s best to confide in someone who has already been there.
As a senior, I can proudly say that I am satisfied with all that I have squeezed into the past 3 years. The Marist Fashion Program has lead me to countless opportunities including being an intern at Jack Rogers USA, a guest at Mercedes-Benz New York Fashion Week, a team member of an on-campus retail entrepreneurship, and a student at London South Bank University for an unbelievable 4 months abroad. Like I said, I knew walking into my freshman year at Marist would be extremely unpredictable. However, I never imagined to accomplish any of these experiences until after graduation, especially moving to Europe and traveling to 7 different countries. Marist Fashion will make you realize that if your dreams don’t scare you, they aren’t big enough – and for that I am thankful.
Good luck and best wishes,
Class of 2016