New York City. As I stand on the bustling sidewalk of 27th street, my cold breath before me and the biting February wind on my flushed skin, I feel at peace. It is my first day of my pre-college class at FIT, “The Ins and Outs of Fashion Merchandising”. Despite the grating sound of cars honking and people rushing, nothing can shake me of this imperturbable serenity. For I am standing not on a grimy city street, but in an extension of myself.
I look up and all around are skyscrapers that frame a single patch of blue sky. They are not buildings to me, but physical manifestations of my goals and dreams. Grounded before cement sidewalks of practicality, these buildings are equipped with sturdy foundations from which they can reach the clouds. Despite their height, these buildings never crumble because they are built upon solid frames of determination. With strong framework comes a building capable of withstanding any storm thrust upon it. It is never a matter of whether the building is too tall, but if the foundation is strong enough to support it. Walking forward, my logical and business senses form the solid cement on which I place my feet when running towards the open doors of a new skyscraper. Always beneath me, my sidewalk never fails to guide me in the right direction.
Flashes of yellow catch my eye and I look to the street. Taxis zoom back and forth, each one bringing with it a new experience. Taxis do not come to a person, one must be willing to flag one down or else it will whizz past, and they will never know of the missed opportunity. I find myself flagging down taxi after taxi, craving the new experiences they bring. Throughout high school, my yellow carriages came in the shape of school buses, constantly carting me from cross country practices and club meetings. Now that I am older, I am ready to trade in the school buses of my childhood for taxis. Each new taxi ride brings with it the opportunity to explore a different facet of my character and to acquire new skills that will help me in the industry.
As I get out of my chosen taxi, I am swept into a sea of people. New York City is a melting pot of creative minds as much as it is a melting pot of me. I am not the same Carli every morning when I wake up. Each new day brings an opportunity to be a new person. One day I am a 1970’s hippie wearing bell-bottoms and holding up a peace sign, and the next an old Hollywood actress in red lipstick and cat-eye sunglasses. Fashion allows me to explore these different personas while still remaining true to who I am at my essence. I am every person who has ever walked along a New York City sidewalk and none of them. I can not be defined by one single persona, but a mix of millions.
I turn the corner and the ice around me melts. I feel the warm sun on my face as I stand in the center of my heart: The Fashion Institute of Technology. The overwhelming peace I had felt previously is replaced with butterflies. From a young age I have always been drawn to the bright lights and fast pace of the city. Every time I visited, I could not wait to become a part of the creative melting pot that is New York City. It was not until this freezing day in February 2016 and the eleven Saturday mornings that followed that I realized FIT is exactly where I want to be. FIT offers New York City as its extended campus, something other schools can not provide. As each second passes, I can feel the city pulsing around me like a heartbeat and I hope to make 27th street my home.